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Key Matchups: Saints vs. Texans

Will the Saints D force Stroud’s first NFL INT?

Houston Texans v New Orleans Saints Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

The New Orleans Saints are headed down I-10 to where everything is bigger as they battle the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. The Black and Gold will have their hands full with a rookie quarterback in C.J Stroud who has had a historic start to the 2023 season.

But can he keep it up for DeMeco Ryans and the Texans? The Saints' defense rattled Mac Jones a week ago, so there’s definitely reason to believe that the potent pass rush can rattle the rookie this Sunday.

Houston Texans v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

CJ Stroud vs Saints defense

The second overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Ohio State star quarterback has been very impressive in his first five games. He’s completed 62% of his passes for 1,461 yards and seven touchdowns. However, the most impressive aspect of his stat line is zero interceptions. He made league history last week by having the most pass attempts without an interception to start a career in NFL history.

However, the Saints’ defense has played very well to open the season, forcing turnovers and creating tons of issues for opposing offenses. I think this will be the toughest group Stroud has faced so far and we’ll see if he can keep up his streak.

Tennessee Titans v New Orleans Saints Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Nico Collins vs Marshon Lattimore

Collins is having a strong third season with his new quarterback. The wide receiver from Michigan has nearly passed his career high in yards just five games into the season. Collins has 467 yards on 25 catches and three touchdowns for the Texans as one of the leaders of the offense.

Marshon Lattimore has made a career of shutting down the opposing offense’s top target, so this will be a key matchup to keep an eye on tomorrow afternoon in Houston. Can Lattimore control Collins’ yardage number or will Nico have a field day against the Black and Gold?

Philadelphia Eagles v Houston Texans Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Derek vs Derek

Derek Carr needs to have a signature game in his first season with the New Orleans Saints and the Houston Texans could be the right opponent.

But if Derek Stingley Jr has anything to say about it, the Saints quarterback will have to earn every bit of a good game he gets.

Stingley has been quietly impressive so far in his NFL career and will look to battle with both Chris Olave and Michael Thomas in his home stadium.

I think Carr could exploit the Texans defense, but his receivers will have to be able to get open in order for them to have success.

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