The Houston Texans dropped a tough one to the New Orleans Saints 30-28 on a time-expiring field goal. There will be a discussion on how the Texans offense made big plays when they needed it and how the defense faltered late trying to stop the Saints offense. Here are some quick notes on the Texans loss to the Saints on Monday Night.
Deshaun Watson continues to be the one player that stirs the drink for the offense. Going 20 of 30 for 268 yards and three touchdowns and an interception, Watson was a game-changer for the offense.
Watson became the fastest player in NFL history to record at least 6,000 passing yards& 800 rushing yards (24 games). Watson is the 3rd player in NFL history to record 6,000 pass yds& 45 pass TDs in a player’s first 24 games, joining Kurt Warner and Dan Marino. He also had forty yards rushing which included a 21-yard touchdown run to get the Texans on the scoreboard to give them an early lead.
Watson looked comfortable throwing the football, and he did have some hiccups by holding the ball too long at times, but he did seem much more under control as the game progressed.
The offensive line will be a work in progress, and there was miscommunication at times upfront.
Laremy Tunsil had a solid showing but did give up a crucial sack late in the game that killed a drive when they needed it. Seantreal Henderson and Senio Kelemete both gave up sacks with poor looks during the game. Deshaun Watson was pressured (sack or duress) on 45 percent of his dropbacks in Week 1 (17 of 38).
Last season Watson was pressured on a league-high 41 percent of his dropbacks, according to ESPN Stats Info.The positive with the Texans offensive line was them as a group clearing lanes for the running game to average 7.8 yards a carry and 180 total rushing yards during the game.
The most important topic of discussion will be the choices made by defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel and how they handled the Saints offense, especially in the second half. The Saints had six drives in the second half, and they only punted one and scored three touchdowns and two fields goals in the other drives. The Texans defense gave up a six-play 35-yard drive to the Saints offense to set up the game-winning field goal. With the Texans playing off coverage, it allowed the Saints to move the ball downfield with little issue to set up for the game-winning kick. The Texans defense gave up.
- 7 plays over 20 yards.
- 6 plays over 25 yards.
- 4 plays over 30 yards.
- 2 plays over 40 yards.
- 3 points in the first half.
- 27 points in the second half.
One of the few bright spots up front was outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus who was able to post five total tackles, 1.0 sacks, one tackle for loss, one interception and a pass deflection.
J.J. Watt was not the force most expected the entire game, and he did not register a tackle, sack, or quarterback hit the whole night. He did have some pressures chasing Brees and getting him off his spot, but it was an overall disappointing start for the Texans best defender. Watt failed to record at least one tackle or one quarterback hit for the first time in 105 career games.
The Texans are going to have to figure out how they are going to address Aaron Colvin and see if he can bounce back from a tough game in coverage. He was targeted seven times against the Saints and gave up six receptions for 86 yards and a touchdown. He gave up a crucial third-down completion for 41 yards to Tedd Ginn Jr. late in the game with the play clock running down. Giving up a completion percentage of 86% is not going to cut it for the season.
The Texans were looking for any spark and getting the offense rolling. They targeted their deep threat, Will Fuller. Fuller was hit for a 54-yard deep ball in the middle of the field over Saints cornerback Eli Apple. That jump-started the Texans offense and helped get Watson confident throwing the football. Fuller ended the night with two receptions for 69 yards.
It was a slow start for wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins who had three costly drops to start the game. Then he woke up catching eight passes for 111 yards and two touchdowns. Hopkins had touchdown receptions of two and 16 yards. His biggest catch came on the 38-yard reception to set up the Kenny Stills 37-yard touchdown pass reception to give the Texans a late lead in the 4th quarter.
The Texans new-look running backs made a difference for the offense. Carlos Hyde rushed the ball ten times for 83 yards and caught a pass for 2 yards. While Duke Johnson had nine carries for 57 yards and four receptions for 33 yards. The running game looked more prepared and dynamic than year's past, and it was a good start for the Texans offense with their two new backs.