Posted on August 27, 2017, by Travis Pulver
Houston Texans fans were probably hoping to see Tom Savage prove that Bill O’Brien was right to name him the starting quarterback. New Orleans Saints fans were probably hoping that the defensive effort they saw in the first two preseason games wasn’t a figment of their imaginations. As it turns out, Saints fans were not imagining things.
Texans fans didn’t get what they wanted. But they did get proof that Savage is the right man—for now.
Like always, preseason observations come with the disclaimer ‘it’s just the preseason, ’ but there are still several observations worth noting from the regular season tune-up for the Texans and Saints.
- Tom Savage is a good quarterback. But he is not the playmaker that will win the game for you. He is the game manager that is efficient and good enough to get the job done. But if the Texans get behind by 14 points, they shouldn’t expect Savage to lead them to a come-from-behind victory.
- Deshaun Watson is the quarterback of the future in Houston. But he is not the quarterback of the present. He has instincts and talents that Savage does not and can create plays where Savage would try to minimize the damage. But he needs to get acclimated to the NFL game more before taking charge of the offense full time.
“It didn’t go our way, but it’s a good tape to learn from,” Watson said after the game (ESPN). “Once I watch the film, I’ll figure it out.”
- If the only other option were Brock Osweiler or someone worse, then the time would be now for Watson. But Savage is good enough for the time being. If they don’t have to rush him onto the field before he’s 100 percent ready, they shouldn’t. But it will be interesting to see how long that sentiment will last.
- The New Orleans defense benefited by Houston not playing their best three wide receivers, but it can be said with as much confidence as anything preseason-related can be said—the Saints defense does not suck.
“We are cultivating the right mentality three games in. I think we are showing some promise,” Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan said (ESPN). “It’s preseason, so you take it for what it is. I love the way our defensive backs are playing and how our linebackers are rallying.”
- The jury is still out on Adrian Peterson. He didn’t do anything to give fans a reason to believe that AP is back. But he was too good back in the day to write him off just yet. However, if you are counting on him being a major contributor for your fantasy team—you need to pick someone else up in free agency.
- The Saints will contend in the NFC South this season. Between Adrian Peterson, Mark Ingram, and rookie Alvin Kamara they will have a running game. The passing game will be as awesome as ever. It appears that the defense is not going to be half-bad either. Carolina, Atlanta, and Tampa Bay will not be able to run over these guys this season.
- For those curious about the score, the Saints shut out the Texans, 13-0.
The Saints will wrap up the preseason against the Baltimore Ravens Thursday night (kickoff at 8 PM ET). Houston is scheduled to host the Dallas Cowboys in their preseason finale Thursday night (kickoff at 8 PM ET). But with Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey dumping an ocean on the Texas coast causing flooding in several locations around the Houston area, the game could move to Arlington.