The New Orleans Saints were able to improve to 3-2 with a 34-0 win over the New England Patriots last Sunday in Foxborough. It was an overall team win with all three levels of the Saints’ defense playing well, the offense showing a pulse, and kicker Blake Grupe made two field goals from beyond 50 yards with one being a career-long from 54.
This week, the Black and Gold will finish their mini road trip as they head to Houston, Texas to take on the Texans. Houston has been a surprise team thus far with a 2-3 record as they were able to demolish the Jacksonville Jaguars 37-17 and then beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 30-6.
New Orleans has a good opportunity to earn win number four on the season as they take on rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud before having to get ready for a Thursday night matchup versus the Jaguars.
BACK FROM SUSPENSION
Safety Marcus Maye has finished serving his three-game suspension and is set to return this weekend to play the Texans. New Orleans had a 1-2 record over his time off as head coach Dennis Allen had veteran Ugo Amadi and rookie Jordan Howden play in his place.
Maye will help in coverage on players like Nico Collins, who has been a breakout receiver in the league, and Dalton Schultz, who is ninth in receiving yards at the tight end position. Extra emphasis on pass coverage will help the Saints’ pass rush be effective like how they’ve been most of the season.
Having a starting safety back in the lineup gives the Saints a better chance of forcing rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud into some uncharacteristic mistakes.
SOMETHING’S GOT TO GIVE
Continuing with Stroud, he set the record for most pass attempts to start a season without throwing an interception at 186 passes. The rookie hasn’t put the ball in harm’s way and that has led to his 7-0 touchdown-interception ratio.
New Orleans on the other hand has become more opportunistic than last season. In just five games, the Saints have tied their interception total with 2022’s at seven as Tyrann Mathieu leads the way with three picks.
Even if Stroud continues to avoid throwing to the other team, New Orleans will still have opportunities to affect the young signal-caller as they’ve sacked opposing quarterbacks 11 times, and players in the secondary have broken up 37 passes.
HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE
In this short series between the Saints and Texans, the home team always gets the win.
The two times that the Black and Gold have played in NRG Stadium, the Texans didn’t keep it very close. In 2015, JJ Watt terrorized Drew Brees en route to an 18-point win for Houston, and in 2007 the Texans won by 13.
For the Saints to break that streak, their defense will need to continue being stinky when it comes to giving up points. Derek Carr and the offense will also have to take the next step forward and put more points on the board like they did against the Patriots.
SERIES RECORD: Saints lead 3-2
HOU 28 – NO 30
NO 6 – HOU 24
HOU 33 – NO 40
NO 10 – HOU 23
HOU 10 – NO 31
Derek Carr: 98-150, 946 yards, 4 TD, 2 INT
Alvin Kamara: 33 carries, 131 yards, 1 TD
Chris Olave: 25 catches, 318 yards, 1 TD
Carl Granderson: 3.5 sacks
Pete Werner: 37 tackles (20 solo)
Blake Grupe: 11-of-12 field goals, Long of 54
C.J. Stroud: 114-186, 1461 yards, 7 TD
Dameon Pierce: 84 carries, 247 yards, 1 TD
Nico Collins: 25 catches, 467 yards, 3 TD
Jonathan Greenard: 3 sacks
Henry To’oTo’o: 39 tackles (21 solo)
Ka’imi Fairbairn: 15-of-16 field goals, Long of 43
Juwan Johnson, TE, Calf, Out
Lonnie Johnson, S, Hamstring, Out
Adam Prentice, FB, Knee, Out
J.T. Gray, S, Hamstring, Out
Landon Young, OT, Hip, Out
Cam Jordan, EDGE, Back, Probable
Chris Olave, WR, Toe, Probable
James Hurst, OL, Foot, Probable
Derek Carr, QB, Right Shoulder, Probable
Andrus Peat, G, Concussion, Questionable
Laremy Tunsil, LT, Knee, Questionable
Shaquill Griffin, CB, Calf, Probable
Tank Dell, WR, Concussion, Out
Robert Woods, WR, NIR-Rest/Ribs, Questionable
Maliek Collins, DT, Abdomen, Probable
Blake Cashman, LB, Wrist, Probable
George Fant, T, Hip/Shoulder, Questionable
Christian Harris, LB, Concussion, Questionable
Shaquille Mason, G, Ankle, Questionable
Noah Brown, WR, Groin, Probable
Tytus Howard, T, Hand, Probable
Josh Jones, G, Hand, Probable
Denzel Perryman, LB, Hand/Wrist, Probable
Tavierre Thomas, CB, Hand, Probable
This game between the New Orleans Saints and Houston Texans will be played on Sunday, October 15th with kickoff at NRG Stadium being scheduled for noon.