The wait is over. It’s time for actual Houston Texans football.
The Texans will start the season with arguably their toughest challenge. The New Orleans Saints are one of, if not the most heavily-predicted NFC Super Bowl participants for 2019. Their home stadium The (something something sponsorship something) Superdome is one of the loudest buildings int he league. They also have that little thing that kinda sorta gives the Texans fits - a top tier Quarterback in Drew Brees.
We could very quickly find out if the Texans’ “revamped” secondary is actually that, or the bug speeding unwittingly on its way to the proverbial windshield.
Let’s see how the BRB Staff sees this one playing out.
Chris: Saints 33, Texans 23.
The Texans’ start last year was abysmal, and they just did not look ready to play. With Bill O’Brien spending a good portion of the offseason honing his craft as a terrible personnel man and General Manager, I assume he’s not done much to improve his mediocre coaching and below-average ability to get his team ready to start the season strong. The NFL can’t keep giving the Texans home games to start every year, and boy did they not do that this year with such a tough match-up to start. That said, the Saints don’t always get off to the best starts either.
I am not convinced that this Texans secondary is “improved”. I just think it’s different. We will find out pretty quick - I so badly want to be wrong. Oh and also they gave away one of the best defensive linemen in the NFL and the defense is obviously worse for it. I’m not bitter.
Tim: Saints 31, Texans 21.
I’d expect to see the Texans’ defense struggle in their first game without Jadeveon Clowney anyway, and playing the Saints to open the season only exacerbates things. I also believe we’ll see some miscues from Houston’s offense, thanks to some rust from not playing much during the preseason and an offensive line that hasn’t taken a single, non-practice snap as a whole unit yet. Remember it’s Week One and it’s a long season.
BFmf’nD: Saints 45, Texans 26.
Sean Payton ain’t stupid. He will know that you don’t run the ball against the Texans if you want to score, and he won’t. Instead, he’ll get Alvin Kamara in space, and the Saints WRs are a match-up disaster against our secondary. The Saints will score early and often, and it wouldn’t shock me if they ran up 600 offensive yards against us.
Bill O’Brien will try to establish the run with Carlos Hyde, aka Alfred Blue 2.0. The Texans will fall behind. Kaimi Fairbairn will kick four field goals.
Matt Weston: Saints 38, Texans 27.
I don’t see Houston stopping a fresh Drew Brees. A best case scenario is for the pass rush is to be below average this season. They are up against one of the best offensive lines in football, and a quarterback who excels at getting the ball out quickly. J.J. Watt won’t have an easy matchup to exploit. They don’t have a solution for Michael Thomas or Alvin Kamara. Add all this to an offense that has been held back by its offensive line and a conservative nature, and I think we see a game where New Orleans goes up early, and squashes the fire out after a third quarter comeback from Houston after the Texans finally start pushing the ball on offense and playing aggressively.
Kenneth O: Saints 38, Texans 34.
It’ll be a shootout, but the Saints have the home field advantage so I think they’ll pick up the victory.
Matt B: Texans 28, Saints 24.
I’m low on the Saints this year. I’ll be ready to eat my words if they prove me wrong but every year, at least one team falls off dramatically from the year before. I see the Saints as that team. I think their defense will be middle-of-the-pack and I think Drew Brees shows alarming signs of father time winning the fight.
With that being said, I am picking the Texans to win in an “upset.” Deshaun Watson will carve their defense up and I believe they force Brees into a costly turnover late to seal the deal.
Josh: Saints 28, Texans 21.
The Saints were one bad call away from the Super Bowl. Drew Brees is a Hall of Fame QB and our defense is....decidedly not. Look for Michael Thomas to torch our secondary for a few scores while Alvin Kamara has at least one long run.
On our side, I expect us to start slow. One of the calling cards for an O’Brien team is not realizing the game has started until midway through the first quarter. DW4 will throw a few TD’s in a comeback attempt but the Texans will lose in the end.
We haven’t won an opening game in two seasons but don’t expect this to be the year that changes.
Luke: Saints 35, Texans 21.
The Texans defense really doesn’t have the muscle to last against a Saints passing attack for 4 full quarters and I’m expecting the Texans offense to not be as effective against a better defense.
UprootedTexan: Saints 43, Texans 29.
I have a lot more faith in the Saints (ha! puns) pass defense to get stops against the Texans than I do the Texans against the Saints. It’s going to be a shootout (which I expect the Texans will be in a lot of this year). Also I’m going to be at the game and that’s almost as good as a guarantee that they’ll lose.
Capt. Ron: Saints 42, Texans 31.
O’Brien’s version of the Texans are notoriously slow to start most games, and always start the season slow. I have no idea what the hell they do, or don’t do, in camp to be so unprepared compared to most NFL teams. Add in the fact that they played musical chairs with the offensive line all summer, only to then flood the dance hall with kerosene and set it ablaze one week before the regular season and trade the next two year’s worth of draft capital for a stud left tackle in Laremy Tunsil, and I think we’ll be watching a chaotic “Keystone Cops” performance throughout most of the first half, if not through the first couple of games of the season. What a complete disaster and mismanagement of personnel! The University of Rice should consider documenting this as a case study for a business program of what NOT to do in managing a professional sports franchise. Oh wait!
All that being said, and in predicting a lopsided and ugly first half of the game, I think Watson and Hopkins pull off a tremendous comeback attempt in the second half but the Texans will fall short of winning. Both defenses will be thoroughly gassed by the middle of the 3rd quarter, and the ensuing shootout will be a riot to watch. Drew Brees and Deshawn Watson will go toe-to-toe for some great highlights, but Sean Payton will predictably out-coach Bill O’Brien.
Mike B: Saints 41, Texans 29.
Houston takes most of the first half to figure out how to play offense, settling for field goals in every one of their first half possessions that don’t end in punts. The defense manages to slow down the Saints offense for a little bit, then Brees catches fire. At halftime the game is Texans 15 Saints 21. Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins take over in the second half and get two touchdowns, but it’s too little too late as Laremy Tunsil can only block one side of the line at a time and J.J. Watt can’t play all 11 defensive positions by himself.
How do you see tonight’s game playing out? Please use the comments section below to give us your predictions, but above all else - FOOTBALL IS BACK! Enjoy the game with friends and family, and let’s see if the Texans can pull off a big upset!