Outside of the first drive of the game, when the Saints scored their only touchdown, the Saints offense could only secure a pair of field goals throughout the next three quarters.
Cornerback Tremon Smith came up big for the Texans defense. Securing an interception and a pass breakup against Saints quarterback Ian Book, who had only 121 yards passing and an interception throughout the game.
The Texans defensive line had five sacks overall, and two of them came from defensive end Derek Rivers, who has quietly had a solid training camp. Defensive end Ogbo Okoronkwo was another player that could not be blocked. Okoronkwo easily beat Saints first-round offensive tackle Trevor Penning on multiple occasions and finished the game with a sack, a tackle for loss, a quarterback pressure and a fumble recovery. The last two sacks came from rookie defensive tackles Thomas Booker and Kurt Hinish. Both players flashed when given the opportunity.
We all knew that safety Jalen Pitre was going to be special, but to actually see it happen on the field was great to see. Pitre did not play much but made an impact in a short amount of time. He had an impressive tackle for loss and may have had an interception if Tremon Smith did not get there and secure it.
Another player that has had an impressive camp and continued that play into pre-season game one was linebacker Blake Cashman. Cashman finished the game with seven total tackles, which was tied for the team lead with fellow linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin, one tackle for loss and and extremely impressive pass breakup. If Cashman can keep up this impressive play, he will have a great chance to make the roster and even earn significant playing time with rookie Christian Harris and Garret Wallow both out for the time being with injuries.
The Texans defense secured multiple turnovers and provided heavy pressure on the Saints quarterbacks all night long. There is still a ton to work on, but it is good to see improvement from the Lovie Smith led defense that should be a lot better in 2022.