After coming off an unimpressive showing last week, the New Orleans Saints will face the Houston Texans tonight in another preseason match up. Here are some things to watch during the action.
Defense-The Saints defense will have to come better prepared than last Friday since the Texans are pretty prolific on offense. If their tackling issues aren’t resolved, the Texans could put up some major points against the Saints.
Linebackers-With the Saints linebacking corps recovering from injuries, players like Lawrence Wilson, Jonathan Casillas, and Will Herring should use tonight to cement their status on the roster. Wilson if anybody is most in need of a good game and we could also see Barrett Ruud get some playing time.
Running backs-Chris Ivory should be looking over his shoulder as rookie Travaris Cadet has been having great games, practices, and a solid training camp. Local media thinks that Ivory is a lock on the fourth running back spot and Cadet could be a practice squad candidate. I feel the opposite is true and Cadet could prove that point if he continues his well balanced performance.
Offense-Quarterback Drew Brees and the offense got off to a sluggish start last time and they can’t afford that against the Texans defense who are becoming one of the best in the league especially in the pass rush department. I think we’ll see a good bit of the 1st team since the final preseason game will just be a final exam for players just trying to make the roster.
On-the-bubble players-With roster cuts looming on Tuesday, the Saints will have to trim the roster to 75 players. There are several that need to step up to gain some more oxygen. Players like safety Jericho Nelson were an extremely hyped undrafted free agent, but so far hasn’t shown too much in camp or in games. Hype is one thing and performance is another. Tonight will be important for him and for others in his situation.