Reflections on the New Orleans Saints – Houston Texans Game

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I thought the Saints’ special teams played really well.  Kasay is still perfect on the season, and kickoff and punt coverage were great.

Jabari Greer made some big plays, including a nice tackle for no gain on a first-and-goal with seven minutes left in the first half; the Texans were eventually held to a field goal.

Greer also broke up a pass and intercepted Schaub within just a few plays of each other in the fourth quarter.

Robert Meachem made a great catch on a poorly thrown ball, which resulted in a first down at the 11:25 mark in the second quarter.

Drew Brees had a better game than the stats tell (yes, better than 370 yards, 3 TDs and a near-100 rating suggest).  Check back later for more thoughts on Brees’ performance.

Welcome back, Lance Moore.  His official stats say he had nine catches, but that doesn’t include a pair of 2-point conversions in the fourth quarter.

His numbers were not mind-blowing, but if you watched the game, you saw that every catch except one was at a crucial point.  Three of his first four catches went for first downs when the offense was sputtering in the first half.

Two of those were third-down plays.  Then, in the drive that gave the Saints their first lead, it went:  Brees to Moore for 9 yards (8:45 in 4th), Brees to Moore for first down, Brees to Moore for 5 yards, Brees incomplete to Sproles, Brees to Moore for 16-yard TD, Brees to Moore for 2-point conversion.

The next (game-winning) drive began with Brees to Moore for 15 yards and ended with Brees to Moore for a 2-point conversion that put the Saints up by 7.

When the Saints had to score points, Brees hit Moore with five consecutive passes and another a moment later, which resulted in two first downs, a touchdown, and two 2-point conversions.

I’m not sure I have seen a Saints offensive player dominate a stretch like that, especially in crunch time, since Payton arrived in 2006.

And the thing is, the Texans never even came close to stopping him.  That was an impressive stretch.  Am I the only one who loved Lance Moore’s performance in this game?

So, what did we learn about the Saints from this game?  We already knew they could put up 40 points on just about anyone.  We knew they were tough to beat at home.  We knew that Brees was capable of leading a big comeback.  We knew that the Saints’ weakness is their defense.

I’m not sure what we learned.

A record of 2-1 after a challenging opening three games, including a last-second road loss to the (presumably) best team in the league, is not a bad way to start the season.

It is apparent that Brees and the offense are playing at a level high enough to win another Super Bowl, but the defense is not quite there, yet.

No worries.  Super Bowl champions don’t always start 13-0, do they?  This was a nice win.  The Saints are looking good.