Aug 16, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints wide receiver Kenny Stills (84) celebrates with teammates wide receiver Lance Moore (16) and tight end Jimmy Graham (80) after catching a touchdown against the Oakland Raiders during the first quarter of a preseason game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
The New Orleans Saints have been on a roll this preseason, but Week 3 is here. This means the arrival of the game that most closely represents what the team will look like for the duration of the regular season as starters play most of the game.
The Houston Texans are no slouch, especially at home. New Orleans could not ask for a better warm-up opponent than an AFC powerhouse, so watch this one closely. Here’s what fans need to know.
Where: Reliant Stadium
When: August 25, 2013, 4:00 PM ET
Watch: FOX National,
Live Stream: NFL Preseason Live
Saints Player to Watch: Kenny Stills
Aug 16, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints wide receiver Kenny Stills (84) is tackled by Oakland Raiders strong safety Tyvon Branch (33) and cornerback Tracy Porter (31) in the first half at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. New Orleans defeated Oakland 28-20. Mandatory Credit: Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports
The Saints have a serious battle going on at the wide receiver position. With Marques Colston potentially not playing, younger guys will once again have the chance to step up and make a difference.
Last week it was rookie Kenny Stills. He caught four passes for 64 yards and a touchdown while outplaying the other options on the roster in the slot. Watch to see if he can keep the ball rolling against starters, because if he can he should enter the season as a heavy contributor.
Texans Player to Watch: DeAndre Hopkins
Aug 9, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) warms up prior to the game against the Minnesota Vikings at the Metrodome. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
The Texans have their own issues at the wide receiver position, primarily finding a starter across from veteran Andre Johnson. That is why the team selected DeAndre Hopkins high in the draft.
Hopkins disappointed last week with only two receptions for 22 yards, but he has a chance to make a name for himself against a Saints defense that is still undergoing a scheme chance. Keep an eye out.
Matchup to Watch: Saints Offensive Line vs. Texans Pass Rush
Aug 16, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram (22) carries the ball beside Oakland Raiders defensive end Jack Crawford (91) and Saints tackle Charles Brown (71) at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. New Orleans defeated Oakland 28-20. Mandatory Credit: Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports
The Texans always seem to have a quality pass rush no matter who the names are on the field. Last week the team notched six sacks, and that was with a variety of depth players seeing time on the field.
The Saints are still looking for answers at left tackle. Charles Brown is the starter provided he can stay healthy. If he happens to struggle, fans could see the coaching staff throw rookie Terron Armstead to the fire to see how he handles the pressure.
Aug 17, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans quarterback T.J. Yates (13) and tight end Garrett Graham (88) celebrate a touchdown against the Miami Dolphins during the second half at Reliant Stadium. The Texans defeated the Dolphins 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
It is hard to bet against the Texans at home. Depending on how much Drew Brees actually plays (he could get the Aaron Rodgers treatment and only play briefly), the Saints could keep it close for a while. Ultimately the Texans are a much better team than anything the Saints have faced to this point. Houston will take advantage of a defense still in transition.
Saints 20, Texans 24.
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