Covering the long ball
The Saints’ secondary was carved up on Monday night. While it was mainly P.J. Williams and Eli Apple that were consistently targeted, even Marshon Lattimore lost DeAndre Hopkins for a few big-time, game-changing plays.
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Obviously, when talking about the deep ball, everyone immediately thinks about the Texans last two offensive plays of the game. There was one 38-yard catch by Hopkins as he burnt Lattimore and the following play was former Saint Kenny Stills catching a 37-yarder for the score to almost seal the game.
This wasn’t the only play of the game where the Saints secondary was worked. Early in the game, a seven-play drive that ended in a Watson touchdown was helped by a 54-yard strike from Watson to Will Fuller. This time, it was Apple who was smoked on the edge.
Apple and Williams were clearly being targeted by the Texans’ offensive coordinator Tim Kelly. It worked, didn’t it? The Texans No. 2 and No. 3 receivers combined to total over 100 yards on a mere five catches.
Without much help from the safeties over top, the Saints opted to oftentimes put more pressure up front and force Watson isn’t difficult decisions. At the end of the day, he did have just one interception and was sacked six times.
In the future, when the Saints play a team with a capable offensive line, they need to make sure to help Apple and Williams who clearly have struggled to start the season.