Houston Texans vs. New Orleans Saints Preseason Preview
The final preseason game of 2023 is fast approaching, bringing together the Houston Texans and the New Orleans Saints for an intriguing showdown. Both teams have been working diligently to fine-tune their strategies and evaluate their roster as the regular season looms on the horizon. As the football world turns its attention to this preseason clash, expert analysis, team evaluations, and a prediction on the game's outcome are in focus.
Texans: Progress and Potential
The Houston Texans have undergone significant changes this offseason, aiming to improve their team dynamics and overall performance. With the hiring of former San Francisco Defensive Coordinator DeMeco Ryans as the new head coach and the drafting of quarterback C.J. Stroud from Ohio State with the second overall pick, the Texans have set their sights on a brighter future. Ryans recognizes that the team's success will depend on Stroud's development as a quarterback.
Stroud's growth has been evident throughout training camp and the initial preseason games. His improvement is showcased by his performances. In the first game against New England, Stroud faced challenges, going 2-of-4 for 13 yards. However, he displayed notable progress in the following game against the Dolphins, going 7-of-12 for 60 yards and leading the Texans to a field goal. While Ryans hasn't confirmed the starting quarterback for week one of the regular season, Stroud's advancement is encouraging.
The Texans, coming off a disappointing 3-13-1 record in 2022, face modest projections this season due to their rookie head coach and potential rookie quarterback. This final preseason game offers a chance to evaluate the Stroud vs. Mills quarterback battle and assess young talents as they finalize their roster for the regular season. The Texans' priority is to protect Stroud, especially after experiencing pressure in the game against New England. Expect the starting offensive line to provide support when Stroud takes the field.
Saints: Prudent Preparations
The New Orleans Saints have enjoyed a successful 2023 preseason so far, entering the final preseason game with promising prospects. Quarterback Derek Carr has seen limited action, and this trend is likely to continue. Backup quarterbacks Jameis Winston and Jake Haener have been prominent in recent matchups, a pattern that's expected to persist as the regular season approaches.
The Saints, a veteran team, prioritize caution to avoid injuries, which hampered their roster last season. Notably, running back Alvin Kamara, facing a four-game suspension, might receive extended playing time in this game before his absence. The game's outcome could impact roster decisions as cutdown day approaches, with veterans like Jimmy Graham facing uncertain roles.
The offensive line is slightly hampered by injuries, with starting guards Andrus Peat and Cesar Ruiz listed as questionable. This situation may influence the team's approach to using starter Derek Carr in the matchup. The Saints are expected to focus on careful planning and strategic player utilization as they gear up for the regular season.
In this intriguing preseason showdown, the Houston Texans have a favorable opportunity to cover the +3.5 points spread against the New Orleans Saints. While the Texans underwent a significant overhaul in the offseason, their progress under new coach DeMeco Ryans and the development of rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud signal their potential.
Stroud's steady improvement in recent games, coupled with the Texans' determination to secure a brighter future, adds momentum to their preseason campaign. The Saints' cautious approach and veteran lineup might create openings for the Texans to capitalize on and exceed expectations.
Ultimately, the Houston Texans are predicted to cover the spread, showcasing their readiness to face the Saints and make a strong statement as the preseason nears its conclusion. Football enthusiasts can anticipate an engaging matchup with the Texans demonstrating their strides in improvement.
Pick: Texans +3.5 -110
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