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Saints vs Texans: Week 12 Preview

After coming off of two back to back losses heading into their bye week, the New Orleans Saints will try to get their swagger back when they take on the Houston Texans. Both ball clubs are in similar positions in regards to making the playoffs this season.

However, for the Saints there can be no margin for error going forward. Their only shot of making the playoffs is through the wild card. The Carolina Panthers have a commanding lead in the NFC South and are not showing any signs of slowing down.

The Saints opponent the Houston Texans are currently tied with the Indianapolis Colts for the division lead in the AFC South. The Texans started off the season dead last in the division but have suddenly regained some momentum by winning their last three football games. One of the weak spots on the Texans football team is their inability to have a viable option at the quarterback position.

At the beginning of the season, Texans head coach Bill O’Brien played “musical chairs” in regards to the Texans quarterback situation. Whenever Brian Hoyer would have an off game, he would quickly pull Hoyer for Ryan Mallet. The “musical chair” method would soon end after the team decided to release Ryan Mallet for disciplinary reasons.

As of right now, the Texans will start Brian Hoyer instead of T.J. Yates, who was the starter, for the last two football games. In my opinion, it is better for the Saints defense to face Brian Hoyer instead of T.J. Yates. But the Saints defense is famous for allowing mediocre quarterbacks to look like the “second coming of Peyton Manning” against them.

I honestly do not know what the Saints defense will look like under new defensive coordinator Dennis Allen. My impression of Allen is not a good one because of the teams he coached in Oakland. From what reports are saying, Allen did not have the pieces on offense to compliment the defenses that he had in Oakland.

In New Orleans, that will not be the case because the Saints have the second ranked offense in the National Football League. The biggest challenge for the Saints defense will be to shut down explosive wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. No matter who is the quarterback for the Texans, Hopkins has dominated opposing defenders.

Saints cornerback Delvin Breaux must be aggressive in this contest, but not to an extent to where a penalty against the Saints defense can occur. Hopkins is one of those receivers that will command a lot of attention from the officials in regards to getting calls to go his way. For the Saints offense to be successful in this contest, the offensive line must protect Drew Brees from Pro Bowl defensive end, J.J. Watt.

The o-line has done a decent job protecting Brees this season, but they have not faced anyone such as the likes of J.J. Watt. From the Texans game going forward, every game for the Saints will be considered a playoff game. They still have a chance to get in the tournament, but they must take care of business this Sunday against the Texans. Expect a low scoring affair in this contest.


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Derrick Branch is the founder and lead writer of Tops Sports.Com. He is a die-hard sports fan and keeps it 100 on all things that involve the NFL, NBA, NCAA Football.
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