Saints Cheerleader (Getty Images)
Following the Texans initial preseason tune-up, a 19-16 victory over the Denver Broncos, the team will be looking to work on some things in week two of the preseason.
Houston Texans vs. New Orleans Saints
Saturday, August 16th, 2008- 8:00 p.m.
Kickoff Temperature: Dome
In the opener, rookie left tackle Duane Brown played well in his Texans debut, but the test is much stiffer this week against the likes of Will Smith, Charles Grant, and Bobby McCray, among others. Although the entire Texans offensive line did an adequate job of protecting their quarterbacks a week ago, they need to open some more holes for the running game.
It is pretty unclear how much time starting running back Ahman Green will miss with his groin injury, so once again the team may have to count on some younger, inexperienced players to get the job done. Chris Taylor ran hard a week ago, but found very little daylight. Rookie Steve Slaton showed great burst and the team should be pleased with the contributions he’s made thus far.
Can David Anderson build on his fine week one performance when he caught six passes for 67 yards and an impressive touchdown? If so, where does he fit in the mix in the Texans wide receiver rotation?
"It never becomes old to get into the end zone, that's for sure,” Anderson told reporters after the preseason opener. “People always say celebrate like you've been there before, but I say celebrate like you're never going to get there again, because you never know if it's going to be your last play ever in the NFL."
Matt Schaub and Sage Rosenfels were solid a week ago, like you’d expect the team’s starter and the best backup QB in the NFL to be, but Shane Boyd was a nice surprise. Boyd was both athletic and accurate as he completed four of five throws, and scrambled five times for 28 yards.
Defensively, the Texans tackled well, but they weren’t able to put much pressure on the Denver quarterbacks, as they didn’t register a single sack. The secondary did its part, as they forced 10 incompletions and picked off two passes, but without any pass rush it will be difficult for them to succeed against the better passing teams in the league.
The subplot behind Saturday’s preseason game will be another matchup of the top two picks in the 2006 NFL Draft, Mario Williams and Reggie Bush. Following year two, Williams seems to be the dominant player ascending toward the ranks of an elite defensive end, and Bush seems to be a great third-down back. Both players will be extra motivated even if they don’t admit it.
The most important thing of course for the Texans is to come out of the game healthy, as they have suffered a rash of injuries to their offensive line and their backfield. Also, they must get rookies Duane Brown, Steve Slaton, Antwuan Molden, and Frank Okam more work as they get prepared for the regular season.
Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering multiple teams in the National Football League, NCAA, and National Basketball Association. Charlie is a regular syndicated contributor to FoxSports and Sirius NFL Radio, and has been featured on the NFL Network. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. Feel free to contact him -HERE- with questions or comments.
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