First Half Analysis
At the end of the first half the score is: Houston 24 - New Orleans 14.
The Saints' offense looks good. They were able to break off good runs and even better passes. Brees has kept his composure despite heavy pressure by the Texans. He completed 7 of 14 passes for 104 yards before second string QB Chase Daniel came in. Daniel went on to complete 2 of 7 passes for 75 yards and a touchdown.
Both Saints' QBs look like they are season-ready. They both have good downfield vision and strong arms. Chase's 37.5 yard average exposed the weaknesses of the Texans' backfield.
The Saints' running game has looked mediocre. Pierre Thomas rushed six times for 33 yards, Mark Ingram seven times for 25 yards and a touchdown, and Darren Sproles three times for 24 yards. While there have been some great runs by the Saints, especially by rookie Mark Ingram, the majority of the ground game has been marginal at best.
WR Joseph Morgan looks like a solid pick-up for the Saints. His 56-yard reception for a touchdown was a display of his great break-away speed and ability to make a great catch. The rest of the receiving corps has looked solid and have been able to capitalize on the Texans' secondary.
Houston came into this game with a fire burning underneath them. Matt Schaub has looked great completing 12 of 16 passes for 163 yards. His ability to place the ball between defenders has allowed the team to keep moving downfield on long yardage downs. Matt Leinart has also looked sharp. While he has only completed 2 of 5 passes for 22 yards his command of the game is what is most impressive. He has made smart plays (throwing the ball away) and has made some great calls in the hurry-up offense.
Perhaps the biggest surprise for the Texans has been RB Ben Tate. After coming off a season-ending injury Coach Kubiak stated that he was concerned with Tate's ability to play again. Tate proved that he is ready when he stormed the field with 9 carries for 95 yards and a TD. Starting RB Arian Foster has proved that last year's performance was not a one-year thing. He scored two touchdowns with 47 yards rushing.
Andre Johnson is Andre Johnson. He has four receptions for 100 yards. Meanwhile, the rest of the receiving corps has accumulated 74 yards. The only big play was a 48-yard bomb from Schaub to Johnson. The rest of the receiving plays were typical plays resulting in sufficient yardage to keep the ball moving downfield.
At the Half
As it stands the Texans look like the better team. The Texans are missing starting MLB DeMeco Ryans and starting CB Johnathan Joseph and are still leading by 10 points. The first teamers are done for the game and the rest of the game will help decide roster spots.
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