NFL Predictions Week 3: Drew Brees Will Own Houston Texans' Revamped Defense

Zachary D. Rymer@zachrymerMLB Lead WriterSeptember 21, 2011

NEW ORLEANS, LA - SEPTEMBER 18:  Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints looks to throw a pass against the Chicago Bears at Louisiana Superdome on September 18, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  The Saints defeated the Bears 30-13.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

In 2010, there were few things more utterly hopeless than the ability of the Houston Texans to defend the pass. They just couldn't do it, as they finished at the very bottom of the NFL in just about every major passing category.

That's what makes what the Texans have been able to do in their first two games in 2011 so weird. Nobody has defended the pass as well as they have, as they now lead the NFL in just about every major passing category.

This is either a sign of massive improvement under new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips or it's a fluke.

I think it's the latter. While I'm willing to admit that the Texans are much better defensively this season, you just get the sense that they're overachieving. At some point, things are going to level out.

If you ask me, that point is going to come this weekend. The Texans have to travel to New Orleans to take on the Saints, and waiting for them will be none other than Drew Brees.

At the risk of saying something totally obvious, this is a problem. Brees has been one of the NFL's best quarterbacks for several years now, and he's certainly looking the part so far in 2011. He's third in the NFL with a 114.9 QB rating, fourth with 689 passing yards and second with six touchdown passes.

Clearly, Brees represents a much bigger threat to the Texans than the first two quarterbacks they faced, who didn't represent much of a threat at all, really.

The first of these was Indianapolis' Kerry Collins, who managed just 197 yards on 16-of-31 passing. The second was Miami's Chad Henne, who managed 170 yards on 12-of-30 passing.

These two aren't exactly Murderers' Row. They're more like the Thr...ah, Two Stooges. It is therefore no wonder that Phillips' defense has piled up such gaudy numbers.

They could do so again against New Orleans, but I rather like Brees' chances to rack up gaudy numbers a little bit more. It's just what he does, and there's no reason to think he won't. Especially at home.

Prediction: Brees throws for 350 yards and three touchdowns, Saints win, 31-27.

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