Grades for Texans-Saints
Here are the biggest takeaways and highest-graded players from Sunday’s preseason matchup between the Houston Texans and New Orleans Saints:
–In his first action after officially securing the team’s starting QB job, Brian Hoyer (+0.6) turned in a solid performance, leading the Texans offense to scores on his first two drives. He delivered a 29-yard dime to WR DeAndre Hopkins for his first pass of the game (1Q, 9:18), but otherwise was fairly risk-averse with eight of his nine aimed passes travelling less than 10 yards in the air.
–Despite playing only 11 snaps, linebacker Brian Cushing made his presence felt in both facets with a pair of stops against the run and a near-interception at 10:28 of the first quarter.
–It was another mostly quiet performance for the team’s first-rounder, cornerback Kevin Johnson. He surrendered three receptions and 45 yards in six targets, while getting his hand on a back-shoulder pass to Josh Morgan in the end zone. Through 106 preseason snaps, opposing quarterbacks are completing just 38.5 percent of passes thrown in to Johnson’s coverage.
Top 5 graded players:
1. LB Tony Washington (+2.7)
2. LB Brian Cushing (+2.0)
3. LB John Simon (+1.5)
4. DB Jumal Rolle (+1.4)
5. DL Christian Covington (+1.4)
–A recurring theme for the Saints has been the poor play of their linebackers, and that continued against Houston as both David Hawthorne and rookie Stephone Anthony graded below -2.0. Both players struggled in coverage, with Hawthorne whiffing on a short whip route at 3:39 of the first quarter while Anthony was targeted (and beaten) on consecutive corner routes late in the first half.
–Offseason pickup center Max Unger logged only 11 snaps but graded positively in both pass protection and run blocking for the third time this preseason.
–Though he went undrafted, rookie D-lineman Ashaad Mabry was one of CFF’s highest-graded run defenders in this year’s class, and that was evident in this game, as he put forth an impressive display against the Texans’ interior line. His compiled a team-high six defensive stops, including at 10:19 of the third quarter.
Top 5 graded players:
1. DL Ashaad Mabry (+3.7)
2. DL Tyeler Davison (+2.5)
3. DE Kasim Edebali (+2.2)
4. OL Sean Hickey (+1.8)
5. FB Toben Opurum (+1.6)