NO-HOU Grades: Texans stymie Saints, continue win streak
Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Texans’ 24-6 win over the Saints.
New Orleans Saints
– Little went right for the Saints on Sunday, particularly on offense where New Orleans mustered just a pair of field goals on the day. They largely abandoned the run, with just five rush attempts in each half. HB Mark Ingram (-0.5) was able to rip off a 29-yard run in the second quarter, but the other nine Saints runs went for just 23 yards, including four for losses.
– QB Drew Brees (-3.6) had just one turnover, but it was actually one of his worst outings of the season. He completed just four of 13 passes targeted 10-plus yards downfield. The Texans blitzed just eight times and didn’t get a sack on those plays, but Brees was able to complete only one pass and had a -3.3 pass grade on those eight dropbacks.
– S Kenny Vaccaro was really the lone bright spot for New Orleans. His +3.1 overall grade just edged out a couple other performances as the highest graded game of his career, though it came entirely in run defense. He tallied a career-high six defensive stops, five of which came against the run.
SS Kenny Vaccaro (+3.1)
K Kai Forbath (+1.8)
DE Cameron Jordan (+1.6)
P Thomas Morstead (+1.4)
WR Willie Snead (+0.8)
– Just another day at the office for J.J. Watt. Despite the Saints doing a decent job using double teams and tight ends to chip Watt when lined up on the edge, Watt still earned his second-highest pass rush grade of the season. He finished the day with 11 total pressures (two sacks, six hits and three hurries) for a +7.0 pass rush grade. Houston also moved Watt around a bit more, particularly to get him matched up with rookie Andrus Peat (-5.9), who played at guard for the first time this year.
– The Saints did do a good job of slowing down WR DeAndre Hopkins as they held him to a season-low 36 receiving yards and his second-lowest graded game at -0.4. Hopkins also dropped his first pass since Week 4, and just his fifth total drop this season. He is still in the top ten in drop rate among wide receivers with at least 50 catchable targets, and ranks 13th in yards per route run with 2.22.
– TE Ryan Griffin returned from the injured reserve list a couple weeks ago and his presence was certainly a positive one on Sunday. He caught his first touchdown pass since Week 13 of last year and had a career-high 72 receiving yards. He also threw in a couple good run blocks on the edge to earn the second-highest graded game of his career at +2.3 overall.
DE J.J. Watt (+7.5)
C Ben Jones (+3.4)
CB Jonathan Joseph (+3.2)
CB Kevin Johnson (+2.3)
TE Ryan Griffin (+2.3)