Concerned about the lousy performance by the New Orleans Saints defense in Houston?
You shouldn't be.
You shouldn't be concerned about the 436 total yards gained by the Texans, including 208 yards on the ground. Or by quarterback Matt Schaub's 12 completions in 16 attempts for 163 yards.
Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is always willing to confront the obvious: his defense was bad, but only in a preseason game.
Here's a few more preseason numbers for reference. San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers completes 16 of 27 passes for 167 yards and a touchdown in one half of play. Matt Schaub was 8 for 10. Backup Dan Orlovsky had 12 completions in 19 attempts.
All of that happened against the Saints in the preseason of 2010.
When the 2010 regular season ended, only three teams had allowed fewer yards than the Saints. Only six teams had allowed fewer points per game.
In Oxnard, Saints defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis noted that Saints poor defensive performance against the Texans was more about focus, considering the circumstance. "We kind of let up as a defense in that ideology," said Ellis. "So I think he (Williams) is just trying to install that and pound that into us. With the guys on this this team, I don't think it will be hard sell."
If anything, the results Saturday night do nothing but play into the hands of head coach Sean Payton and Williams. Particularly when the Texans visit the Superdome for a regular season tilt Sunday, September 25. The Saints first unit won't have to be reminded of just how badly they were gashed in Houston.
The defense does have questions, however. Both outside linebacker spots are among them. At cornerback, is starter Tracy Porter anywhere close to 100 percent after microfracture knee surgery? If Porter is not ready, is last year's first round pick Patrick Robinson ready to perform at a high level?
We will only start to get the answers to those questions in Green Bay. In last year's NFL opener on a Thursday night, the Saints defense played brilliantly against Minnesota. The Saints held Brett Favre and the Vikings to 12 first downs, and 253 total yards. New Orleans won, 14-9, and set the tone for a stellar season defensively.
Three years earlier in the NFL opener, we learned quickly that cornerback Jason David wasn't a great Saints offseason acquisition. David was burned repeatedly by his former team. Peyton Manning threw three touchdown passes as the Colts gained 452 yards. Reggie Wayne had 115 yards in receptions and 2 touchdowns in a 41-10 Indianapolis rout.
As the preseason trudges on (and that's putting it kindly), the only real concern for the Saints is survival. Can they make it to the opener as healthy as healthy as possible?
Everything else, including what happened in a meaningless week two preseason game, is exactly that. Meaningless.
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