So much for the #1 defense in the NFL.
I don’t think anyone expected the Texans to shut down the Saints. Those of us who don’t need to be checked in to a mental facility knew that the Houston defense had thus far benefited from some terrible-to-average-at-best offenses. So, I’ll just say what I’ve been saying all along – the adjustment to Wade Phillips’ 3-4 defense is, and will continue to be a work in progress. Just like I did not overreact to two wins over below average teams, I’m not going to jump off a ledge over a loss to a great team like the Saints like an EMBARRASSING number of Texans fans are.
While the defense held its own for the majority of the game, their “grip” on the lead was tenuous at best. It wasn’t difficult to see coming, really. I’m not quite sure why it took as long as it did for Sean Payton to go into “offensive desperation mode,” but once the Saints did that, it was pretty much automatic offense for New Orleans.
When you have as much scar tissue as I do, with many, many years of Texan and Oiler fandom in the bank – you tend to see bad things coming before they actually happen. But let’s not lose sight of the fact that the Texans were playing a legitimate Super Bowl contender in the Saints. It’s a setback for the Texans, who now sit at 2-1, but it wasn’t a division, or even a conference game. It’s just a loss, that’s it. Sure, they had a chance to make a big statement to the rest of the NFL, but it didn’t work out, and they’ll have another shot to show up big against the Steelers next week.
I have a lot more to say about this game, but I’m going to take a page out of Stephanie Stradley’s book. There’s not much use in doing an in-depth report right after a painful loss like this. I’ll let it sit, and hit you all up later. For now – reaction.