Top 14 Observations: Houston Texans vs. New Orleans Saints
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Observations 9-12 / Texans vs. Saints
- After sitting out the 49ers game (coach’s decision) Brian Cushing led the team in tackles against the Saints. He was strong at the point of attack and ran well to the ball when it went away from him. It seems he is starting off as he finished last year looking much like the Brian Cushing of old.
- A defensive end has emerged. Christian Covington had an excellent game against the Saints. He looked more explosive than in the 49ers game picking up a sack, penetrating and playing the run well. Covington looked quite capable of playing opposite J.J. Watt. Now another end must emerge to bridge the gap until Watt returns.
- Recently activated, undrafted rookie Brennan Scarlett was among the first substitutes at outside linebacker. There were some mistakes, but he made an overall good first impression. Scarlett showed good pass rush skills and was strong against the run. One game doesn’t guaranty a roster spot, but he at least earned a second look with this performance.
- Special teams appear to be improving. Coverage on punts and kick-offs is good. Nick Novak did all the kicking against the Saints and was perfect on three field goals and an extra point. With the new kick-off rule leg strength is less important. Good hang time and directional kicking may be better than a touchback that puts the ball on the 25 yard line. Akeem Hunt appeared dangerous as a kick returner.
Next: Final Observations