Houston Texans vs. Saints: Defensive impressions
The Texans may be taking their help wanted sign down. After last week the defensive end spot opposite J.J. Watt was wide open. After Saturday, it should be Christian Covington’s to lose.
The second year player is proving to be a steal of a sixth-round draft choice. He was harassing the Saints all night and finished with three tackles (two for a loss) and a sack. He forced a punt as well which didn’t show up on the stat sheet by leveling backup quarterback Luke McCown as he was attempting a third-down pass.
Covington also stuffed a run just after the two minute warning in the second quarter. He followed that play up with a quarterback takedown the next play. Other linemen like rookie D.J. Reader were getting a good bit of pressure, especially as that second quarter was winding down. Still, Covington was the star of the night on this three-man front.
The special teams was on-point as well. Players like Max Bullough were in on almost every play it seemed. Fellow linebacker Brian Peters also was a beast on Saturday. He tied for the lead in special teams tackles in the NFL a season ago and on the Texans’ first punt of the night he forced a fumble which led to a touchdown for Houston.
Jonathan Joseph had a bad penalty which negated a strip sack from linebacker Whitney Mercilus. He atoned for that the very next play by picking off an ugly pass from Brees.
Terrance Mitchell continues to record a lot of tackles. He may be a long shot to make the team, but he is as physical as they come at the position. Could be a candidate to play a hybrid safety role like Andre Hal.
Next: Houston Texans: 14 Observations vs. New Orleans
Undrafted rookie linebacker Brennan Scarlett is a real player. He was recently activated but was getting pressure as a blitzer and played solid against the run.