4. Star wide receiver matchups
This game also brings exciting wide receiver matchups to the table as Houston has DeAndre Hopkins and the Saints have Michael Thomas, both of whom are in the discussion of Top 5 wide receivers in the entire league.
The NFL did an excellent job in placing this game in front of a national primetime audience, and though both are not on the field at the same time, everyone knows both of the receivers want to show the entire NFL world who the best of the best really is.
Hopkins will most likely be paired up with either Eli Apple or Marshon Lattimore, as they are the two top cornerbacks on the Saints’ roster. The Saints also bring Vonn Bell and Marcus Williams at safety, so the New Orleans secondary isn’t one to take lightly in this game, though in 2018 their coverage grade by Pro Football Focus was 72.6 (out of 100).
Thomas will be defended by cornerbacks Aaron Colvin, Johnathan Joseph or Bradley Roby, who is the nickel in the defense. At safety the Texans are stronger with Tashaun Gipson and Justin Reid. Also possibly making a difference in Week 1 could be rookie cornerback Lonnie Johnson Jr., the Texans’ second-round draft choice.
Houston last year had a coverage grade of 89.9, but gone from the 2018 secondary are cornerback Kareem Jackson and safety Tyrann Mathieu, both of whom left via free agency, though it was no secret the Texans wanted a change in their secondary too.
Both Thomas and Hopkins are worth the time it takes to watch a football game, and for this to be a way to start out the 2019 NFL season, it doesn’t get much more exciting to look forward to during the offseason.