2. Battle in the trenches
Maybe the most overlooked part of this Week 1 game is the battle in the trenches between the New Orleans Saints and the Houston Texans for both sides. The Texans will be entering this game with a lot of pressure on their offensive line to have a better showing of being a complete unit because of their lackluster play last season.
On the other side, the Saints on their defensive line were graded sixth int he NFL by Pro Football Focus in their pass rush at 77.0 (out of 100), plus they were the seventh overall graded defense at 85.5 overall. What stands out the most in their defensive grades is their pass run defense grade at 91.6 in 2018, third-best in the NFL by PFF.
Houston had better hope they are improved on the offensive line when Week 1 arrives, as they will have returning Seantrel Henderson, who missed last season due to injury. His addition to the starting lineup should be a key to the improvement. Like previously stated in past articles, center Nick Martin needs to be a big part of the Texans’ offensive line.
Jordan is coming off a season where he collected 12 sacks — and Rankins had eight sacks of his own — and the Texans offensive line allowed 62 sacks in the regular season a year ago. Those numbers mean this will be a very interesting battle to watch to start the regular season.