The Houston Texans went from the highest of highs to a game-ending low as they lost in the final seconds to the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football.
Booger McFarland saw what was going to happen to the Houston Texans defense on the final play of offense by the New Orleans Saints before it happened, but the coaching staff of the Texans didn’t.
Playing what McFarland said was a prevent defense on a play where Drew Brees and the Saints needs a few more yards to get to the end zone ended up being the difference maker for the Texans leaving the Superdome with a dramatic win, but they instead left with a heartbreaking — and somewhat confusing — Week 1 loss.
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Even in the loss, there was a lot of good, some bad, and it was evident there is more to work on with this team on both sides of the football.
Deshaun Watson led the Texans to the lead late in the fourth quarter with his third touchdown pass of the game, finding Kenny Stills for a 37-yard touchdown, completing a 75-yard drive that took 13 seconds of game time to put Houston in the lead by a 28-27 score.
That proved to be too much time for Brees and his Saints offense with New Orleans taking 37 seconds to go 35 yards and have their kicker Will Lutz connect with a 58-yard field goal to win the game at 30-28.
This is a tough loss to take because of the defensive effort and play-calling by the Texans on that final drive of the game. It is tough to tell what Romeo Crennel and the Texans defense were thinking, but it was evident by a former defensive player in the booth that it was the wrong call to be made.
As for the offense of the Texans, they had a few big-yardage plays and brought excitement, but again, there were too many sacks for a variety of reasons, including even Laremy Tunsil allowing a fourth-quarter sack at a bad time in the game. For the game, the Texans allowed six sacks, keeping pace with last season’s 62 sacks allowed.
Watson finished the game 20-for-30 for 268 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. Watson also rushed the ball four times for 40 yards and a touchdown.
The rushing leader for Houston Carlos Hyde with 10 carries for 83 yards, while Duke Johnson had nine carries for 57 yards. Hopkins led the Texans receiving with eight receptions for 11 yards and two touchdowns as he was targeted 13 times. He also had a personal foul penalty for slamming a defensive back while making a tackle.
Will Fuller had a 54-yard reception in the first half and finished the game with two receptions for 69 yards. Stills totaled 37 yards on three receptions and a touchdown.
The Monday Night Football game was full of excitement for both fan bases, but in the end the Texans just didn’t do enough to win on opening night.