Saints-Texans provides fodder for pre-season football (ahem) discussion


In the continuing back-and-forth, Dan and Chip provide a point/counterpoint on Sunday’s pre-season game between the Texans and Saints.

Saints and Texas play Sunday. Here are Chip’s and Dan’s predictions, along with a quick series of lightning round questions. Look for more as a followup on Monday after the game.

• •• ••• •• •

Game Prediction:

  • Dan: It does not matter at all. But the Texans win 30-27.
  • Chip: Oh, it matters. Saints 40-23.

Lightning round questions

What will the teams’ record be this season?

Dan P.

  • Texans – 11-5 (they are playing the really tough NFC west this season)
  • Saints – 10-6 – 3 games better than last year.

Chip.

  • Texans – 11-5. Agreed on this record, but it won’t matter come playoff time.
  • Saints – 12-4. Brees re-establishes his presence to set the team up for a deep run in the playoffs.

What will the playoffs look like this season?

Dan:

  • NFC – Division winners – Redskins, Packers, Falcons, 49ers – wild cards – Eagles, Saints
  • AFC – Division winners – Texans, Broncos. Dolphins, Bengals – wild cards – Pats, Ravens

Chip:

  • NFC – Division winners: Washington, Green Bay, New Orleans, San Francisco. Wild cards – Seattle, Atlanta.
  • AFC – Division winners: New England, Cincinnati, Houston, Denver. Wild cards – Indianapolis, Baltimore.

Super Bowl: Dan–49ers over the Broncos. Chip–Denver over Seattle.

What are the best and worst scenarios for both teams this season?

Dan P:

  • Saints best – They ride their excellent QB Drew Brees, an improved running game, Rob Ryan’s inspired defensive coordination and use that chip on their shoulder to recapture their division. They then march thru the playoffs all the way to the Super Bowl championship.
  • Saints worst – The only real difference for the offense is that Brees is a year older. They still can’t run and they could have a better defense, except Rob Ryan is installing a 3-4 defense without the required personnel. They limp back in at 7-9 again.
  • Texans best – Having Brian Cushing for the whole season, a fully healed Johnathan Joseph, a one year older Whitney Mercilus, a Patriots killer in Ed Reed – the defense rolls. Matt Schaub gets the monkey off his back thanks to having a much better 2nd target in DeAndre Hopkins and Ben Tate returning to his 2011 excellence. They sweep through the division, the playoffs and the Super Bowl.
  • Texans worst – Ed Reed and Arian Foster and Whitney Mercilus spend more time in the whirlpool than on the field. Schaub starts doubting himself in the regular season like he has in the playoffs and the o-line suffers a couple of injuries. They limp through a very tough schedule and finish 8-8.

Chip.

  • Saints best – Super Bowl. Brees and company return to championship form and Rob Ryan does his magic with a dominating defense. Couple that with a killer special teams and New Orleans fans are dancing on Bourbon Street…again.
  • Saints worst – Injuries. And aging veterans. Coach Sean Payton and Brees can’t recapture the magic of 2009 after a lost 2012 and bounty gate.
  • Texans best – At this point, getting to the playoffs isn’t enough. Winning a game isn’t enough. Fans want more, so anything short of a league championship game will be considered a failure. Considering a road to a Super Bowl must go through Denver, New England or perhaps even Indianapolis again, the AFC title is about the best to hope for.
  • Texans worst – As mentioned above, anything other than a deep playoff run will be considered a failure. So even with a 11-5 or 12-4 regular season mark, jobs could be on the line. If the team sputters out of the gate — say 1-4 or 2-3 — it could set the team up for a rambling season.
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7 comments on “Saints-Texans provides fodder for pre-season football (ahem) discussion

  1. Luhnow moved Bedard to the pen today. Kinda unfair to the guy, since he gets NO
    run support when he pitches. He ain’t real happy about it either. Can’t blame him…
    he’s pitched well enough to stay in the rotation, but Porter wants another lefty in the bullpen.

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  2. As long as we are talking about non baseball issues, I’m really tired of hearing about Tiger Woods. And why is Kim Kardashian in the news everyday? What has she ever done besides hiring a very effective publicist?

    Becky, we already know what Bedard can/can’t do. And we already know that he’s not part of the future. I want to see what the young guys can do at this point. Bedard is in the way.

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    • Bedard can make a good argument for clearly being (still) better than at least half of the 6 man rotation, but he’s on his decline whereas those other five are ascending. The only reason I dislike the move is that it lessens the chances that Bedard will come back to Houston next season. I’m not yet sold on us having 12 guys who are better in camp next Spring and am tired of losing 100 games a year.

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      • I think we’ll have 5 guys from in house for the rotation in 2014 that are better options than Bedard. But I would like to have him in pen next year. Not sure he wants that job though.

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  3. Chip hit it closer on the pre-season game results. I still think that it does not matter much but I was not pleased with the Texans D though it is tough to judge teams when so few starters play both sides.

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