One Hell Of A Win For The Saints

And one brutal loss for the Texans.

Jim Rome
September 10, 2019 - 9:49 am
New Orleans Saints

USA Today


That was a hell of a Monday night game. The first one. Not the second one. I’ll get to the second one in a moment, but the first one had everything you’d want in a game and some things you definitely don’t want.

Two phrases that get used a lot in the first week are “it’s only one game” and “picked up right where they left off.”

Well…The refs picked up right where they left off, jamming the Saints. And the Texans offensive line picked up right where they left off – picking up Deshaun Watson after he gets decked. Two things that simply cannot keep happening. But are. 

And of the two, the Texans pass protection was somehow worse. Watson was sacked a league-leading 62 times last year, just under four per game. And last night, he was sacked six times. After being pressured on 41% of his dropbacks last year, he was pressured on 45% of them last night. So, sure, it’s just one game, but if that one game is any indication, that Texans o-line is getting worse, not better. And Watson’s life is even more at risk this year than it was last year. 

And despite all that, he still nearly led them to an incredible comeback win. That’s how much of a stud this guy is. I mean. Seriously.

Did you see that throw to DeAndre Hopkins?

And did you see the touchdown to Kenny Stills?

He took a shot on that and still ended up throwing a perfect pass. 2 plays, 13 seconds, on the road, in one of the loudest joints on Earth.

Those are the kind of face-melting moments he can give you, as long as someone isn’t in his face. And even when someone is. 

I’m going to address the Texans personally – you guys have been given a national treasure in Deshaun Watson. Take care of him. Protect him. The world wants to see a long career from him, because he is special. If you can’t protect this guy, and he gets maimed, I’m telling you, I will personally come down there and I won’t be happy when I arrive. And I don’t root. But that’s how much I think of of Deshaun Watson.

And yes….I know…, Deshaun Watson is tough as hell. He really is. But did you not see what happened to Andrew Luck over the last four years? Because the rest of the world did. And the rest of the world knows that if you’re lucky enough to get a transcendent quarterback, you better do absolutely everything you can to keep him safe. To not do so, is criminal. And If Watson gets hurt, that’s not just a loss for Houston, that’s a loss for everyone. Again, he’s that special.  That good. 

But don’t worry, new addition Laremy Tunsil is on the case: "How many sacks did we give up today? Six? We've got to improve that number. We've got to drop that number down a little bit."

How would you like to be Deshaun Watson and you’ve just gotten blasted all game, the defense gives up horrible drive to lose the game, and your start offensive lineman is saying, “eh, six sacks is high. Probably should get that number down.”

Ya think, Laremy. Here’s an even better idea. Instead of reducing that number How about eliminate it? Or at least trying to? Because it sounds like the guy they brought it to shore up the line is saying, we all know six sacks is too many, but I could probably live with four or five. 

And as big a letdown as the Texans offensive line was, what the hell was Houston’s defense doing on the final drive?

But before I get to New Orleans and the field goal, let’s spend a moment on what happened right after the touchdown to Kenny Stills. Because that tied the game at 27. And then the Texans kick the extra point to take the lead, right?

Ehhh, not exactly.

He missed. Tie game. But wait, there’s a flag on the play. And you know Saints fans had to love that. This is the same dome where the refs didn’t throw a flag against the Rams and now there’s a flag for roughing the kicker. That had to feel pretty good.

Especially after the Saints were jammed at the end of the first half with that bizarre clock run off that started at the wrong time, cost them 15 seconds, and a much better look at a field goal.

I’m not going to say that Saints fans have a point when they say that the refs are out to get them, but I can’t say I blame them for thinking it.

So now they are down 28-27 after the made extra point and Drew Brees goes to work. 15 yards to Ted Ginn. 11 to Michael Thomas. And nine more to Ted Ginn to set up the field goal.

But before I roll the field goal – again…quick question, what the hell were the Texans doing on defense? Defending a Hail Mary? It seemed like half that crew was bailing out and backpedaling when the Saints only needed nine yards.

And actually, with the way Saints kicker Will Lutz crushed that ball, they didn’t need any extra yardage. He absolutely smoked it.

One hell of a win for the Saints. Even if the refs didn’t want them to win. Errrrr, had another off night while working a Saints. Despite that… One hell of a game. And one hell of a reminder of just how good Drew Brees is in the clutch. And one hell of a reminder of how good Deshaun Watson is and how good he can be, if Houston was interested in keeping him upright.

Bill O’Brien the GM is going to have a long talk with Bill O’Brien the head coach today. Protections and prevent defenses are atop his list. Coach em up, Billy. Because Billy the GM can’t help you anymore, he’s traded away the future.