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Houston Texans

Don't Panic. Yet.

The most alarming thing about the Texans' loss to New Orleans was that the Saints ran the ball so well. Drew Brees threw for more than 5,000 yards last year and he'll chew up a lot of teams. But if you give him a ground game, prepare to replace the bulbs on the scoreboard.

The Texans gave up 173 rushing yards. If I tell you that, this weekend, good defenses like the Giants and Steelers gave up 167 yards and 150 respectively, would it make you feel any better? The Titans surrendered 466 total yards, including 111 on the ground.Does that soothe you?

It should help, but it shouldn't cure anyone associated with the team of their anxiety over a run defense that has to build strength going into the regular season. The other teams mentioned above all have a great track record, while the Texans are auditioning to join the postseason brigade.

The score got out of hand as the Saints piled up 24 points after Dan Orlovsky failed to get points on a deep drive late in the first half by throwing a game-changing pick. He later would turn it over again on a busted bootleg play on fourth down near the goal line. He showed signs that he can make big plays, but he must cut down on the errors if he can be counted on as an understudy.

The Texans aren't a good enough team to stink up a preseason game and know they can pull themselves together when the lights go on for real. These are important rehearsals for what's supposed to be their best campaign. With the Vikings coming in for a Monday nighter next, you know everyone in the organization will put out a monster effort. Let's hope it's enough to remove at least some of the doubt created in the loss to New Orleans.

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