The coaches can't be happy about giving up 31 points to anyone under any circumstances but that's not the whole story from Sunday's 31-23 loss to the Saints.
Houston's offense went up and down the field on New Orleans but had trouble getting sevens and failed on two fourth down tries inside the 20. Being preseason, it's important not to overreact to these things but it would have been nice to see more finished drives.
Things to be happy about…Matt Schaub looked sharp. He's good to go for the regular season.
Same with Andre Johnson. The seven catches for 131 yards only brought one question to mind: How could Andre Johnson be in a preseason game long enough to put up those numbers? Answer – He did it in one half of play. This is going to be another huge year for him.
Ben Tate – He's back to 2011 Tate. And that's much needed, especially since we have yet to see 2013 Arian Foster.
Randy Bullock – He has all the tools and showed you why he was a fifth round draft choice. The ice-in-his-veins test will have to wait until the games count.
Quarterbacks – T.J. Yates has heard the noise and responded with some fine play. This will not be an easy decision to name the number two signal caller. Stay tuned for the next episode Thursday night.
Running backs – The smart money is on Deji Karim to be the number three back. But doesn't it look like Dennis Johnson can play in this league with a little more time? And Cierre Wood and Ray Graham don't look too shabby either.
Jared Crick – Let's hope that sack of Drew Brees was a sign of more good things to come.
Garrett Graham – He's better than last year. And that was a break out season for him.
Things that need work…
We would say pass defense but it's too easy to say when the game planning is minimal and you're shuffling the line up so much. Still, it would have been preferable to put the brakes on some drives (Saints converted 55% of their third downs) and not allow over 300 passing yards.
Scoring – At least we saw how good Bullock was but they need to score more than 23 points when they rack up 496 yards.
Kickoff coverage – everything is peachy if Bullock is kicking out of the back of the end zone. But Preston Parker's 52 yard return to start the third quarter was the preseason version of a game-changer.
Bottom Line: Even though it's only preseason, please beat Dallas on Thursday night. It's not even really about football when it comes to this matchup. And, oh yes, don't get anyone hurt and get ready for San Diego.