2023 NFL preseason Week 3 preview: Schedule, storylines and analysis for Sunday's game

2RKJE24 Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud drops back to pass against the New England Patriots during an NFL preseason football game at Gillette Stadium, Thursday, Aug. 10, 2023 in Foxborough, Mass. (Winslow Townson/AP Images for Panini)

We’ve made it. The final preseason game of 2023 is upon us. After this, the lights come on for real. Before the Kansas City Chiefs and Detroit Lions open the regular season on Sept. 7, we get one more look at the Houston Texans and New Orleans Saints.

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Houston Texans at New Orleans Saints (8 p.m. ET)

Texans offensive focus: C.J. Stroud

Stroud showed some nice progress from his preseason debut to the Texans' second contest. He earned a 69.3 PFF passing grade a week ago, going 7-of-12 for 60 yards. However, he didn’t make a big-time throw for the second week in a row. The former Ohio State star has yet to attempt a pass 20-plus yards downfield, so hopefully we’ll see him try to air it out at least once in this one.

Texans defensive focus: Will Anderson Jr.

Anderson has played just 21 snaps this preseason but has already made an impact, including tallying a sack and forced fumble against the Miami Dolphins last week. That is the only pressure he has generated on 12 pass-rushing snaps so far this preseason, though, and it came against a running back, so it would be nice to see some wins against offensive linemen as the Texans close out the preseason.

Saints offensive focus: A.T. Perry

He’s likely going to be limited to a reserve role in his rookie season, but sixth-round draft pick A.T. Perry has seen plenty of work this preseason so far. Targeted 11 times, he has pulled in nine catches for 92 yards and a touchdown. He has lined up almost exclusively on the outside, with just five of his 41 receiving snaps coming from the slot.

Saints defensive focus: Payton Turner

Turner has played just 315 regular season snaps since the Saints drafted him with the 28th overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft out of Houston. He is still just 24 years old, though, and this preseason has shown that there may be hope for his development. From 34 pass-rushing snaps, he has produced a sack, two hits and a hurry — plus a forced fumble — earning a 90.8 PFF pass-rushing grade.

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