News & Analysis

NFL Week 1 PFF ReFocused: New Orleans Saints 30, Houston Texans 28

By PFF Analysis Team
Sep 10, 2019
Houston Texans New Orleans Saints

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Will Lutz punched a 58-yarder through the uprights as time expired to seal the New Orleans Saints‘ 30-28 win over the Houston Texans in Week 1.

PFF’s ReFocused series features immediate takeaways from the two analysts who graded the game live. The two offer a detailed breakdown of the game’s most notable performances before the grades and advanced stats are reviewed and finalized by Senior Analysts.

All of PFF’s grades and advanced stats from this game and the other games played this week will be finalized and made available to ELITE subscribers within 24 hours of the final whistle. ELITE subscribers can view player grades, advanced statistics, positional snap counts and more in Premium Stats.

PFF’s ELITE subscribers can also preview NFL and NCAA games in PFF Greenline, an online dashboard with projections for the spread, totals and moneyline.

Final Score

New Orleans Saints 30, Houston Texans 28

New Orleans Saints

Aside from one terrible throw in the first half that resulted in an interception, Drew Brees had no trouble moving the ball up and down the field against the Texans’ defense. His accuracy was excellent as usual, as he did not look to attack deep down the field much at all tonight but rather worked underneath and was effective doing so.

Alvin Kamara proved once again why he is one of the most dangerous players in the NFL with the ball in his hands. Kamara made the most of his touches tonight and exploded for some big plays in both the passing game and the running game.

Cameron Jordan came flying out of the gates with some early pass-rush wins. The Saints continued to pressure Deshaun Watson throughout the game with various stunts and blitzes. Youngsters Trey Hendrickson and Marcus Davenport were noticed around the quarterback as well.

The Marshon Lattimore vs. Deandre Hopkins matchup proved to be an entertaining battle. Lattimore more than held his own as Hopkins had his struggles early, but he did beat Lattimore for a touchdown as well as an important deep pass late in the game.

Rookie Takeaways

Center Erik McCoy had an up-and-down start to his NFL career. He was far from perfect in pass protection but still picked up some positive marks as a run-blocker.

Houston Texans

J.J. Watt struggled making an impact against New Orleans in this one. A combination of consistent double-team blocks and a stout offensive line made for a long night for the all-pro.

Whitney Mercilus had a strong showing in the season opener for Houston, picking off Drew Brees in the red zone in the first half and making an impact as a pass-rusher as well, where he picked up a sack in the second half.

DeAndre Hopkins got off to an atypical slow start, dropping a couple of passes early on. He rebounded, however, with a couple of touchdown grabs and a spectacular deep reception on the final drive to set up the go-ahead touchdown before the Texans ultimately fell short.

New left tackle Laremy Tunsil looked a bit lost as he is adjusting to his new team. The various stunts and blitzes thrown at the Texans’ offensive line sprung free some unblocked rushers toward Watson, and Tunsil failed to recognize his assignment on a couple of occasions.

Rookie Takeaways

Houston didn’t have any notable rookie performances in this one.

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