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