NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The New Orleans Saints stay winless in the preseason falling to the Houston Texans 27-13. The loss drops the Saints to 0-3.
Four takes from Sunday's game:
1.) It didn't feel like the third preseason game.
The final "dress rehearsal" of the third preseason game felt more like the first one. Most of the offensive starters, like Drew Brees, only played one series. Plus the ebb and flow of the game felt like a team that was just starting the preseason. Not one that was fine-tuning their finished product. Needless to say if that was the game where fans expected to see the team the Saints will closely resemble in 2015, that didn't get it.
2.) The Saints may have no choice but to keep Willie Snead.
Sometimes a guy bursts on the scene, consistently makes plays and forces the teams hand with roster decisions. This year that player appears to wide receiver Willie Snead. Snead was targeted on six of Luke McCown's 14 passes and made four catches. Snead is one of the most precise route runner on the team and has outplayed most of the players competing at his position. I'll have a roster projection later this week and will have him on it.
3.) Marcus Murphy looks like a seventh round gem.
"He's making this team." Coach Payton on Marcus Murphy even though he was asked about Edwin Baker.
Need anyone say more? Murphy has settled any debate of who the return specialist will be in 2015. That's exactly what the Saints were expecting when they drafted him. What they perhaps were not expecting was just how productive he has been in the offense as a runner and receiver. Murphy has flashed an 'all-purpose' type of ability and appears to have won the organization over.
4.) The pass rush is a problem.
They don't have to be elite, they just have to be respectable. Right now, I'm having trouble seeing if the pass rush is even going to be average in 2015. It's not just about sacks. It's about steady pressure as well. The only player I've seen provide that on a consistent basis has been Hau'Oli Kikaha.