Neither the Houston Texans nor the New Orleans Saints have yet to lose a game this preseason, but that will change when the two teams meet Sunday in Houston. It's the third preseason contest for both teams, and with the regular season that much closer, we should see more time from the first-stringers.
Meet the Texans
Houston is fresh off its second consecutive playoff appearance and has every expectation of getting back to the postseason. There are still some things to be sorted out on the roster, though like the backup quarterback spot for which T.J. Yates and Case Keenum are currently battling.
One area of concern for the team in the preseason has been running back because Arian Foster has been sidelined by calf and back injuries. Foster recently returned to practice, but he is not expected to see any action in Houston's remaining preseason games.
Meet the Saints
The Saints are hoping to bounce back from a year they would rather forget. New Orleans stumbled while head coach Sean Payton served his suspension for the bounty scandal and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2008. If the team's performance in the first two preseason games is an indication, though, they're getting back on track.
There's still plenty of reason for optimism on offense and the passing game should remain effective behind Drew Brees. The Saints are searching for increased production from the ground game, however, as well as a defensive unit that had trouble slowing anybody down a year ago.
Local Takes: Texans
DeAndre Hopkins won't play because of ongoing concussion treatment, but Battle Red Blog isn't overly concerned about that situation right now:
As a fan, there should be no reason to worry yet. Though it would have been nice to see him play against the Saints in the all-important Week 3 preseason game, it's obviously much more important that Hopkins be healthy in the long term.
Local Takes: Saints
Ryan Edwards of Canal Street Chronicles has been impressed by what undrafted rookie Glenn Foster is bringing to the table:
Glenn Foster could be an excellent guy to rotate in and out of the defensive line. At 6-4, 285 pounds, he may end up in a rotation with Akiem Hicks. If he continues to impress with a strong game against Houston this Sunday, there could be no doubt that Foster will not only make the roster, but also get some playing time.
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Pre-Game Recon: Five Questions With Canal Street Chronicles. http://t.co/p0RvGQkqAM— battleredblog (@battleredblog) August 22, 2013
Defense wins championships...but if recent history is any indication, an average one might be all it takes. http://t.co/LCKGAlHkq5— Canal St. Chronicles (@CSCtweet) August 23, 2013
T.J. Yates will be the second quarterback for the #Texans Sunday.— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) August 23, 2013
#Saints release T Jason Smith. Not a shock to be sure since he was dropped from second team to third team early in camp.— Sheldon Mickles (@MicklesAdvocate) August 21, 2013
Houston opened as a three-point favorite, though the line has since moved in New Orleans' direction at most books, according to OddsShark.
The Texans wrap up their preseason schedule with a road game against the Cowboys on Thursday. New Orleans finishes up their exhibition slate with a trip to Miami that same day.