Defensive line: Advantage, Saints
The Houston Texans had one of the best defensive lines in football last season with both J.J Watt and Jadevon Clowney, who just was traded to the Seattle Seahawks. With Clowney on the roster it would have been close, but Cameron Jordan and Marcus Davenport are more than enough to give the edge to the Saints.
Linebackers: Advantage, Texans
The two defenses are pretty close in all areas, heck, Steven Ruiz of USA Today even ranked the Texans as the 18th-best defense and the Saints the 17th-best defense.
The biggest gap between the two defenses lies in the linebacker unit, with the Texans owning the advantage. Houston has some serious playmakers in the likes of Whitney Mercilus, Benardrick McKinney and Zach Cunningham.
The Saints’ unit is good enough to pass, but not as good as the Texans.
Cornerbacks: Advantage, Saints
The biggest advantage for the Saints is at cornerback, although the advantage is not as big as the Texans have at linebacker, it is an advantage. Marshaun Lattimore and Eli Apple are about as solid of a 1-2 at cornerback as you can. P.J. Williams is still unproven and Patrick Robinson can be solid when healthy.
This is where the two teams are too even to pick. If second-year safety Justin Reid is healthy for this game and starts to take a step up from his solid rookie season, then the very slight advantage would go to Houston.
If not, the team still has Jahleel Addae, who came over from the Los Angeles Chargers, who have one of the best defenses in the league in their own right.