3. Focus completely on stopping the passing attack and make the run game beat them
Every team has strengths and weaknesses on both sides of the ball and the massive weakness that the Houston Texans have offensively at running back. With that in mind, the Saints have to focus solely on what the Texans are good at and make them beat them on the ground.
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The running situation did not seem too dire until Lamar Miller went down with an ACL injury in the preseason, warranting him inactive for the rest of the season. Now, Duke Johnson Jr. is the best back on the team, which does not bode well for the Texans.
While Johnson has been great in fantasy football in years past because of his impact in the passing game as a receiving back, he has never been known as a prolific ball-carrier. This leaves the Texans in a tough pickle where they might not even really get to utilize the run game.
And that is what the Saints need to focus on: making the Texans beat them in the run game. Of course, the Saints still need to respect the run, but the entire defense should be focused on stopping Watson and containing DeAndre Hopkins.
If the Saints can do that then the rest of it will take care of itself. The Texans are going to be forced to get the running game going, and at least on paper, it looks like that might be unsuccessful.
And hey, if Johnson beats the Saints then that is fine: that is still a risk the team should be willing to take because of the odds of it happening versus the odds of Watson having a huge game.
Load up on the pass defense. Keep the box thin and dare the Texans to run. With a few early pass stops, the Texans should play right into the New Orleans Saints’ hands.