eToro: Buy Shares with 0% Commission

Your capital is at risk

New Orleans Saints: Things to watch in second preseason game

After losing the first preseason game 34-22 at the New England Patriots last week, the New Orleans Saints hope for a better result on Saturday against the Houston Texans. Saints coach Sean Payton was less than pleased with his team’s overall performance in the preseason opener, but told reporters he saw several things that were “encouraging.”

Here are three things to watch in the second preseason game against the Texans. It’s important to know this information for the future so you can win more when making wagers on the Saints online.

Who steps up after Sheldon Rankins injury?

Saints top draft choice Sheldon Rankins was carted off the practice field Monday with a broken fibula, and the projected timetable for his recovery after surgery is around six weeks. The Louisville product was listed as a starter at one of the two defensive tackle spots on the depth chart. Veteran Nick Fairley will likely take over, but Rankins’ injury has opened the door for a few others to get playing time.

Fixing the turnovers and penalties

The negatives from the first preseason game came in the form of turnovers and penalties. New Orleans turned the ball over four times against the Patriots. Garrett Grayson and Luke McCown each threw an interception, and the latter fumbled the ball when he was sacked in the fourth quarter. Running back Mark Ingram also fumbled. Additionally, the Saints racked up nine penalties for 93 yards. It’s tough to win games when you’re turning the ball over and committing so many penalties, as New Orleans learned last week.

Improving the running game

Even though Ingram, the team’s star running back, played most of the first half against New England, the Saints finished with 78 yards rushing on 30 carries for 2.6 yards per carry. The Patriots had the same number of carries and totaled 151 yards with two touchdowns. It’s only the preseason, but the Saints are coming off a year where they finished near the bottom in rushing. It’s time they started making strides in the running game.

Read next