Saints 31, Cardinals 9

Saints vs Cardinals: Good, bad and ugly

Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Drew Brees made his return from the thumb injury and helped lead the Saints to a home win over the Cardinals. Here are my observations:

The Good

-Unlike the school in his hometown that passed on him, Drew Brees is back folks! He was 34/43 for 373 yards with three touchdowns and an interception (more on that later). The offense looked like it was running on all cylinders with Brees under center mainly because...

-...Latavius Murray and Michael Thomas ate big! Murray filled in nicely for Alvin Kamara as he totaled 30 touches for 157 yards and two touchdowns. Meanwhile, Thomas made sure to welcome back Cardinals' top corner Patrick Peterson back in style by catching every target with Peterson guarding him, including carrying into the endzone for a touchdown. There's a reason he came into the game leading the league in targets, receptions, and receiving yards.

-The defense logged their fifth consecutive game in a row allowing less than 300 total yards of offense. They sacked Kyler Murray three times and completely stiffleed the run game by allowing a paltry 13 yards. This defense is legit. They stepped up in Brees' absence and have continued to play at a high level. Ih this unit keeps it up, I feel sorry for the rest of the NFL. (*That last statement is a complete lie and a fake attempt at sounding like I care.)

The Bad

-Brees took a shot down field to fullback Zach Line while he was double covered and threw a pick. This was one of the plays Brees will take a shot on regardless of what he sees because of his faith in his arm and receivers. If it were Thomas, yes. But the fullback?

-As good as this defense has played, they whiffed a few times on sacking Murray. I know. I know. The kid is as slippery as an eel bathed in Vaseline swimming in lotion, but when you have a free rusher multiple times totally miss on a sack, it's frustrating to watch.

-While Thomas and Murray did their thing, I have the same complaint when Kamara is playing: over-reliance on this duo. What happens when a team keys in on Thomas and Kamara/Murray? I'm fully confident they'll spread the ball around and generate offense, but this will continue to be a worry.

The Ugly

-After he missed a 47-yard field goal on the opening drive, I'm almost convinced Will Lutz has something in his head. A fart on your brain as my grandfather would call it. He's now missed three in the last two games. With the offense back on track and the defense playing lights out, now isn't the time for the kicker to get the yips.

-Twice the defense blew coverages and gave up big plays: once on a flea flicker, the other on one of the previously mentioned plays in which Murray was able to elude a free rusher.

-Yeah...I've got nothing here. No injuries to report this week thank God. Although Erik McCoy went down early, he came back. This team can't afford any injuries. Health is a major concern, but the next man up mentality has proven fruitful.

Beating inferior teams is what good teams do. The Cardinals aren't necessarily a bad team per se, but they aren't on the Saints' level. Towards th eend of the game, both teasms offered up the huma white flags in forms of backup quarterbacks. Teddt Bridgewater got a rousing ovation along with "Teddy! Teddy! Teddy!" chants from the home crowd. There were a few onions being cut here considering the love he was showed after what he's been through and how he led this team to a 5-0 record in Brees' absence. The Saints now get rest week before playing the woeful Falcons. Hopefully, they'll get a few guys back form injury (and P.J. Williams is eligible to return from suspension) and can continue their winning ways.

Plenty of bad but recently some great on the short week game for Texans

Throwback Thursdays: Texans history is so so in Thursday games

Tim Warner/Getty Images

This is a list and a few thoughts from the five Thursday Night Football games where Bill O'Brien has been the head coach for the Texans.

2014: The almost comeback for the ages - Texans lose 33-28

This game sucked early, but then almost sucked a lot less. It still sucked in the end but it had one of J.J. Watt's best plays of his career.

The Colts jumped out to an early lead thanks to a Pat McAfee onside kick and a huge T.Y. Hilton play from Andrew Luck. It was one of the signature Hilton games in his time against the Texans. The Colts would lead 24-0 at the end of the first quarter. Ryan Fitzpatrick and Arian Foster along with some stellar defense would get the Texans back in the game but it wasn't enough.

This was the first Thursday game under Bill O'Brien and would be right in the middle of a three game losing streak coming off a bad overtime loss to the Cowboys and ahead of a Monday disaster against the Steelers.

2015: Sick Hasselbeck makes Texans fans sicker - Texans lose 27-20

I always describe this game as the one where Matt Hasselbeck was crapping his pants on the sidelines and still beat the Texans. I am not too wrong about this. He was so sick he didn't practice and yet still had enough for the Colts to beat the Texans. He was also 40 years old too by the way.

This one hurt as it was Andre Johnson's return to Houston but he was wearing a Colts uniform. He scored the opening touchdown and it was pretty much the only good game he had for the Colts that season. He also scored what would be the deciding touchdown in this one.

It also marked one of the quarterback indecision moments of Bill O'Brien's tenure. Ryan Mallett took a big hit and asked out of the game and Brian Hoyer returned to the game and played pretty well. He completed a long pass as time expired to Jaelen Strong (remember that name!?) to get the Texans their first touchdown. Trialing by seven Hoyer threw an interception in Colts territory ending the Texans comeback attempt.

2016: Brissett blows out Brock - Texans lose 27-0

This is one of the worst losses of the Bill O'Brien era. The Patriots were down to their third-string quarterback in the midst of a Tom Brady suspension and Jimmy Garoppolo's injury. Enter Jacoby Brissett and the best coach of all-time to torture Brock Osweiler and the Texans. Oh, by the way, Gronk was hurt too I think.

A field goal by New England put the first points on the board and the Texans fumbled the ensuing kickoff which then moments later saw Brissett take a rush 27 yards to the house. The Texans wouldn't get on the Patriots side of the field until there was a couple of minutes left in the third quarter and they were down 20-0.

We should have all known Osweiler stunk when he couldn't score in this game, but it took me a few more weeks before I really jumped off the Brock train.

2017: The first one for the chosen one - Texans win 13-9

Tom Savage was benched and Deshaun Watson's era began. A short week after sitting behind Savage in training camp and then getting thrown to the Jaguars defense in the second half of week one didn't matter to Watson. It was the start of his coming out party.

The defense kicked ass in this game helping Watson get the first win. The big run above was the moment many of us will never forget when it comes to this Thursday night affair.

2018: Welcome Back Brock - Texans win 42-23

Ah yes, the Brock Osweiler revenge game! The Texans had won four straight after a dreadful start to the season and were coming off a physical game with Jacksonville. This was Brock Osweiler's chance for revenge on the team that jettisoned him after the 2016 season.

There would be little revenge. Credit the Dolphins, they kept the game fairly close until Deshaun Watson started cooking in the second half. Four touchdowns in the second half was quite the efficient showing on just 10 pass attempts.

It was a fun Thursday night contest especially given the Texans history on the short week under O'Brien.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome