Here's a quick look at what to expect in Sunday's two NFL preseason tilts.
New Orleans at Houston (-2.5, 43.5)
Both teams here a 2-0 SU/ATS. The Saints have played both of their games so far at home and only managed to squeak by both the Chiefs and Raiders, two teams that combined for only six wins last season. That’s the bad news. The good news is that Drew Brees and the first team offense looked great last week, racing out to a 23-0 lead vs. Oakland. Brees completed 14 of 18 passes for over 200 yards and wound up leading five different scoring drives. He had some praise for the play of his wide receivers. Only some sloppy second half play from the Saints resulted in the game being close. The defense had seven sacks.
We still have not seen Arian Foster yet this preseason for the Texans. He was taken off the PUP list Wednesday and practiced with the team for the first time. However, wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, the team’s 1st round draft choice back in April, left last week’s game with a concussion. He will not play here. He had looked good so far in camp as the team desperately tries to develop a No. 2 WR next to Andre Johnson. On defense Brian Cushing returned last week and played 10 snaps. These teams have met in the preseason each of the last two seasons with the home team winning and covering each time. Last year’s game in New Orleans was also the “Dress Rehearsal” game.
Minnesota at San Francisco (-3, 39)
Neither of these playoff teams from last year has looked very good so far, especially the 0-2 Vikings, who lost last week in Buffalo 20-16. The game wasn’t even really that close as Minnesota scored 13 points in the fourth quarter. In the first half, the offense gained only 74 yards total offense and four first downs. Quarterback play remains a concern with Christian Ponder and Matt Cassel not exactly setting the world on fire. Ponder played five series last week and completed only 5 of 12 passes for 53 yards.
San Francisco has also struggled offensively, only scoring 21 total points in two games. After four turnovers cost them in the opener against Denver, they did bounce back to defeat Kansas City 15-13 last week on the road. QB Colin Kaepernick has seen very little time thus far. The defense has been impressive however. Last week alone, they registered seven sacks, eight hurries and nine tackles for loss. Newly-signed kicker Phil Dawson has been impressive so far, connecting on five of six attempts, including a pair of 55-yarders against Kansas City.