Now we will see if the big trades the Houston Texans did last weekend will either be genius moves or desperation moves that have made a bad situation worse.
The Texans open the 2019 season on the big stage of Monday Night Football against a New Orleans Saints team looking to prove it is still one of the elite teams in the NFL.
Houston’s big trades – bringing in running back Carlos Hyde, left tackle Laremy Tunsil and wide receiver Kenny Stills – give the Texans more flexibility on offense and plugs a big hole on the offensive line.
While Tunsil gives quarterback Deshaun Watson much-needed protection on the blindside, head coach Bill O’Brien is still figuring out the rest of the line.
“I think we have a pretty good idea of who the five will be,” he said. “I think we’ve worked the five a lot that’ll be the five on Monday. I really don’t want to get into the details of that with you right now, but I do think we have a real good idea who that five will be.”
Rookie guard Tytus Howard is questionable with a finger injury, while center Greg Mancz is questionable with an ankle injury.
Houston will have a lot of options at wide receiver, as Stills and Will Fuller expecting to take the pressure off of DeAndre Hopkins, while speedster Keke Coutee is listed as questionable to play.
Meanwhile, the Texans will play their first regular-season game without the services of defensive end/linebacker Jadeveon Clowney, who was traded away to Seattle for two linebackers and a third-round pick. One of those linebackers, Barkevious Mingo, is hoping to make an impact in Monday night’s game.
“This locker room is full of great players, great talent. I’m here now, and we’ve got a Monday Night Football game. What’s better than that?” Mingo said.
Houston will be tested as the Saints bring in a high-powered offense led by quarterback Drew Brees and running back Alvin Kamara. New Orleans went 13-3 last season and reached the NFC Championship game, only to lose in overtime to the Los Angeles Rams amid a controversial pass interference that the officials missed in regulation.
Houston won the last meeting between the two teams back in 2015, a 24-6 win at NRG Stadium. But the Saints won the last meeting at Mercedes Benz Superdome, a 40-33 win in 2011.