By The Associated Press
HOUSTON (11-6) at NEW ORLEANS (14-4)
Monday, 7:10 p.m. ET, ESPN
OPENING LINE - Saints by 7
RECORD VS. SPREAD - Texans 7-6-3; Saints 10-6
SERIES RECORD - Tied, 2-2
LAST MEETING - Texans beat Saints 24-6, Nov. 29, 2015
AP PRO32 RANKING - Texans No. 15, Saints No. 3
TEXANS OFFENSE - OVERALL (15), RUSH (8), PASS (17).
TEXANS DEFENSE - OVERALL (12), RUSH (3), PASS (28).
SAINTS OFFENSE - OVERALL (8), RUSH (6), PASS (12).
SAINTS DEFENSE - OVERALL (14), RUSH (2), PASS (29).
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES - Texans have won two of last three meetings, but Saints won previous meeting in New Orleans. ... Texans coach Bill O'Brien is 1-0 vs. Saints. ... Texans have won three of past four AFC South crowns, including last season. ... Texans fell in wild-card round of playoffs last season to Colts. ... DE J.J. Watt led AFC with 16 sacks and had career-high seven forced fumbles in 2018. He has four seasons with at least 15 sacks. ... Deshaun Watson last season had 4,165 yards and 26 TDs passing, along with 551 yards and five TDs rushing, making him first QB in NFL history to pass for at least 4,000 yards and 25 TDs and rush for at least 500 yards and five TDs in same season. Watson is one of four QBs with 40-plus TDs in first 20 career games, joining Patrick Mahomes, Dan Marino and Kurt Warner. ... Texans vulnerable in pass protection for Watson and traded with Miami for LT Laremy Tunsil. ... WR DeAndre Hopkins tied franchise record with 115 catches last season and ranked second in NFL with 1,572 yards receiving. His 528 career catches are most in player's first six seasons in NFL history. ... CB Johnathan Joseph has 16 career INTs with Houston, tied for most in team history. ... Texans were plus-13 in turnovers in 2018. ... Saints were No. 1 seed in NFC playoffs in 2018, lost to Rams in NFC title game marred by NFL-acknowledged officiating mistakes. Officials' failure to call pass interference and helmet-to-helmet hit in final minutes led league to make interference reviewable in replay in 2019. ... Saints have dropped past five season openers. ... Saints have won past two NFC South titles. ... In Monday night games, Saints quarterback Drew Brees ranks third all-time in yards passing (6,879) and touchdowns (50). ... Brees is NFL career leader in yards passing (74,437) and completions (6,586). He has 520 career TD passes, needs 20 to surpass Peyton Manning (539) for most. ... Brees completed NFL record 74.4 percent (364 of 489) last season. ... RB Alvin Kamara ranked second in NFL last season with 18 scrimmage TDs (14 rushing, four receiving), had 1,592 scrimmage yards in 2018. ... RB Latavius Murray makes Saints debut. He has 32 TDs rushing since 2015, second most in NFL. ... WR Michael Thomas led NFL with 125 catches and had franchise-record 1,405 yards receiving in 2018. ... TE Jared Cook makes New Orleans debut. Cook had career highs in catches (68), yards receiving (896) and TDs (six) in 2018 with Oakland. ... DE Cameron Jordan had 12 sacks last season, his fourth year with at least 10. ... Fantasy tip: Kamara is not only among most productive Saints, but could be regular check-down option for Brees against pass rush led by Watt.
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Updated September 5, 2019