The Houston Texans (6-5) remain tied with the Colts atop the AFC South after knocking off the New Orleans Saints (4-7) 24-6 on Sunday. Here's what you need to know:
- After missing last week with a concussion, Brian Hoyer entered Sunday hoping to make everyone forget about T.J. Yates. Hoyer can give thanks tonight for a Saints defense that can't blame their latest disaster on jettisoned coordinator Rob Ryan. Hoyer completed his first 11 passes -- two of them for scores -- to give Houston's signal-caller 15 touchdowns to just five picks on the year. You don't want to see him in constant passing situations, but Hoyer (21-of-27 for 205 yards at 7.6 yards per attempt) has done a better job of scanning the field than last season. Barring injury, we won't see Yates again.
- The Saints came into Week 12 with a franchise-record 300-plus yards in 30 straight games. That streak is over after the first 10 completions from Drew Brees accounted for just 43 yards. The Saints lack a trustworthy downfield element, leaving Houston to double-team Willie Snead on third-and-longs -- or just tee off on Brees, who finished with 228 yards at just 5.2 yards per throw and saw his streak of 45 games with a touchdown pass snapped. This offense is no fun to watch.
- DeAndre Hopkins leads the league in targets, but the Texans wideout was far from a one-man show on Sunday. Hoyer completed throws to nine different pass-catchers. The result was a nice performance by tight end Ryan Griffin, who pulled down four balls for 72 yards and a score.
- The Texans remain notched atop the AFC South with a Colts team they'll face in Week 15. But what are the Saints playing for at this stage? It's unclear if Sean Payton will coach this team next season -- or if he should be allowed to. New Orleans had two weeks to prepare and came out flat. Time for a reboot.
- Houston was determined to seal off Mark Ingram, holding the Saints runner to minus one yard in the first quarter and just 52 yards off a measly nine carries all day. We'd love to see the team center the offense around Ingram, but New Orleans was already down 14-0 when he finally broke free for a 29-yard run. I love Ingram's running style, but the Saints don't use him enough.