Battle of the heavyweights here Sunday. When it was mostly first-teamers versus first-teamers through the first half the score was the rejuvenated Saints (with some frisky new pups on defense) 17 Texans (minus J.J. Watt and Arian Foster) 16. If the Saints can play defense they have a chance to play deep into January. If the Texans can get 16 games out of the idled Foster they can win the Super Bowl.

Lots to focus on this week the last week of my preseason travels and roster-whittling time around the league: The Decision Rex Ryan wishes he could have back the OW and his friends in Jacksonville the ugly situation between ESPN and the NFL over the concussion story what the funky Eagles offense is going to look like. But let’s start here with Arian Foster the questionable man of the hour in the AFC pennant race … and in every fantasy football draft this week from coast to coast. I found him sitting on the counter of the Texans’ equipment room a half-hour after the Saints’ 31-23 win here.

The bizarrely undrafted Foster of course has been an incredibly productive back over the past three years and one of the greatest values in recent NFL history. He’s averaged 95 rushing yards a game in his three starting seasons in Houston and without him the ground-loving Texans would have to rely on Ben Tate who they’re not sure can be a bell-cow type of back. Anyway Foster missed most of the last three months of real football practice because of a strained calf and a sore back. He returned to practice last week amid concern he might be ready for the start of the season but not ready for a 325-carry grind. (Plus of course however many times he’d have to carry the ball in the playoffs.)

“I’m fine’” said Foster. “My body feels great. I actually think all this time [off] might help.”