NEW ORLEANS – In their starters’ final tune-up for the regular season, the Texans played the Saints to a first-half draw in a preseason shootout at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Saturday night.
“Our quarterback was excellent,” Texans coach Gary Kubiak said. “He was special in the game… I think overall, there were a lot of positives with the ones that we can draw from. There’s obviously enough things there to keep us good and humble as we get ready to go play Miami in a couple of weeks.”
Schaub went 15-of-18 for 194 yards and a touchdown, good for a passer rating of 130.1, in front of the hostile Saints crowd. Brees was 17-of-25 for 179 yards and two touchdowns with a passer rating of 115.3 against the Texans’ “Bulls on Parade” defense, which was without injured starters
The Texans’ first-team offense was 3-of-4 in the red zone. Running backs
Martin also lost two fumbles in a span of eight minutes.
“Obviously, the biggest problem is that some young guys turned the ball over,” Kubiak said. “Keshawn had two of them. Trindon’s got one. It just goes to show you that you can play as good as you can play, and we were down 17-14… I was pleased offensively with the way that we moved the ball. I was not pleased with the turnovers.”
The Texans jumped out to a 14-0 lead behind a splendid aerial display from Schaub, who started the game 8-of-9 for 103 yards. He was 4-of-5 for 60 yards on the first drive, leading the Texans 80 yards in eight plays. Tate scored on a one-yard touchdown.
On the Saints’ first possession, Texans safety
Brees then marched the Saints 65 yards down the field in just six plays. He completed a 20-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Lance Moore over cornerback
Holliday fumbled the ensuing kickoff return at the Texans’ seven-yard line. Saints defensive end Junior Galette returned it 16 yards to give the Saints their second touchdown in 16 seconds and tie the game at 14.
“Obviously, if you spot a team seven points on special teams, that is not a good thing,” Kubiak said. “That was disappointing.”
Martin fumbled on the Texans’ next possession at the New Orleans 28. That led to a 22-yard field goal by Saints kicker Garrett Hartley. New Orleans led 17-14 early in the second quarter.
On the Texans’ next series, Pro Bowl wide receiver
Three plays later, Texans safety
Martin lost another fumble on an end around on the Texans’ next series. The Saints recovered at the Houston 33-yard line, but the Texans forced a turnover on downs with a pass defensed by safety
A 33-yard field goal by rookie kicker
Brees led the Saints on a seven-play, 77-yard scoring drive to tie the game at 24. He hit tight end Jimmy Graham for an eight-yard touchdown pass with 21 seconds left in the first half.
Both teams’ backups entered the game in the third quarter. Quarterback Chase Daniel led New Orleans to a 24-yard field goal on the opening drive. The Texans’ lone score of the second half came on a 53-yard field goal by
The Saints went up 34-27 with 3:43 remaining on a four-yard touchdown pass from Daniel to Morgan.
Yates played the entire second half and went 6-of-11 for 72 yards. He was sacked five times.
“I’d like to see T.J. get a little more help, but T.J. can play better than he played,” Kubiak said. “I wanted to let him throw the ball around a little bit, and it didn’t work out very good. We have struggled with our twos offensively in the last two games.”
The Texans will finish their preseason against the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday at Reliant Stadium. The game will likely feature all backups as the Texans’ starters rest for the Sept. 9 regular-season opener against Miami.