Nick's Notes: Week 3, Texans at Saints


Notes worth noting as the Texans (2-0) prepare to take on the New Orleans Saints (1-1) in Week 3 at the Louisiana Superdome.

Kudos to the Texans' communications staff for providing much of the information.

The Texans have never been 3-0. They have never been three games above .500 at any point in their nine-year history.

The Texans and Saints have played only twice in the regular season. The home team won both times – Houston 23-10 in 2007 at Reliant Stadium, New Orleans 31-10 in 2003 at the Superdome.

The Texans and Saints have played five times in the preseason. The Texans have a 3-2 edge in the series, including a 27-13 win at Reliant Stadium on Aug. 20. The two teams practiced against each other in the preseason from 2008-10.

Running back Ben Tate has a chance to become the second player in NFL history with 100 rushing yards in his first three games. Cadillac Williams had 148, 128 and 158 yards in his first three games in 2005. Tate had 116 in Week 1 and 103 in Week 2, making him one of 11 players in NFL history with 100 yards in his first two games.

Tate is third in the league in rushing (10 yards off the league lead) and averages 4.8 yards per carry, but he has yet to start a game and doesn't have a single run longer than 18 yards. All of the other running backs in the top six have at least one run of 43 yards or more.

The Texans have never had a 100-yard rusher in four consecutive games. They have a current streak of three, which includes Arian Foster's 180-yard game against Jacksonville in the 2010 season finale.

Quarterback Matt Schaub needs two completions to become the Texans' all-time leader. He has 1,242 completions as a Texan, trailing David Carr (1,243) by one.

Schaub ranks fourth in NFL history with a 65.0 completion percentage. Ahead of him in third place is Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who has a 65.3 completion percentage. So far in 2011, Schaub leads the NFL in completions percentage (71.7). Brees ranks seventh (67.4).

In 22 road games since 2008, Schaub ranks second in the NFL with 293.3 passing yards per game. Brees leads the NFL with 300.4 passing yards per game at home since 2007.

Wide receiver Andre Johnson has caught a touchdown pass in four consecutive games, tying a career high set in 2007.

With 13 more catches, Johnson will become the second-fastest player in NFL history to reach 700 career receptions. He was the second-fastest to reach 600 when he did so in Week 2 at Washington in 2010, his 104th career game.

Johnson is averaging 7.0 catches and 94.0 yards per game in 2011. When Gary Kubiak called that his "usual" production after the Miami game in Week 2, he wasn't kidding. Johnson has averaged 79.9 receiving yards and 5.86 receptions per game in his career, both of which rank first in NFL history. He has averaged 90.9 yards and 6.65 catches per game since Kubiak was hired in 2006.

With 91 yards in two games, wide receiver Jacoby Jones has already surpassed his receiving yardage total from 2008 (81), his second season.

The Texans allowed less than 24 points only two times in 2010. They have already matched that total in 2011, allowing 7 points in Week 1 and 13 in Week 2. The Saints have scored 64 points in their first two games and averaged an even 24 points per game in 2010.

The Texans need two fumble recoveries to match their entire total from the 2010 season. They have three fumble recoveries in 2011. They had five in 2010.

The Texans have four takeaways through two games in 2011. They had 18 total takeaways in 2010, which tied for 32nd in the league. They have two takeaways in both games this season, a total they matched only six times in 2010.

Linebacker Mario Williams has 2.0 sacks through two games, putting him on pace for 16.0 on the season. Since Wade Phillips' first stint as a defensive coordinator in 1981, his featured pass rushers have averaged 12.1 sacks per season.

Linebacker Brian Cushing has led the Texans in tackles in back-to-back games. With 17 tackles, he's the only Texans player in double digits on the season.

Special teams
Free safety Danieal Manning has averaged 41.7 yards on three kickoff returns this season, which ranks fourth in the league. Manning has the highest kickoff return average in the NFL (27.3) since his rookie season in 2006.

Jones has averaged 25.4 yards per punt return  this season, which ranks third in the NFL. He has 127 punt return yards on just five returns. He had 204 yards all of last season on 29 returns.

Jones has the second-most punt return yards (1,429) in the NFL since his rookie season in 2007. Among active players, he ranks first in the AFC in punt return touchdowns (3) in that span. His average (10.6) ranks fifth in the AFC since 2007.

Kicker Neil Rackers has made 58 consecutive field goals from 45 yards or less, including five this season. His last miss from within 45 yards came with the Arizona Cardinals on Sept. 28, 2008, when he had a 37-yard attempt blocked.

Rookie punter Brett Hartmann has set a team record in both of his first two games. He had six touchbacks on kickoffs in Week 1, breaking the old record of four. He had a 69-yard punt in Week 2, breaking the old record of 62.

Hartmann also has one of the best nicknames on the team, and possibly the entire NFL. He has been dubbed Brett "The Hitman" Hartmann, a nod to former WWE wrestler Bret "The Hitman" Hart. I'll be repeating this same paragraph in my Notes column every week until the nickname catches on.

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