WR David Anderson celebrates his first quarter touchdown with a new post-score dance
The Texans lost to the New Orleans Saints 38-14 in their home preseason opener at Reliant Stadium on Saturday night. Below is a recap of the key players and outcomes of the game.
Defense run over:The Saints racked up 420 yards of offense and scored at least one touchdown in every quarter. Led by Mike Bell's 100 yards, they ran for 173 yards while averaging a whopping 6.4 yards per carry.
"I'm not excited about that," linebacker DeMeco Ryans said. "We let the ball cut back one too many times and get outside. Everybody wasn't in their gaps, and we weren't playing sound defense. When you don't play sound, when you hop out of a gap or don't perform the technique the right way, that's what happens: you get gashed."
The Texans' defense didn't force a turnover after coming away with three in the preseason opener at Kansas City.
"I feel like (the players) feel, a little bit disappointed," defensive coordinator Frank Bush said. "We were expecting more when we came out. We were expecting our guys to kind of fly around and do some things differently, and it didn't work out that way. So we'll go back and look at it tomorrow and evaluate it. We faced a good football team tonight, and we don't like the way things turned out on our end."
Barwin gets another:Rookie defensive end Connor Barwin recorded his second sack of the preseason when he dropped Joey Harrington for a five-yard loss in the third quarter. Barwin blew by Saints guard Anthony Davis to make the play on a third-and-seven in Saints territory.
"I ran a stunt with Shaun Cody," Barwin said. "He set it up, told me to run inside, so I did that. Shaun Cody really should get half of that sack, because he set it up for me."
Barwin sacked Chiefs quarterback Brodie Croyle last week in the Texans' preseason opener. He's in only his second season as a defensive end, but his speed and natural athletic ability already have made him a force to be reckoned with in the preseason.
Defensive tackle Jeff Zgonina had the Texans' other sack in the game. Zgonina, 39, is the Texans' second-oldest player. He is 16 years older than Barwin.
Running game sputters:The running game struggled beyond starter Steve Slaton, who ran for 30 yards on five carries. The rest of the Texans' running backs combined to average only 2.2 yards per attempt, with 18 carries for 39 yards.
"(Slaton) made a couple of great runs, but just the overall picture of how we ran the ball, I think we're averaging about 2.7 or 2.8 yards a carry," head coach Gary Kubiak said. "That's not what we want it to be. We don't want to be a 20 throw to 10 run football team. We need to be right down the middle and control the clock and keep people off the field."
Running back Chris Brown gained five yards on four carries a week after a strong performance at Kansas City. Rookie Arian Foster gained only eight yards on four attempts in his first preseason action. He missed the Chiefs game with a hamstring injury and got his first carries at the start of the fourth quarter.
Schaub, first-team offense get rolling:It wasn't all bad for the Texans on Saturday night. The first-team offense was crisp for the second consecutive week, marching 10 plays and 73 yards for a touchdown on the game's opening drive. Wide receiver David Anderson scored on an eight-yard reception, then celebrated with a Russian dance move that he borrowed from Will Ferrell in the movie "Elf."
"Nothing too special," Anderson said. "I wish I could've danced in a win, but that's the way it happens sometimes."
Quarterback Matt Schaub finished with a 105.5 quarterback rating, completing 11-of-16 passes for 97 yards and a touchdown. He now has a 78.3 completion percentage through two preseason games. He was a perfect 7-of-7 and led the Texans on a 94-yard touchdown drive last week at Kansas City.
Orlovsky makes mistakes, progress:Quarterback Dan Orlovsky finished with an 84.4 passer rating in his second game as a Texan, going 11-of-17 for 136 yards and a touchdown. He also had two turnovers, an interception on his first series and a bizarre fumble that came at the end of a 16-yard loss on a fourth-and-one from the two-yard line.
"You know, I thought he got better this week," Kubiak said. "I like the way he rebounded. He's a talented young man. He does some very good stuff. We have to get the other stuff out of him, and the only way you can get it out is to keep playing.
"It's like going for it on the fourth down, you know; he'll learn from that. We put him in a tough situation there as coaches where I think he's good enough to make that play, and hopefully we continue to do that and he starts to make those types of plays for this team."
Orlovsky went 9-of-20 for 121 yards last week at Kansas City. His touchdown pass against the Saints, a 23-yard third-quarter strike to André Davis, was his first as a Texan.
"Bottom line is that I didn't do enough to get a win tonight, and that's most important," he said. "I will go to sleep thinking that, but I will come in tomorrow, watch the film and see what was done well and what was done poorly and get back to work."