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Houston Texans

Schaub near-perfect in win


Texans quarterback Matt Schaub went 14-of-16 (88 percent) for 187 yards and two touchdowns in Houston's 31-27 win over the New Orleans Saints on Saturday.

NEW ORLEANS -Watching Matt Schaub pick apart the Saints' defense on Saturday night in the Louisiana Superdome, it was hard to believe that the Texans' quarterback hadn't played for a full quarter in a game since last November against the Cleveland Browns.

Showing no ill effects from offseason surgery on his left, non-throwing shoulder, Schaub was only two incompletions shy of perfection in nearly two quarters of action as he went 14-of-16 for a Texans-preseason-record 187 yards and two touchdowns in Houston's 31-27 win. His 88 percent completion rate and 154.9 quarterback rating also were good for club preseason records.

And it all came with two of the Texans' most potent offensive weapons – wide receiver Andre Johnson and running back Ahman Green – on the sidelines with injuries.

"We had been faced with that last year with injuries and guys stepping up and filling in those roles," Schaub said. "We knew what we were capable of, and we knew we would come out here and play well and execute and score some points and we were just happy to be able to go out there and do that."

Schaub led the Texans on scoring drives of 80, 74 and 50 yards in the first and second quarters. The fifth-year quarterback completed touchdown passes of 26 yards to wideout Kevin Walter on the opening drive and of one yard to fullback Vonta Leach on the Texans' ensuing possession in the second quarter.

With a 45-yard Kris Brown field goal on the next drive, Houston scored on all three possessions with Schaub under center. His lone incompletions were on the Texans' second play from scrimmage when he threw the ball away under heavy pressure toward the feet of running back Chris Brown, and on the next drive on a pass over the middle intended for wide receiver André Davis.

{QUOTE}"Obviously, he played a pretty good game," tight end Owen Daniels said. "We moved the ball really well in the first two quarters when he was in there, mixed it up with the run and the pass. He was going through his reads, and I think guys were getting open and he was making good throws. That's what we expect out of him, and I think that's what he expects out of himself."

Schaub, who spread the ball around to five different receivers in the first half, humbly credited his teammates when asked about his performance.

"Guys were really wired in to what we were trying to get done tonight," he said. "Everyone was on the same page. It takes all 11 guys out there on the field to make things happen and make things work, and we were doing that.

"We were running the ball effectively and we were throwing it well. Guys were getting open and making the plays. It was just one of those nights where everything clicked."

With Johnson on the sidelines, Schaub hit Walter six times for a team preseason record 100 yards. After the game, Walter said he thinks that he's developing a strong rapport with Schaub and that the team's explosive showing in New Orleans should serve notice to the rest of the league about where the Texans' offense stands.

"I think this offense could be the top in the league," Walter said. "There's no doubt about it. We've got to run the ball well. We've got explosive players that can make plays downfield. We're going to score a lot of points this year."

Schaub, after going 4-of-5 for 29 yards in the preseason opener, is now 18-of-21 for 216 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in four series this preseason.

Saturday night marked his most extensive game action since Nov. 25 at Cleveland. A left shoulder injury suffered on Dec. 2 against the Tennessee Titans kept Schaub out of the final four games of the 2007 season, and he played only one series in the preseason opener.

Against the Saints, Schaub took a hit for the first time since his offseason shoulder surgery, but said he physically felt 100 percent after the game.

"It felt great out there," he said. "It was great to get out there and compete against somebody else and be playing again and move the ball and do well."

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