A pair of defending division champions from 2011 will be on display when the Houston Texans (1-0) open their 2012 home preseason slate against the San Francisco 49ers (1-0) on Saturday, Aug.18 at Reliant Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. CT.

Houston dominated both sides of the ball the last time the two teams met, a 30-7 win at Candlestick Park in the third week of the 2011 preseason.

The Texans outgained the 49ers 417-105 in that game and didn’t give up any points on defense. QB Matt Schaub threw for 180 yards on 16-of-24 passing with a touchdown and an interception, and FS Troy Nolan picked off two passes, returning one 73 yards for a score.

San Francisco’s only score came on Ahmad Brooks’ 13-yard pick-six on the fi rst play of the game. The game was a sign of things to come only for the Texans, who went on to win the 2011 AFC South division title. San Francisco went on to win the NFC West division title with a 13-3 record
and advanced to the NFC title game where it lost to the Super Bowl Champion New York Giants, 20-17.

The Texans opened preseason play with a 26-13 win at Carolina last Saturday. Houston’s defense racked up eight sacks and limited Carolina to 137 total yards, only 13 of which came after halftime. Rookie OLB Whitney Mercilus and ILB Tim Dobbins led the Texans with 1.5 sacks apiece, and the defense held the Panthers to four plays or less on eight of 12 possessions.

On offense, the Texans rushed for 174 yards and controlled the clock with 37:41 of possession. Schaub made his return from a foot injury that landed him on injured reserve last November and completed 3-of-6
passes for 52 yards and an interception in limited play. WR Lestar Jean led a young receiving corps with 50 yards receiving on two receptions.

Rookie WR Keshawn Martin started in place of WR Andre Johnson and caught two passes for 24 yards and rushed for 12 more yards on an end-around. TE Garrett Graham led all receivers with three receptions
for 44 yards. Rookie undrafted free agent RB Jonathan Grimes carried the ball nine times for 37 yards and scored the Texans’ only offensive touchdown of the game on a 3-yard plunge in the third quarter.

Houston’s special teams accounted for all but one score against the Panthers, with WR Trindon Holliday returning a first-quarter kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown. The kicking battle between rookie Randy Bullock and veteran Shayne Graham did not appear to shift in any direction after both notched a pair of field goals in their only attempts.

San Francisco opened preseason play with a 17-6 win against the Minnesota Vikings. The 49ers’ run game accounted for 260 of the team’s 412 yards of total offense. QB Colin Kaepernick led the team with 92
yards on the ground, including a 78-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.

The teams last met in Week 7 of the 2009 season, with Houston earning a 24-21 win at Reliant Stadium. Houston leads the all-time preseason series 1-0.


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