The Texans last faced the Saints in New Orleans on Sept. 25, 2011 and lost, 40-33.
The Texans lost 40-33, dropping their record to 2-1, despite outgaining the Saints 473-454, winning the turnover battle and punting only twice. There were five lead changes in the game, and the Texans couldn’t convert after getting the ball back with 2:42 remaining and a chance to tie. New Orleans scored 23 points in the fourth quarter to overcome a 26-17 Texans lead. The Texans scored two touchdowns in the fourth but also had three drives that netted one yard or less. Texans K Neil Rackers had four field goals, all from within 36 yards. Three of those came in the first half, when the Texans put up 301 yards but only 16 points. QB Matt Schaub threw for 373 yards and three touchdowns in a losing effort. The Saints’ Drew Brees nearly matched him with 370 and three touchdowns of his own. WR Andre Johnson finished with seven catches for 128 yards. FB James Casey had a career-high five catches for 126 yards and a touchdown. RB Ben Tate, making his first-career start, had 19 carries for 82 yards. The Texans opened the scoring with a 14-yard touchdown pass from Schaub to Owen Daniels. Houston increased the lead to 10-0 on a 22- yard field goal by Rackers 3:43 left in the first quarter. Darren Sproles’ 30-yard touchdown run cut the lead to 10-7. Rackers put the Texans up 13-7 midway through the second quarter with a 27-yard field goal. Texans CB Johnathan Joseph picked off Brees at the Saints’ 38-yard line on the first play of the next drive, eventually leading to another Rackers field goal and a 16-7 lead. The Saints answered with a 35-yard field goal with 35 seconds left in the first half to cut the lead to 16-10. The Saints took the lead on the first drive of the second half with a 2-yard touchdown pass from Brees to WR Robert Meachem. The Texans responded with a 36-yard field goal by Rackers with 5:08 left in the third quarter.
FS Danieal Manning picked off Brees near midfield on the Saints’ next drive. Four plays later, Casey made a diving touchdown catch on 3rd-and-6 from the New Orleans 26, and the Texans led 26-17 with 14:54 remaining. The lead was trimmed to two points on a 27-yard touchdown catch by Jimmy Graham at the 9:35 mark. The Saints reclaimed the lead following Schaub’s interception with a 16-yard touchdown catch by Lance Moore. A 2-point conversion catch by Moore pushed the lead to 32-26. The Texans regained the lead with 4:13 remaining on a wild touchdown catch by WR Kevin Walter The Saints went on top for good with 2:42 left to play on a 13-yard touchdown run by rookie Mark Ingram. Another two-point conversion catch by Moore made the score 40-33.The Texans got the ball back with two timeouts, but they were unable to gain a first down.