HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON) – The Houston Texans held off a late fourth surge and slid past the New Orleans Saints 16-9 Saturday night at NRG Stadium.
Robert Nelson intercepted Garrett Grayson’s pass with no time on the clock to seal the win.
The Texans improved to 2-0 in the preseason with the Saints falling to 0-2.
The Texans were forced to punt on their first drive of the game, but special team stud Brian Peters forced a fumble that Jonathan Grimes recovered to give them a second chance with a new drive on the Saints 39 yard line.
Brock Osweiler found Will Fuller on a 3rd-and-7 pass the in the corner of the end zone for a 19 yard touchdown reception to give the Texans the 7-0 lead. It was the first touchdown of the preseason for both Osweiler and Fuller.
“(Fuller) just did a tremendous job at the line of scrimmage,” Osweiler said about the touchdown Fuller in his post game press conference. “The line gave me time, and I just had to put it out there. He really made my job easy on that play.”
Osweiler played most of the first half and finished the night 12-for-19 with 124 yards passing and the touchdown to Fuller with one pick. A play that Osweiler wish he could have back.
“It’s the cardinal sin. No turnovers in the red area and I know better. I’m a better player than what I showed on that play and that’s something that I can promise you won’t happen again.”
The Saints seemed to have trouble finding a rhythm on offense, which is something they did show during the joint practice between the two squads on Thursday.
Drew Brees, who finished the game 5-for-8 with 29 yards threw an interception near the end of the first quarter to Texans corner Jonathan Joseph which led to a Nick Novak 49 yard field goal to give Houston a 10-0 lead with 14:42 remaining in the second quarter.
The Texans added a pair of Nick Novak field goals from 49 and 46 yards to take a 13-0 lead into halftime.
Jadeveon Clowney played well into the second half as he played in his first preseason game of 2016 after dealing with knee soreness last week. Clowney showed off his strength and picked up a sack of Drew Brees for a 14-yard loss.
““It felt good,” Clowney said about the sack on Brees. “I’m just trying to do what I can for the team and try to get to the quarterback.”
Texans out-gained the Saints 275-223. The Texans won the time of possession battle 30:10 to 29:33.
Alex Del Barrio can be heard on Saturday afternoons with Matt Murphy from 3-7 pm and on Sunday afternoons with Jeremy Branham on Sportsradio 610. Follow Alex Del Barrio on Twitter: @alexdelbarrio