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Game notes from New Orleans Saints, Houston Texans preseason game

Rookie Abram Smith led the team in rushing

New Orleans Saints players in action during their 2022 Preseason Week 1 game against the Houston Texans.

• With the loss, New Orleans moves to 0-1 on the preseason. The Saints return to action on Friday, Aug. 19 when they play the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field following two days of joint practices. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. CST. The game will be aired regionally on the Gray Television network of stations in the Gulf Coast (WVUE Fox-8 in the New Orleans area).

• Attendance in Houston was 69,477.

• Quarterback Andy Dalton, cornerback Paulson Adebo and defensive back J.T. Gray served as the team captains

• The Saints defense allowed 33 yards in each of the first quarter and third quarter and held the Texans to 275 total net yards.

• The Saints forced six punts.

• New Orleans allowed one combined first down in the first and third quarters and gave up 14 total.

• The Saints tallied 20 first downs.

• The Texans didn't convert a third down until the third quarter and finished 3-of-12 (25%) on third down.

• The Saints converted 6-of-14 (42.9%) third-down attempts.

• Linebacker Chase Hansen recorded a second-quarter interception off a tipped pass from Texans quarterback Jeff Driskel. Hansen finished with five tackles.

• Linebacker Nephi Sewell led the team with six tackles

• Gray tallied five tackles in the first half.

• Safety Justin Evans recorded an interception in the third quarter, finishing with two tackles.

• Defensive back Brian Allen recorded a fourth-quarter interception after signing with the team earlier in the week.

Dalton made the start and completed five of five passes for 51 yards and one touchdown on one drive.

• Quarterback Ian Book took over for the remainder of the game and completed 15-of-22 passes for 121 yards and an interception. He rushed for 22 yards on four carries.

• Running back Dwayne Washington rushed for 19 yards on a team-high nine carries and caught a nine-yard touchdown pass from Dalton.

• The touchdown pass from Dalton to Washington was the first time the Saints scored on their first offensive drive of a preseason game since the 2012 Hall of Fame Game against the Arizona Cardinals, when Mark Ingram scored a one-yard rushing touchdown.

• Running back Abram Smith led the team with 30 rushing yards on seven carries.

• Receiver Dai'Jean Dixon led the team with 33 receiving yards on three receptions.

• Receiver Kawaan Baker had the longest play for New Orleans on a 26-yard catch.

• Receiver Chris Olave made his first NFL catch on a pass from Book for a four-yard gain with 4:52 remaining in the first quarter.

• Punter Blake Gillikin punted six times for 301 yards (50.2 avg.) and had three punts downed inside the 20.

• Kicker Wil Lutz made a 23-yard field goal in his first game back from a core muscle injury that cost him all of 2021. Rookie kicker John Parker Romo made a 36-yard field goal.

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