Houston - On a night in which the offense couldn't get untracked the New Orleans Saints defense turned in a strong effort in a 16-9 preseason loss to the Houston Texans on Saturday night at NRG Stadium.
The Saints defense had four sacks, two takeaways and kept the Texans out of the end zone in the second half. Second-year cornerback P.J. Williams took a touchdown away from the Texans (2-0) with an end zone interception in the second quarter, just another excellent play in a strong preseason for the Florida State product. The Saints' Craig Robertson recovered a fumble in the fourth quarter for the Saints' second takeaway.
However, the Saints had three turnovers. A Marcus Murphy fumble during a punt return that led to the game's only touchdown (Brock Osweiler's 19-yard touchdown pass to Will Fuller) and a Drew Brees interception which led to one of Nick Novak's three field goals. The final turnover was an interception by Garrett Grayson on the final play of the game.
The Saints failed to score in the first half but added three field goals in the second half (37- and 27-yard field goals by Kai Forbath and a 33-yarder from Connor Barth).
Luke McCown had a strong outing in relief of Brees, completing 14 of 19 passes for 118 yards while running for 25 yards on three scrambles. Brees was 5 of 8 for 29 yards in limited playing time.
Rookie Daniel Lasco got the most work at running back, carrying the ball 12 times for 24 yards. Brandon Coleman had six receptions for 47 yards and C.J. Spiller had three catches for 16 yards.
The Saints (0-2 in preseason) will hold three open practices at their Metairie training facility this week (weather permitting), Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday ahead of Friday's preseason game vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers on Friday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Here is the scheduke