Houston - The Houston Texans handed the New Orleans Saints their third consecutive loss Sunday at NRG Stadium, 24-6.
The loss drops the Saints to 4-7 going into next Sunday's home game vs. the undefeated Carolina Panthers (11-0). The win was the Texans' fourth consecutive victory and improved their record to 6-5.
The Texans scored touchdowns on their opening two possessions and never looked back, increasing their 14-6 halftime lead with a touchdown and field goal in the third quarter.
The Saints struggled on third down (3 of 12), with penalties (10 for 82 yards) and with blocking Texans star defensive end J.J. Watt. The two-time defensive player of the year had two sacks and disrupted numerous Saints plays. Rookie Andrus Peat made his first start at left guard and generally played well but gave up one of the sacks by Watt.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees was held in check, finishing 25 of 44 for 228 with one interception, a goal-line pick by Kareem Jackson. Brees' streak of consecutive games with a TD pass ended at 45. It was the first game the Saints have not scored a touchdown with Sean Payton as coach, a streak of 155 games. Mark Ingram was the Saints' leading rusher (52 yards) and Brandin Cooks and Benjamin Watson were the top receivers (four catches each).
Texans quarterback Brian Hoyer was 21 of 27 for 205 yards with two touchdowns and one interceptions. The Saints held the Texans' top target, receiver DeAndre Hopkins in check, as he had five catches for 36 yards.
Marques Colston caught his 700th pass during the game, making him the 45th player in NFL history to achieve that mark. Brees moved past 3,000 yards passing on the season, the 12th consecutive season he's done that and the 13th time in his career. It was the first game at defensive coordinator for Dennis Allen.