The Houston Texans turned a red-zone interception into a 94-yard touchdown drive and an eventual 14-3 halftime lead over the New Orleans Saints in the season-opener Monday, Sept. 9 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Houston linebacker Whitney Mercilus picked off Saints quarterback Drew Brees at the 6-yard line to end an impressive Saints drive. On the next play, Houston quarterback DeShaun Watson hit Will Fuller with a 54-yard bomb to put the Texans in business. Watson finished the drive with a 21-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-one. The Texans ended the half with a 16-play, 75-scoring drive capped by a 2-yard touchdown pass from Watson to star receiver DeAndre Hopkins.
Wil Lutz's 32-yard field goal provided the Saints with their only points with 9:22 left in the second quarter. He missed a 56-yarder as time expired. Neither team scored in the first quarter, the first time that's happened at a Saints home game since 2011.
Brees got off to a hot start, completing his first five passes and ended the half 16 of 23 for 160 yards and the pick. Alvin Kamara carried the ball five times for 16 yards while Michael Thomas had six receptions for 90 yards. Saints right tackle Ryan Ramczyk kept Texans defensive end J.J. Watt in check for the half.
The Saints sacked Watson twice and forced him to scramble a few other times but the third-year quarterback was able to break free for several explosive plays.
New Orleans is trying to wins its first opener since 2013. The Saints get the ball to start the second half.