SAINTS HOST HOUSTON TEXANS IN PRESEASON OPENER AT SUPERDOME ON SATURDAY NIGHT; BLACK-AND-GOLD PLAYERS IN FRONT OF THEIR HOME FANS FOR FIRST TIME IN 2010
After a 27-24 loss to the New England Patriots in Foxborough, Ma. on Thursday, the New Orleans Saints (0-1) will host the Houston Texans (0-1) on Saturday in the Louisiana Superdome to open their home pre-season slate.
New Orleans and Houston will be familiar with each other by kickoff on Saturday after they practiced against one another in joint practices at the Saints training facility in Metairie, La. on Wednesday and Thursday. The two clubs have run joint practices for the past two pre-seasons and have faced each other in three exhibitions, with the Texans leading the series, 2-1.
New Orleans looks to rebound from Thursday's loss to the Patriots, while Houston fell to the Arizona Cardinals in Glendale, Az. 19-16 on Saturday. While the Saints struggled initially against New England, trailing 10-0 after the first quarter, the New Orleans starting offense got on the scoreboard before going to the sideline for the evening, when RB Reggie Bushscored on a two-yard touchdown run, capping a 20-play, 86 yards drive.
Trailing 24-7 in the third quarter, New Orleans tied the contest with 17 unanswered points, as New England barely escaped after kicking field goal with less than a minute remaining in the contest. The game also featured several notable individual performances by starters, as well as by others looking to earn a roster spots.
Saints signal callers completed two thirds of their passes altogether on the evening. QB Drew Brees completed 9-of-13 passes in his first live action since Super Bowl XLIV. Patrick Ramsey, in his Saints debut, executed on 7-of-11 throws, including a 51-yard toss to WR Adrian Arrington. Chase Daniel, in his first live game action as a Saint, completed six-of- nine throws.
Four Saints running backs combined for 104 yards rushing on 28 carries combined. Bush and Pierre Thomas combined for 44 yards on the ground in limited action in the first half, while Thomas tied for the team lead in catches with four grabs for 26 yards. Reserves P.J. Hill and Chris Ivory, competing for an extended role following an ACL injury to LynellHamilton
Third-year wide receiver Adrian Arrington paced the passing game with four receptions for a club-high 87 yards, including a 51-yard catch. TE Jeremy Shockey had three receptions for 23 yards with the first unit.
Defensively, LB Jonathan Casillas led the Saints with ten solo tackles, three which were for a loss and also had one sack. DT DeMario Pressley, competing for a spot in New Orleans' defensive line rotation had one sack and another takedown negated by a penalty.
There were bright spots on special teams as well. With New Orleans down 24-7 following a New England touchdown, WR Larry Beavers returned a kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown. Despite the heroics, Beavers was waived earlier this week to make room on the 80-man roster to make room for veteran RB Ladell Betts, which previously was a key contributor for the Washington Redskins. After P Thomas Morstead was forced to leave the game with a shoulder injury in the first quarter, K Garrett Hartley handled punting duties in addition to kickoffs, field goals and extra points, booting the ball five times for a 47.0 gross average.
SERIES HISTORY: The Texans lead the preseason series between the two clubs 2-1. New Orleans hosted the Texans on August 10, 2002 and Houston held off the Saints 13-10 for their first victory in team history in their debut as an NFL franchise. The Saints defeated the Texans 38-14 on August 22, 2009 in the third preseason date between the clubs.
The Saints and Texans have played twice in the regular season, with the series knotted at 1-1. New Orleans won the first meeting between the two clubs 31-10 on September 14, 2003 at the Superdome. The Texans defeated the Saints 23-10 on November 18, 2007 in New Orleans' first trip to Reliant Stadium.
SAINTS-TEXANS PRESEASON SERIES RESULTS
Date ... Result ... Site ... Attendance.
8/10/02 ... L,10-13 ... Superdome ... 67,356
8/16/08 ... L, 27-31 ... Superdome ... 70,009
8/22/09 ... W, 38-14 ... Reliant Stadium ... 70,107
WORTH NOTING: Saturday's game will mark the third straight year the two clubs have met each other in the preseason after practicing against each other during the week...The Saints defeated the Texans 38-14 on Aug. 22, 2009 at Reliant Stadium after two days of joint workouts in Houston...The Saints are scheduled to host the Texans in the 2011 regular season as part of the league's scheduling rotation...New Orleans and Houston have split their two regular season meetings...Saturday's game will be regionally televised on CST with Tim Brando handling play-by-play, Solomon Wilcots serving as color analyst and Mike Nabors patrolling the Saints sidelines...The contest can be heard regionally on the New Orleans Saints Radio Network (870 AM and 105.3 FM serve as the flagship stations locally in the New Orleans area) with Jim Henderson handling play-by-play duties, Hokie Gajan serving as color analyst and Kristian Garic patrolling the sidelines...A Spanish language radio broadcast to the New Orleans area can also be heard on WFNO-830 AM with Marco Garcia handling play-by-play and Emilio Peralta serving as color analyst. Louisiana Superdome 7:00 p.m. CT Saturday, Aug. 21 , rushed for 30 yards apiece, with Ivory scoring on a two-yard run. scored on a two-yard touchdown run, capping a 20-play, 86 yards drive.