The New Orleans Saints dominated the Houston Texans in their preseason home opener as the defending Super Bowl champions claimed a 38-20 victory Saturday night in front of 70,025 fans at the Superdome
The Saints offense out-gained the Texans 409-291 in total net yards, including 275 yards to Texans' 162 in the first half. In the first half, the Saints first and second-string offense showcased a well-balanced attack as they ran 47 plays (23 pass, 24 rush).
QB Chase Danieland RBs Chris Ivory and Reggie Bushled the Saints' high-powered offensive.
Daniel threw three touchdowns while completing 15 of 21 passes for 156 yards. The second-year gunslinger entered the game at 14:40 mark in the second quarter and came out with 4:03 remaining in the contest.
Ivory totaled a game-high 66 yards on 20 carries (3.3 avg.). Bush carried the ball seven times for 49 yards (7.0 avg.) and a touchdown. 38 of Bush's yard and his touchdown came on the game's opening drive.
WR Adrian Arringtoncaught three balls for a game-best 71 receiving yards. WR Marques Colstonchipped in with four receptions for 49 yards.
Saints LB Jo-Lonn Dunbarled the Saints defense with six tackles (four solo).LB Troy Evansand DE Will Smitheach registered a sack and Smith forced a fumble.
After Bush's score, the squads were unable to score on each of their next drives. With Saints punting at their own 48-yardline with 4:41 remaining in the first quarter, Texans' WR Trindon Hollidaymuffed the punt and Saints S Pierson Prioleau recovered it at Houston's 15-yard line.
Three players later, scrambled away from pressure and while falling down slung a 10-yard pass to Colston, giving the Saints a first-and-goal at the one-yard line. On the next play, Brees dove up the middle for the score to push the Saints' lead to 14-0.
Houston's RB Arian Foster put the Texans on the scoreboard on the first play of the second quarter with 10-yard touchdown run. TD.
Smith*forced the Saints' second turnover at the 10:31 mark in the second quarter when he hit Foster and his helmet popped the ball loose. Saints DTSedrick Ellis* scooped up the loose ball at the Saints' 49-yard line.
The Saints drove down the field to the Texans' 31-yard line when Daniel hit RB Pierre Thomason a screen and Thomas flew down the left sideline for a score. Thomas' touchdown gave the Saints a 21-7 lead at the 6:34 mark in the first half.
Texans' kicker Neil Rackersnailed a 52-yard field goal with 3:44 left in the first half to trim the Saints edge to 21-10.
Daniel continued to push the Saints' offense and tossed a beautiful 48-yard pass to Arrington to put New Orleans at Houston's 31-yard line with 2:57 left in the first half.
The Saint were at fourth-and-goal at the one-yard line with four seconds left in the first half when Daniel fired his second score of the contest to FB Zak Keasey to push the Saints' lead to 28-10 at halftime.
In the first half, the Saints gained 275 yards on offense compared to Texans' 162. Saints ran 47 plays on offense (23 pass, 24 rush).
Texans opened the second half in a big way with a 53-yard kickoff return by RB Steve Slatonbut capitalized on the return and were forced to punt
With 5:50 left in the third quarter, Houston drove down the field and K Kris Brown hit a 43-yard goal to cut the Saints' lead to 28-13.
The Saints responded on the next drive when Daniel zipped his third touchdown of the night on a 18-yard touchdown pass to Arrington to give the Saints a 35-13 score with 1:28 left in the third quarter.
Texans' TE Garrett Graham caught a 10-yard TD from QB Dan Orlovsky at the 14:17 mark in the fourth quarter putting the Saints edge at 35-20.
K Garrett Hartley put the final touches on the scoreboard when he booted a 35-yard field goal with 4:03 left in the game. The Texans failed to score on a 4th and 2 at New Orleans' five-yard line. QB Sean Canfieldcame in and kneeled three straight times to secure the Saints' 38-20 victory.