The New Orleans Saints scored the first 14 points in their preseason home opener against the Houston Texans and staked out a 35-13 lead through three quarters.
After WR Courtney Roby took the game's opening kickoff back 27 yards, Drew Brees led the Saints on an 11-play, 72-yard scoring drive. On the first offensive play, RB Reggie Bush ran for an eight yard gain, then Pierre Thomas gained a first down on a three-yard rush. On the ensuing first down play, Brees found WR Marques Colston for a four-yard gain. On third down, Bush pushed upfield for a eight yard gain to the New Orleans 43. New Orleans took advantage of a defensive pass interference play on third down and with the first down, Thomas ran for eight and four yard gains to the Houston 26-yard line. Bush then got the Saints inside the ten-yard line on a 13-yard run, before he then punched it in for a score from nine yards out.
The two clubs traded punts, but on Thomas Morstead's kick, Texans WR Trindon Holliday muffed the ball and it was recovered by Saints S Pierson Prioleau to give New Orleans possession back at the Texans 15.
On third and six at the 11, Brees made a spectacular play when he was facing pressure, finding Colston for a ten-yard pass where he stopped at the one-yard line. Brees then jumped over his line for the touchdown to give New Orleans a 14-0 lead.
The two drives would mark an end of the evening for Brees, where he completed five-of-ten passes for 36 yards in a quarter which also featured 12 run plays.
The Texans would get on the scoreboard when they got the ball back on a seven-play, 80-yard drive culminating with a ten-yard run into the end zone by Houston RB Arian Foster.
After New Orleans failed to score on their next drive and were forced to punt. The Texans made it past midfield but DE Will Smith forced Foster to cough up the ball at the New Orleans 49 yard line and it was recovered by DT Sedrick Ellis to give the Saints the ball back.
The Saints then increased their lead to 21-7, taking advantage of a short field. QB Chase Daniel made two big plays, finding Colston for a 25-yard gain on a third down play and then later on a third down play, Thomas took a screen for a 31-yard gain into the end zone.
The Texans moved within 11, when K Neil Rackers' 52-yard kick struck the crossbar and bounced in.
New Orleans then got the ball back at their 17-yard line and Daniel in his most significant action as a Saint, led the offense on a 11-play, 83-yard drive. Significant plays included a 48-yard completion to WR Adrian Arrington, a nine-yard run by RB Chris Ivory and a nine-yard scramble by the quarterback to get the Saints to the Texans five-yard line. Daniel then found Arrington for a five-yard gain from the six, moving to the one, spiked the ball to stop the clock with four seconds left and then found FB Zak Keasey for a one-yard scoring throw.
To open the third quarter, with the Texans taking the ball first, the two clubs each punted to each other.
The Saints forced the Texans to punt again, but upon getting the ball back, Daniel throw an interception to former Saints and current Texans LB Danny Clark. Taking the ball at the New Orleans 33, the Texans were not able to get a first down and K Kris Brown kicked a 43-yard field goal to put the visitors within 15.
Daniel quickly amended for his mistake though as he led the Saints on a seven-play, 65-yard scoring drive to give New Orleans a 35-13 lead. Running backs P.J. Hill and Chris Ivory touched the ball of every play on the drive until Daniel found Arrington for an 18-yard touchdown.
The Texans took the ball back and QB Dan Orlovsky led them on a 72-yard drive for a touchdown, ending with a ten-yard scoring pass.