The Houston Texans fall to Saints 31-23

Saints QB Drew Brees scrambles as Texans linebacker Willie Jefferson moves in.

Saints QB Drew Brees scrambles as Texans linebacker Willie Jefferson moves in.

The Texans went into their third preseason game against the Saints undefeated. After beating the Dolphins and Vikings, the Saints would be the best offensive team they’ve faced yet this preseason. And with it being week 3 many of both team’s starters played at least one quarter to get them ready for week 1 of the regular season. While the Texans starters looked good on both sides of the ball they fell to the Saints 31-23 on Sunday, and suffered their first loss of the preseason.

Texans WR Andre Johnson making 1 of his 7 catches Sunday.

Texans WR Andre Johnson making 1 of his 7 catches Sunday.

Texans QB Matt Schaub had another efficient game this week when he was on the field. He was 15-26 and threw for 213 yards in just one half of work. Schaub is likely done for the preseason and played really well. He’ll finish up 28-42 for 339 yards and 1 TD. Schaub said during an interview that this team’s next step is a Super Bowl championship and for them to get there he’ll have to continue playing efficient smart football going in to regular season.

WR Andre Johnson and RB Ben Tate had a monster games as well this week. Johnson had 131 yards on 7 catches. Like Schaub, Johnson only played the first half. He looked like he did to finish the season last year when he finished with close to 1,600 yards and had yet another season over 100 catches. Tate had 74 yards on 11 carries and 1 TD. With Pro Bowl RB Arian Foster not playing again this week Tate took advantage of his time. After fumbling on his first carry of the game he rebounded and had his most impressive game of the preseason yet. His rushing TD was the lone TD by the Texans starting unit in the game.

Along with the Texans first team offense the defense was really good to start this game. Most of the starters played the whole first half. They didn’t allow a TD in the first quarter of the game. They were putting pretty regular pressure on Drew Brees. The biggest standout for the Texans to me was rookie OLB Willie Jefferson. He was a constant disturbance off the edge for the Texans. Jefferson started this preseason looking to secure a roster spot on the team, but may have already played well enough to be the backup to starting OLB Whitney Mercilus. Second year DE Jared Crick also looked good, he got the start with a resting JJ Watt and suspended Antonio Smith. He made a big play early in the game, getting a sack on Drew Brees.  Next week the Texans play the Dallas Cowboys, and will be looking to finish up their preseason with a winning record for the 3rd consecutive year.