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Texans 27 @ Saints 34: Who Dat Say!?!


Big plays, lots of turnovers and beaucoup du points on both sides of the ball punctuated the 34-27 New Orleans Saints preseason win over the Houston Texans last night in the MB Superdome.

Now it's time for you to review the panoply of post-game coverage...

GAMEHQ: Houston Texans vs. New Orleans Saints |
Final statistics, recap, play-by-play, drive charts, photos, and video highlights from the Houston vs. New Orleans game played on August 25, 2012

NFL Game Center: Houston Texans at New Orleans Saints |
Includes recap, drive chart, official NFL Game Book, video highlights.

Saints Edge Texans, 34-27, in Battle of Playoff Contenders |
Joseph Morgan caught a touchdown pass from Chase Daniel late in the fourth quarter to give the New Orleans Saints a 34-27 win over the Houston Texans in preseason play.

Saints Defeat Texans, 34-27 |
QB Drew Brees threw for 179 yards and two touchdowns.

Photo Gallery: Texans @ Saints |

From the Saints Sideline

New Orleans Saints beat Houston Texans 34-27 |
Nakia Hogan - The New Orleans Saints managed to beat the Houston Texans 34-27 Saturday night in what is widely regarded as the most important preseason game of the exhibition season.

New Orleans Saints top Houston Texans in exhibition | The Advocate
Sheldon Mickles - The third exhibition game is usually as close as you get to seeing the real thing in the NFL preseason.

Quick Take: Saints, Texans Play Entertaining Contest at the Dome |
Ken Trahan - This was the dress rehearsal, the preseason game that most resembles a regular season contest. It certainly did for the New Orleans Saints and Houston Texans.

Saints Postgame Notes |
Postgame Notes following the Saints 34-27 win over the Houston Texans.

Darren Sproles, Curtis Lofton among numerous New Orleans Saints players out for Texans game |
Larry Holder - New Orleans Saints running back Darren Sproles (knee) and linebacker Curtis Lofton (ankle) both said leading up to Saturday night's preseason game against the Houston Texans that they would have played had this game been Week 1.

New Orleans Saints offense returns to its lethal self against Houston Texans |
John DeShazier - Move along. Nothin' to see here.

Brees in regular season form as Saints top Texans |
With a few ticks more than two minutes to play in the first half Saturday night, Drew Brees gave interim coaches Joe Vitt and Aaron Kromer all they needed to see.

Fumbling issues haunt New Orleans Saints running back Chris Ivory, receiver Joe Morgan |
Larry Holder - New Orleans Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael said last week that it's simply not acceptable to fumble the football away when asked specifically about running back Chris Ivory's bad habit of coughing it up.

Fumble could be costly | The Advocate
Making a mistake is a problem. Repeating the mistake can change a roster spot.

Patience will be needed early as New Orleans Saints defense finds its bearings |
Jeff Duncan - Quarterback Drew Brees said something this week that all New Orleans Saints fans should take to heart. It was an unsolicited comment about coordinator Steve Spagnuolo's new defense and it resonated Saturday night as the Houston Texans waltzed unimpeded through the first-team defense for most of the first half.

New Orleans Saints DE Cam Jordan gives Houston Texans offensive line fits |
Larry Holder - New Orleans Saints defensive end Cam Jordan started playing more like his first-round pick status late last season, and he made his presence well known to the Houston Texans on Saturday night.

New Orleans Saints cornerback Patrick Robinson shuts down star Houston Texans receiver Andre Johnson |
James Varney - The New Orleans Saints are down to one starting cornerback, but that one - Patrick Robinson - turned in a very tidy performance Saturday night going against one of the NFL's best receivers.

Lasting impression from New Orleans Saints win is big plays defense gave up |
Mike Triplett - By preseason standards, the New Orleans Saints' 34-27 victory over the Houston Texans on Saturday night was a thriller.

Saints LBs have tough time again | The Advocate
Scott Kushner - Playing with a pair of reserve linebackers on Saturday night, New Orleans’ first-team defense showed little improvement in a 34-27 preseason victory over the Houston Texans on Saturday night at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Handwerger: Saints DC Spagnuolo shows he has control over defense |
A little more than midway through the first quarter, the New Orleans Saints’ defense was on the ropes, having given up 120 yards and two touchdowns on 13 plays.

New Orleans Saints again plagued by penalties in victory over Houston |
James Varney - In the first half Saturday, New Orleans was flagged five times for 32 yards. The penalties also came at key times.

New Orleans Saints largely contain Texans return ace Trindon Holliday |
James Varney - Two years ago, as a rookie taken by Houston in the sixth round with the 197th overall pick, former LSU speedster Trindon Holliday had an inauspicious game against the New Orleans Saints.

Observation deck: Saints-Texans - NFC South Blog |
Pat Y. - Some observations from the New Orleans Saints’ 34-27 preseason victory against the Houston Texans at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Saturday night.

Saints Beat Texans 34-27 |


Cattle Call

Andre Johnson, Chris Myers leave game early |
Nick Scurfield - Texans All-Pro wide receiver Andre Johnson and Pro Bowl center Chris Myers both went to the locker room in the first half of Saturday’s preseason game against the Saints, but neither player had a serious injury.

Texans seem ready for season, but are they ready to match expectations? | Houston Chronicle
Harvey: Texans seem ready for season, but are they ready to match expectations?

Promising young Texans hear stern words from Kubiak after fumbles | Houston Chronicle
Tania Ganguli - Promising young Texans hear stern words from Kubiak after fumbles.

Texans’ turnover troubles derail them in preseason loss to Saints | Houston Chronicle
John McClain - Texans’ turnover troubles derail them in preseason loss to Saints.

Texans TE Graham steps into bigger role in offense | Houston Chronicle
McClain/Ganguli - Texans TE Graham steps into bigger role in offense.

Texans Gameday Central: No injuries a big plus | Houston Chronicle
Staff reports.

Thoughts on Saints 34, Texans 27 - AFC South Blog |
Paul Kuharsky - There isn’t a coach in the league who’s OK with fumbling. There may not be a coach in the league who’s less OK with it than Gary Kubiak.


Post-Game Quotes


"We had a good week of practice. Our guys were very focused and they wanted to get better from a week ago. We improved tonight. We improved on our tackling and we had much better poise on the field than we did a week ago against Jacksonville. We’ve got to be able to protect the ball better. Our team knows that and we will work hard on that. We still have to take the ball away a couple more times. If we do that, it will give us the chance to be the team we want to be.

"Our guys will have off tomorrow. We’ll watch the storm and see if we have to get out of town early to get to Tennessee."

on Cameron Jordan "He’s going right along like you’re supposed to your sophomore year. He’s got the kinks out and he has a positive routine going. He’s in the (locker) room with a bunch of quality individuals. He is taking the game much more seriously. He came in ten pounds thinner. I think you see his quickness and quick twitch. I think he is doing a better job of anticipating the offensive formation before the snap and anticipating what the play is. I just think that’s the proper progression for a good football player like Cam is."

"We’ve gone stretches of games here when we’ve not turned the ball over or not taken it away. It’s the number one stat in football. We’re undefeated when we haven’t turned the ball over. We’ve got to keep working on it. Chris (Ivory) had a tough hit on him. We still have to protect the football. If we do that, it’s going to serve us well."

on Junior Galette "Junior’s maturity, he’s grown in this system. This system is really made for a guy like him. He’s got athletic pass rush ability. He can beat a lot of one-on-ones. He’s got tremendous stamina. He can put his foot in the ground and change directions. He is staying on course and working hard to be a good football player."

on Jonathan Casillas "It was the first time Jonathan Casillas has ever played Mike linebacker, in a new system. Jonathan missed the entire OTA’s because of a lower back injury. He is playing with better body control and not putting himself in awkward positions he has done as a youth that would get himself hurt. He did a nice job tonight. Jonathan Casillas has played that position for about 48 hours. He did a good job."

"We gave him about 6-10 defenses he was going to run in the game. I’ll feel more comfortable commenting on him once I see the film."

"This is a good offense that we played tonight. The best play-caller in football right now is Sean Payton, and Gary Kubiak isn’t far behind. He knows exactly what he is calling and he does a great job in his procession running sets. Andre Johnson is one of the top two or three wide receivers in the NFL. They have an outstanding running game that complements their passing game. We played our butts off against these guys last season in the regular season after they kicked our butts in the preseason. We’re quite aware of how good this offense is. Give credit to them, and I give credit to our guys. It looked bleak early. We were down 14-0, we hung in there, forced a few short fields and our guys competed."

"I thought we were more physical tonight. I thought we were more resilient tonight. I thought we played better."

on Monday’s cutdown day "It’s gut-wrenching. There are a lot of guys that have waited their whole life to play in the National Football League. We take very seriously our exit strategy. It’s going to be a tough day tomorrow.


on how important his results with the offense were to him with these two home games "You want to look sharp. I feel like we have been sharp for the most part. (There are) certainly some opportunities that we’ve left out there. I felt like we could have been better in certain ways but I think the most important thing is that we continue to make strides forward. Even though it hasn’t been perfect, I think we have been pretty efficient. As we go into the season, we know that we are going to continue to need to get better. We have very high expectations for this team, for our offense. We have set the bar pretty high. I think we just know how good we can be. We want to continue to test that limit as often as possible. Even when you walk out of a game and there were 24 points in the first half and the first group was in there and we had the one turnover that resulted in a touchdown without us getting on the field but still you feel like there was still at least one more out there for the taking that we didn’t take advantage of."

on how Joe Vitt managed the preseason "I think Joe Vitt has done a tremendous job. We all know Coach Vitt very well. He has been a part of this program since we’ve all been here, since 2006. So he has been a part of the highs and the lows and certainly he knows this football team. He knows Sean Payton as well as anybody. So really the job that he has done has been a combination of really just continuing to execute the plan and create the environment that Sean Payton has done since he was here in 2006. Obviously, in his absence Joe Vitt is a very emotional guy who is extremely fiery and competitive. You know where you stand with Coach Vitt at all times. He is not going to sugar coat it or tell you what you want to hear. He is going to tell you what you need to hear and we appreciate that and we love him for it. We’re going to miss him during his time away. He has certainly put us in the best position that he possibly could going into the season."

on what it was like with Aaron Kromer playing a more extensive role on the sidelines and if it was different "No, everything seemed to be very, very smooth. I haven’t really had a chance to talk with Krom (Aaron Kromer) after the game just to see how he felt about everything. I felt like the mechanics of him continuing to carrying on his responsibilities with the offensive line like he normally would, as well as some of the little things, head coaching responsibilities so to speak. I feel like we have done things the right way throughout this whole process. Naming (Aaron) Kromer as our interim head coach this week to get him at least two games under his belt where he is walking the sidelines as a head coach prior to week one here (is beneficial). We are trying to work out some of the kinks and put ourselves in the best position to succeed once we get to week one."

on the excitement of going into the regular season "We’re excited. We are very excited. Obviously, next week a lot of the ones aren’t going to play at all, if very much. So this was our last real dress rehearsal, before we go out there for real in two weeks. In fact, we are opening up at home in the dome. I think we are poised. We are ready. We have a lot of work to do between now and then but we have two weeks to get prepared. This is what you play for, this opportunity."

on the passing of Neil Armstrong "I actually met him for the first time a year ago. We brought a few astronauts back to Purdue for a scholarship dinner that I was a part of for about ten straight years at Purdue. I’m in awe of these guys. You talk about some pretty courageous stuff. Obviously, a lot of those men are as well-known figures as anyone, or certainly deserve to be. They were part of some of the greatest moments of American history with space travel and being the first man on the moon. And of course the iconic words that Neil Armstrong said."


on offense tonight "Our main goal going into this game was just to play better than we have been playing, obviously produce more on offense. We had a couple turnovers early and spotted them some points. So we wanted to make sure we got the ball going, made some positive plays and definitely put our team in a position to be the leader or at least tied up at halftime. We did a pretty good job of that."

on his touchdown "I mean it’s just one of those trust plays. There was pretty good coverage on the play. Drew just kind of threw it up there and he has that trust in me that I would make the play."

on going into regular season "It feels good to play as well as we played tonight. Like I said, we need to hang onto the ball a little bit more, a little bit better, obviously. But for our offense to move the ball down the field and score right before halftime in a two minute drill was huge for us to get that in live action before the season starts. We feel pretty good. (We need to) Just try to get better this week and prepare for Washington next week."

on the final preseason game "I don’t know. They really haven’t said too much to us. We don’t know who’s playing and who’s not playing yet. We are just going to try and get better and see what happens after that."


on the offense tonight "We are just looking to get better every down, every game. Today we definitely did that. To go down early and to fight back, I think that’s Saints football. That’s what we do out here. We are never out of the game, especially with a guy like Drew Brees leading us. We were down two touchdowns, but then Drew just rallies us up, and then we got two quick scores and tied it up."

on the tight ends for both teams "I guess, I don’t even remember. I had a catch or two, they did their thing. It was a good night for us. I mean for me, I’m just going to get better. I had two kind of slow first games so this game I was really looking to show Drew and the coaching staff that I can still do it and that I still have it. I think I took a step forward and I’m looking forward to getting better these next two weeks."

on the regular season "I feel great about it, especially after a night like tonight. This night felt like so many nights like we had last year. Tonight was exciting. The guys were playing physical, everyone was into the game. So for me, I can’t wait to play Washington, that’s all I’m thinking about right now just taking these two weeks getting better at the little things. I need to work on defining my routes more for Drew. I’m also going to work on my footwork as far as blocking, just doing that with confidence because I’ve been a little sloppy lately and it’s only going to make me better. Drew stays on top of me about always getting better, about always looking at the things that you can do to improve because nobody is done improving. It doesn’t matter how old you are (or) how many years you have been in the league, you can always find something to work on."


on what Coach Spagnuolo told the defense for the club’s second drive after giving up a touchdown early "Really, we just needed to settle down. We knew the Texans had an explosive offense. They made some plays on the first drive and we played conservative. (He told us) just to settle down and get after them with pressures a little bit and it turned us around. It helped that we got a touchdown on the kickoff."

on how the team feels with preparations coming up for the regular season "I think practice this week is going to be huge for the starters. We will get a little bit of rest in film and work during practice but the things that we’ve seen that we made mistakes on today, we will have to really address in the next week and a half of practice because we won’t have the preseason game to correct it. It will be most of the young guys. I think the importance for us is getting after it in these practices and not letting up."


on the forced fumble "It felt great. I felt really loose. I just wanted to go out there and make a play, so it felt great."

more on the play "I got cracked. A guy hit me, I hit the floor, so I had to get up really and the first thing I did was find the ball carrier. I tried to get my head across and I ended up getting my head on the ball and the ball popped out."

on 2012 vs. 2011 and his performance "The game has slowed down a whole bunch. Last year I was a rookie and my eyes were all over the field. So I’m trying to make a play but I don’t know what I’m looking at. Now I know where to look and I know where I have to be. I’m a lot more comfortable."

* * *

Head Coach Gary Kubiak, QB Matt Schaub, WR Andre Johnson, and RB Arian Foster met with the media following a 34-27 loss to the Saints.

Texans Head Coach Gary Kubiak

on Andre Johnson being taken out of the game "Andre, when he went up to catch that ball that last play that he played, it looked like he fell on the ball to me. He's a little sore, so we took him for some x-rays just to make sure that they all came back fine. He's fine. He's just sore."

on the play of the offense "We were explosive. Our quarterback was excellent. He has had a great camp. I think he was 15 of 18. We might have dropped a ball or two. He was special in the game. We were rotating our receivers, which was our plan going into the game. Obviously, the biggest problem is that some young guys turned the ball over. Keshawn (Martin) had two of them. Trindon's (Holliday) got one. It just goes to show you that you can play as good as you can play, and we're down 17-14. We were playing about as good as we could play. Because of turnovers (we were down). At the same time, you have to be able to come back just like they did. I was pleased offensively with the way that we moved the ball. I was not pleased with the turnovers."

on the running game "I wanted to throw the ball a little bit tonight. I think it's probably obvious when you look at the stats. I think Arian (Foster) has had a good of a camp as any back that I've been around. I wasn't going to go out there and hand it to him 15 and 20 times. I was going to split it with him and (Ben) Tate. When Tate went out, the split left me. Arian did finish the half and ended up playing (more)."

on Trindon Holliday "Obviously, if you spot a team seven points on special teams, that is not a good thing. It was disappointing. I was disappointed in another decision that he made. I did not like what I saw from him tonight from that standpoint. Yeah, he had a big return, but if he is going to be our guy, we can't turn the ball over. I have no excuses for those things. I won't allow excuses for those things."

"I like the way that we got turnovers. We made plays. Obviously, they (the Saints) moved the ball too well on us. They are good. They are going to move the ball on you, so you've got to step up and make some plays. We did that. We did step up and get some big turnovers and get some big plays. I think overall there are a lot of positives with the ones that we can draw from. There is obviously enough things there to keep us good and humble as we get ready to go play Miami in a couple of weeks."


on tonight's game "We executed at a high level, especially in the first quarter, as far as an offense making plays. We had some mistakes; obviously we had some turnovers. We have to clean those things up. But we played at a high level although we still have some things to work on."

on his team's readiness for the regular season "I felt good. The guys around me were making plays. The offensive line was playing their tails off. You had some guys in the secondary making plays. We got some good runs in there early. Everything was working well. We were seeing things clearly, guys were making plays. Obviously there are some things we need to clean up for the regular season."

"I thought we were crisp, I thought we were sharp. We made plays here and there. We took advantage of some opportunities in the red zone, getting some sevens. Last year when we were here we settled for some threes, so that was a positive. There's some things we need to clean up, but we are ready to go."

on crowd noise "It's a tough environment, especially on third down. It was very loud but we stayed poised and executed well. We just need to improve a little bit on those opportunities."


on hit he took in first half "I got hit pretty hard out there and when I got up I was a little out of breath. But after I got my breath back I felt fine."

"We were very comfortable with what we were doing. When you have an opportunity you try to do the best you can. And that's the way we were doing it early - making plays. We tried to go out there and do the best we can, to the best of our ability."

on turnovers "I just try to tell the younger players to hold onto the ball tight. That's all you can do to remind them about that know. It helps a lot to get that out of the way early. As long as that (turning the ball over) doesn't happen during the regular season we'll be okay."


"If we could have taken care of the ball better, it would have been a different game, especially in the first half. But that's part of the game."

"Gary Kubiak, to me, is one of the best offensive minds in the game. And for him to make a comment that I am having a great camp and doing great in the preseason just makes me want to work harder. I appreciate him for seeing something in me to keep me here in the first place."

"You saw it when we first stepped on the field. I mean, to play in a place like this; it's so loud and the energy is crazy; for us to come in here and perform like we did early says a lot about our football team. We just have to sustain that for an entire game."


V-Roll Roll Call

Saints Postgame Video Interviews |
Media page features: Drew Brees, Jimmy Graham, Malcolm Jenkins, Isa Abdul-Quddus, Lance Moore, Joe Vitt.