Regular season week 3-New Orleans Saints 40 Houston Texans 33-September 25,2011
NEW ORLEANS -- Drew Brees passed for 370 yards and three touchdowns, and twice led the Saints back from fourth-quarter deficits in a 40-33 victory over the Houston Texans on Sunday.
Mark Ingram's first career touchdown on a 13-yard run gave the Saints (2-1) the lead for good with under 3 minutes left. Brees was intercepted twice, but redeemed himself with three touchdown passes in the second half, including a 27-yarder to tight end Jimmy Graham and a 16-yarder to Lance Moore.
Matt Schaub passed for 373 yards and three TDs of his own, and the Texans' prolific offense moved the ball well for most of the game. Houston (2-1) was doomed in the end by four drives inside the 20 that resulted in only field goals, along with Schaub's lone interception that Jabari Greer snagged near midfield in the fourth quarter, setting up Moore's touchdown.
The lead changed hands five times in a thrilling second half that included a slew of big plays and one bizarre touchdown in which Saints linebacker Jonathan Casillas' bobbled interception attempt put the ball in the lap of Kevin Walter. The receiver then darted into the end zone for a 20-yard score that gave Houston a late 33-32 lead and stunned the Louisiana Superdome crowd.
New Orleans marched right back down the field, though, covering 93 yards in eight plays for Ingram's winning score.
The key play on the drive was Brees' 23-yard pass on third-and-10 to Jimmy Graham, who absorbed a late hit that was called for a personal foul and got up flexing both arms.
Brees capped the drive by hitting Moore on a 2-point conversion on the same out-route they had used for a 2-point conversion after a previous touchdown.
Houston, which was trying to improve to 3-0 for the first time, finished with a 473-454 advantage in total yards and had a lead as large as 26-17 after Schaub found James Casey for a diving 20-yard catch along the right sideline early in the fourth quarter.
The play capped a drive that began when Danieal Manning picked off a pass that Graham never saw and returned it to the New Orleans 42.
Graham redeemed himself, though, hauling in a scoring pass that capped a four-catch, 100-yard, one touchdown performance for the second-year converted basketball player out of Miami.
Moore finished with nine catches for 88 yards, and Devery Henderson had three receptions for 62 yards.
The comeback brought a joyous end to the fifth anniversary of the Saints' first game in the rebuilt Superdome after Hurricane Katrina. That victory over Atlanta five years ago featured a blocked punt by Steve Gleason, who is now struggling with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, but who was able to participate on the coin toss as an honorary captain while the crowd stood in an emotional applause.
For Houston, it was a game full of promise that left the Texans regretting missed opportunities. Ben Tate, who was trying to become only the second running back to open his NFL career with three 100-yard rushing games, was held to 82 yards on 19 carries.
Andre Johnson had seven catches for 128 yards and Casey finished with five receptions for 126, including a 62-yarder to set up Houston's first TD.
The Saints wore "retro" uniforms with mustard yellow pants that resembled what the club wore in the late 1960s. The current squad hardly resembled the bumbling Saints teams of old, though.
Brees' first touchdown pass went to Robert Meachem, who made a diving catch for a 2-yard score when Brees threw while rolling to his right. That gave New Orleans its first lead at 19-17 early in the second half.
Houston went back in front 19-17 on Neil Rackers' fourth field goal of the game.
Of five Houston drives inside the Saints 20, only one ended with a touchdown, a disappointment for a club that looked to improve in that area after scoring only four TDs on 11 trips inside an opponents' 20 in its previous two games.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Last edited by Colts01; 09-25-2011 at 05:33 PM.
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