Saints vs Texans – Game Recap – August 13, 2022
HOUSTON — — Andy Dalton threw a touchdown pass on his only possession in his New Orleans debut, but the Saints fell to the Houston Texans 17-13 on Saturday night after a touchdown in the final minute.
Dalton, who joined the Saints after spending last season with the Bears, started with Jameis Winston after suffering a foot injury in practice Monday.
Dalton was a perfect 5 for 5 for 51 yards. He threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Dwayne Washington to give New Orleans a 7-0 lead.
Houston quarterback Davis Mills was 3-for-3 for 14 yards on two drives where the team failed to get a first down.
The Texans are sticking with Mills as a starter this season despite having a subpar rookie campaign when he played 13 games in the team’s abysmal 4-13 season.
Both teams featured the debut of new head coaches with Dennis Allen taking over from Sean Payton at New Orleans and Lovie Smith replacing David Culley for the Texans. Both Allen and Smith rose to the top job after working last season as their team’s defensive coordinator.
Jeff Driskel threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to rookie Johnny Johnson III in the final minute to lift Houston to victory.
The Texans cut the lead to 7-3 on a 49-yard field goal from Ka’imi Fairbairn late in the first quarter.
Houston took a 10-7 lead when Driskel connected with Jalen Camp on a 4-yard touchdown pass early in the second. That score came after Obo Okoronkwo picked up a fumble from quarterback Ian Book.
Camp had a 49-yard reception on Houston’s last drive to help set up the score.
The Saints equalized about two minutes before halftime on a 23-yard field goal from Will Lutz.
A 36-yard field goal from John Parker Romo put New Orleans up 13-10 early in the fourth quarter.
Wide receiver Chris Olave, ranked 11th overall, and left tackle 19th overall pick Trevor Penning made their debuts Saturday night for New Orleans. Olave had a catch for 4 yards.
One bright spot for the Texans was the play of fourth-round rookie pick Dameon Pierce, who had five carries for 49 yards. Houston is expected to start Marlon Mack, but Pierce is also expected to be carried this season as the team attempts to improve on a running game that has been among the worst in the NFL the past two seasons.
Houston rookie safety Jalen Pitre, a second-round pick, got off to a strong start with four tackles, including one for a loss.
Chase Hansen led the Saints with six tackles, including two for losses, and returned an interception 44 yards to set up a field goal in the second quarter.
It was one of three interceptions thrown by Driskel.
The Texans were without their two first-round picks with cornerback Derek Stingley Jr., third overall, and left guard Kenyon Green, the 15th pick, missing the game due to injury.
Stingley has taken part in training but is being brought in slowly as he continues to recover from September surgery to repair a torn ligament in his foot. Green missed practice time recently with a knee injury.
Stingley was a consensus All-America selection as a rookie in 2019 but has been hampered by injuries over the past two seasons, including being limited to just three games last year at LSU due to a back injury. foot. Despite the setbacks, the Texans are confident he’ll be able to step in early and help turn around a secondary that was among the league’s worst last season.
Saints: Visit the Green Bay Packers on Friday night.
Texans: Visit the Los Angeles Rams on Friday night.