Houston, TX – Andy Tanner caught two touchdown passes and the New Orleans Saints stayed unbeaten in the preseason with a 31-23 win over the Houston Texans.
Drew Brees complete 4-of-6 passes for 104 yards and a touchdown in limited duty for the Saints, and Pierre Thomas gained 70 yards from scrimmage with a touchdown reception.
Matt Schaub played the entire first half and threw for 213 yards on 15-of-26 attempts for the Texans, who had won their first two preseason games.
Ben Tate, starting in place of the injured Arian Foster, ran for a 1-yard TD and gained 74 yards on 11 carries, while Andre Johnson caught seven passes for 131 yards in the loss.
The Saints, trailing 10-0 following Tate's touchdown and the first of three field goals from Randy Bullock, got on the board when Thomas took a short pass over the middle from Brees and outran the defense en route to a 51-yard touchdown three minutes into the second quarter.
Luke McCown took over for Brees and was an efficient 10-of-14 through the air for 118 yards. The backup threw a go-ahead 14-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Stills late in the second quarter and connected with Tanner on an 8-yard score in the first minute of the third to give the Saints a 24-16 lead.
T.J. Yates found Alec Lemon for a 17-yard TD to pull the hosts within one, but Tanner's acrobatic 15-yard touchdown on a pass from Ryan Griffin early in the fourth helped the Saints stay in control.
With a minute to play, Texans third-stringer Case Keenum threw an incomplete pass on 4th-and-6 from the New Orleans 10-yard line.