NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) – Andy Dalton threw a touchdown pass on his only possession in his New Orleans debut, but the Saints scored 17 on Saturday night after their final touchdown on Saturday night. Lost to the Houston Texans at -13.
Dalton, who joined the Saints after spending last season with the Bears, started without Jameis Winston after suffering a leg injury in practice Monday.
Dalton was perfect with 5 for 5 for 51 yards. He threw his pass for his 9-yard touchdown to Dwayne Washington and put New Orleans ahead 7–0.
Houston quarterback Davis Mills went 3-for-3 for 14 yards on two drives the team failed to score a first down.
The Texans are sticking with Mills as the starter this season despite a below-average rookie campaign as he appeared in 13 games in the team’s dreadful 4-13 season.
Both teams have Dennis Allen replacing Sean Payton in New Orleans and Robbie Smith replacing David Curry in the Texans. Allen and Smith moved into top positions after serving as the team’s defensive coordinator last season.
The winning TD Connection is thanks to a 6-yard score from Jeff Driskell to Jaleel Johnson.
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Jeff Driskel threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to rookie Johnny Johnson III in the final minute to lead Houston to victory.
The Texans cut the lead to 7–3 with a 49-yard field goal by Kaimi Fairbairn late in the first quarter.
Houston led 10–7 when Driskel connected with Jalen Camp on a 4-yard touchdown pass early in the second. That score came after Obohi Okoronko recovered a fumble on quarterback Ian Book.
Camp had a 49-yard reception on Houston’s final drive to help set the score.
The Saints equalized on Will Lutz’s 23-yard field goal about two minutes before halftime.
A 36-yard field goal by John Parker-Romo put New Orleans up 13-10 early in the fourth quarter.
Receiver Chris Olave was picked 11th overall and left tackle Trevor Penning, who was picked 19th, made his debut in New Orleans on Saturday night. Olave had him 1 reception for 4 yards.
The bright spot for the Texans was the play of rookie fourth-round pick Dameon Pierce, who had five carries for 49 yards. Houston is expected to start Marlon Mack, but Pierce is likely to get a carry this season as well, as the team looks to improve its running game, which has been the worst in the NFL in the past two seasons.
Houston rookie safety Jalen Pitre, a second-round pick, made a solid debut with four tackles, including one loss.
Chase Hansen led the Saints with six tackles, including two losses, and returned an interception 44 yards to set up a field goal in the second quarter.
This was one of three interceptions thrown by Driskel.
The Texans have a first-round draft pick after cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. finished third overall and left guard Kenyon Green, the 15th pick, missed the game through injury. I didn’t have two.
Stingley has been attending practice, but is slowly getting used to it as he continues to recover from September surgery to repair a torn ligament in his leg. lacking.
Stingley was a consensus All-America selection as a freshman in 2019, but has been hampered by injuries the past two seasons, including a foot injury that limited him to just three games at LSU last year. Despite the setback, the Texans are confident he can step in early and turn around the worst secondary in the league last season.
Saints: Visit the Green Bay Packers on Friday night.
Texans: Visit the Los Angeles Rams on Friday night.
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