When the starting offense for the Houston Texans was on the field Sunday afternoon (minus Arian Foster) the team looked crisp and poised to make some more noise in the AFC in ’13.
Though the Texans lost to the visiting New Orleans Saints in the third week of the NFL preseason, 31-23, when the players who will take a majority of the snaps on the offensive side were on the field they played crisp.
Houston trailed the Saints, 17-16 at the half, with Houston scoring seven points in the first quarter and nine more points in the second. In the third, the Texans scored seven points.
All three quarterbacks were productive for the Texans, with Matt Schaub leading the way at 15-of-26 for 213 yards in two quarters.
In the second half, rookie Case Keenum and three-year backup T.J. Yates took over under center. Keenum went 10-of-14 for 79 yards and Yates finishing 7-of-9 for 73 yards and a touchdown pass to Alec Lemon.
The player of the game for the offense was Ben Tate, who in a starting running back role, rushed for 74 yards on 11 carries, scoring one touchdown. Rookie Dennis Johnson had five carries in the second half for 31 yards, and Deji Kareem carried the ball six times for 20 yards as they are in a battle for the third running back spot on the roster.
The rest of the backs (Cierre Wood and Ray Graham) combined for two yards with Wood having one carry for five yards, while Graham had -3 yards on one carry.
Andre Johnson was impressive as always, finishing his half of play with 131 yards on seven receptions. Lemon followed with a five-catch, 51 yard day, including one touchdown.
Owen Daniels finished with four receptions for 47 yards.
Houston has one preseason game remaining on Thursday, Aug. 29 against the Dallas Cowboys. The final roster cut down to 53 players will be on Aug. 31 by no later than 6 p.m. ET.