New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - In a pre-season shootout that featured five lead changes, the Houston Texans escaped with a 31-27 victory over the New Orleans Saints.
Matt Schaub torched the Saints defense, playing only the first half and going 14-of-16 for 187 yards and two touchdowns. Sage Rosenfels was also efficient, finishing 6-for-8 for 94 yards in the victory.
Kevin Walter led the way for Houston's receiving corps, catching six passes for 100 yards and a touchdown. Former West Virginia star Steve Slaton got in on the scoring for the Texans (2-0), running for 57 yards and a score.
Drew Brees had an excellent game, completing 12-of-17 pass attempts for 147 yards and two touchdowns. Mark Brunell went 5-for-8 for 84 yards and a score in defeat.
Reggie Bush had 36 total yards and a touchdown reception while Lance Moore caught three passes for 65 yards. David Patten also recorded 52 yards on two catches for the Saints (1-1).
Martin Gramatica got the high-scoring affair started with a 25-yard field goal a little over three minutes into the game.
Schaub drove the Texans for a score in their first drive, finishing an 11- play, 80-yard drive with a 26-yard touchdown pass to Walter to put Houston up 7-3.
Brees drove the Saints down field again, but couldn't punch it in, resorting to another Gramatica field goal - a 33-yarder - to cut Houston's lead to one.
Houston's starting quarterback made it 2-for-2, commanding a 10-play, 74-yard drive that ended with a one-yard pass to Vonta Leech to make it 14-6.
New Orleans finally got in the end zone in the second quarter, as Brees threw a 12-yard strike to Bush to again bring the Saints within one.
Kris Brown added a 45-yard field goal to put the Texans up four with just over five minutes left in the first half, but New Orleans went into the locker room with a halftime lead after Brees threw a five-yard touchdown pass to Marques Colston with a minute left in the half to go up 20-17.
The scoring didn't stop after halftime. Chris Taylor ran for a one-yard touchdown to finish off an 11-play, 68-yard drive for Houston to open up the second half, putting the Texans in front 24-20.
The Saints got the lead right back, as Brunell completed an 82-yard drive with a one-yard pass to Kevin Dudley.
Slaton accounted for the fifth lead change of the game, giving the Texans a 31-27 lead as he scampered for a 10-yard score early in the fourth quarter.
08/16 23:18:12 ET