Texans Drop Opener To Saints In Monday Night Thriller

New Orleans won it on a 58-yard field goal by Wil Lutz

Brandon Scott
September 09, 2019 - 9:33 pm

Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

The Texans held an 11-point lead in the second half before the Saints rallied back to beat Houston 30-28 in the season opener.

New Orleans won it on a 58-yard field goal by Wil Lutz, right after Deshaun Watson found newly-acquired wide receiver Kenny Stills for a 37-yard touchdown pass.

That play appeared to have given the Texans the definitive lead. But there were still 37 seconds left on the game clock for Drew Brees to march the Saints into field goal range.

Watson threw a pair of touchdown passes to DeAndre Hopkins, another to Stills and also ran for the first score of the game.

Houston took a 14-3 lead into halftime and appeared to be in control until New Orleans took over the third quarter, when the Saints dominated with 77 yards on the ground.

They were well on their way to a third consecutive touchdown when the quarter ended, and scored on a pass to Tre’Quan Smith to start the fourth.

That drive started after Deshaun Watson threw into double coverage to Will Fuller V and was intercepted by Marcus Williams. 

In addition to Williams’ return, 15 yards was added to the play because of an unnecessary roughness penalty called on Hopkins, who slammed Williams to the ground in making the tackle.

It was almost seven minutes into the fourth quarter when the Texans finally stopped the Saints offense and forced a punt. The punt went 53 yards and pinned the Texans back inside their own 5-yard line.

Facing third down with about five yards to go, running back Duke Johnson II was called for a false start, making it 3rd and 10. Watson was able to stay calm in the pocket, survey the field and find Hopkins across the middle for a large gain. 

Then Johnson added another 32 yards with an impressive run, breaking tackles up the right sideline. 

But Watson was sacked by Trey Hendrickson, who beat left tackle Laremy Tunsil to get to Watson.

The Texans (0-1) did get the ball back with a phenomenal drive by Watson. Brees, however, had just enough time to get the Saints in striking distance. 

Houston's next game is Sunday at home against the AFC South-rival Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1). 

The only team in the division to win its opener was Tennessee, which beat Cleveland 43-13 on Sunday.