Saints defeat Texans in exhibition game

Published 3:03 pm Friday, August 31, 2012

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – The third exhibition game is usually as close as you get to seeing the real thing in the NFL preseason.

Even though it was technically the fourth game for the New Orleans Saints, thanks to an appearance in the Hall of Fame Game, Saturday night’s meeting with the Houston Texans was what fans had been waiting for.

With the starters going two full quarters in what amounted to their final tuneup, the teams played to a 24-24 tie in an entertaining first half before the Saints took a 34-27 win in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

The Saints and Texans combined for 48 points and 457 yards as the first-team offenses for both teams clicked despite suffering two turnovers each.

Saints defensive end Junior Galette returned a Trindon Holliday fumble 16 yards for a touchdown that tied the game at 14-14 with 3:54 to play in the first period after New Orleans found themselves down by two touchdowns.

Drew Brees, who was 17-of-25 for 179 yards, responded to the big deficit by driving his team 65 yards to their first touchdown, a 20-yard TD to Lance Moore.

Sedrick Ellis’ fumble recovery led to a 22-yard field goal by Garrett Hartley to gave the Saints a 17-14 lead. Brees then executed a two-minute drill , capped by an 8-yard TD pass to tight end Jimmy Graham to tie the game at 24-24 with 15 seconds left in the half.