Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints is sacked by Jared Crick #93 of the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium on August 25, 2013 in Houston, Texas.

 

The New Orleans Saints ran their 2013 NFL preseason record to a perfect 3-0 on Sunday afternoon, after defeating the Houston Texans, 31-23, at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas.

New Orleans led at the half, 17-16, and then outscored Houston, 14-7, in the second half, to leave with the 8-point victory.

The Texans, despite the loss, actually finished the game with a large statistical advantage, out-gaining the Saints, in terms of total yards, 496-380.

Houston had 30 first downs, compared to only 16 for New Orleans, while out-gaining the visitors in rushing yards, 141-78, and passing yards, 355-302.

The difference was that the New Orleans defense bent, but didn't break, forcing Houston to kick three field goals, and holding the hosts to only two scores in five chances in the red zone.

Drew Brees was four of six for 104 yards and a touchdown for the Saints, playing only three possessions, before giving way to Luke McCown, who was 10-of-14 for 118 yards and two touchdowns.

Mark Ingram led New Orleans in the rushing department, with 24 yards on four carries, while rookie Kenny Stills had 54 receiving yards, including a touchdown.

In a losing cause for the Texans, quarterback Matt Schaub was 15-of-26 for 213 yards, with Andre Johnson finishing with seven receptions for 131 yards.

With the win, New Orleans moved to 3-0 in the preseason, while Houston fell to 2-1.

The Saints close out their preseason schedule on Thursday night, when they travel to Miami, Florida to take on the Dolphins.

View the game box score.