2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Five things to know from Saints-Texans

By KRISTIE RIEKEN - AP Sports Writer
    2013-08-26 02:38

HOUSTON (AP) - The Houston Texans wanted to establish their running game against the New Orleans Saints after failing to do so in their previous two preseason games.

Ben Tate helped them do just that.

Tate ran for 74 yards and a score before halftime filling in for Arian Foster, in the Texans' 31-23 loss to the Saints on Sunday.

``He looked very good,'' coach Gary Kubiak said. ``He's been our one healthy veteran back. I think Ben's ready. I think he's going to have a really good year.''

Foster returned to practice this week for the first time since May after dealing with calf and back injuries, but didn't play. Kubiak has said that Foster could start in Houston's opener Sept. 9 without getting a preseason snap.

``It was important for us going into this game to get the running game going and feel good about it going into San Diego,'' quarterback Matt Schaub said of Houston's opener.

Tate brushed off the notion that the right side of Houston's offensive line is going to be a weak spot for the team by asking: `did you see us run today,' when questioned about it.

He wanted to use Sunday's game to show that he's ready for the season.

``I was definitely out to prove a point tonight and I feel like I got my point across,'' he said.

Here are five things we learned about the Saints and Texans on Sunday:

1. ANDRE'S STILL GOT IT: Houston's Andre Johnson answered critics who questioned whether the 32-year-old may have lost a step by piling up 131 yards receiving in the first half on Sunday. Johnson didn't play in the preseason opener and had less than a quarter of work last week. Against New Orleans, he grabbed seven of the eight passes thrown to him, highlighted by a 39-yard reception. ``When we sit down and game plan I try to figure out ways to get Andre the ball,'' Kubiak said. ``It's a compliment to the other guys that Andre's able to get the ball so much.''

2. STILLS IS STEADY: New Orleans rookie Kenny Stills, a fifth-round pick out of Oklahoma, continued to impress with Marques Colston still sitting out with a left foot injury. Stills had four receptions for 64 yards and a touchdown last week and kept up his steady work with two receptions for 54 yards and another score on Sunday. ``I'm getting more comfortable and getting more used to being out there,'' he said. ``It's about playing football and having fun, and that's really all it is.''

3. BULLOCK'S READY: Houston's Randy Bullock, who missed all of his rookie season last year with a groin injury, has shown that he's ready to take over the kicking duties for the Texans. Bullock kicked field goals of 48, 55 and 21 yards on Sunday after hitting from 46 yards last week and 48 yards in the first preseason game. ``Every week he's gaining confidence as a young kicker in this league,'' Kubiak said. ``Really excited to see his progress.''

4. THEY CAN CATCH, TOO: The New Orleans running backs combined for nine receptions for 143 yards on Sunday. The most notable reception by a running back came when Drew Brees found Pierre Thomas on a short pass and linebacker Joe Mays was there to make the tackle, but Thomas wriggled free and dashed for a 51-yard touchdown. The Saints got that drive going on another catch and run when Brees finessed a short floater to Mark Ingram which he turned into a 29-yard gain. ``We got guys who can run good routes and make the defender miss,'' Thomas said. ``We work on that so much in practice.''

5. STILL NECK AND NECK: Sunday's game did little to provide a resolution in the competition for Schaub's backup. T.J. Yates came in after Schaub and was seven of nine for 73 yards and a touchdown. Case Keenum finished the game and was 10 of 14 for 79 yards. They'll get another chance to try to impress Kubiak on Thursday against Dallas with Schaub expected to sit out. ``I think T.J. has answered a challenge,'' Kubiak said. ``He's been pushed and it's made him better as a player. It continues to be a very difficult decision.''

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Alameda Ta'amuDec 21 07:42p

The Arizona Cardinals have declared DL Alameda Ta'amu, OG Anthony Steen, WR Brittan Golden, SS Chris D. Clemons, QB Drew Stanton, OG Jonathan Cooper, DL Kareem Martin inactive for Week 16.

Chris MatthewsDec 21 07:32p

The Seattle Seahawks have declared WR Chris Matthews, DL Demarcus Dobbs, WR Kevin Norwood, C Max Unger, OT Russell Okung, TE Tony Moeaki, DL Travian Robertson inactive for Week 16.

Ahmad DixonDec 21 11:52a

The Minnesota Vikings have declared SS Ahmad Dixon, LB Anthony Barr, OT Carter Bykowski, OG Charlie Johnson, TE Kyle Rudolph, CB Shaun Prater, FB Zach Line inactive for Week 16.

Devier PoseyDec 21 11:52a

The Houston Texans have declared WR DeVier Posey, TE Garrett Graham, LB Jason Ankrah, S Josh Aubrey, LB Mike Mohamed, QB Tom Savage, OG Xavier Su'a-Filo inactive for Week 16.

A.J. KleinDec 21 11:52a

The Carolina Panthers have declared LB A.J. Klein, OG Amini Silatolu, CB Carrington Byndom, OT David Foucault, RB DeAngelo Williams, DL Kyle Love, SS Robert Lester inactive for Week 16.

Charles GodfreyDec 21 11:52a

The Atlanta Falcons have declared CB Charles Godfrey, LB James Anderson, OG Jon Asamoah, CB Ricardo Allen, QB Sean Renfree, DL Stansly Maponga, LB Tyler Starr inactive for Week 16.

Jamarca SanfordDec 21 11:52a

The New Orleans Saints have declared SS Jamarca Sanford, DL Lawrence Virgil, LB Moise Fokou, WR Seantavius Jones, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste, OT Terron Armstead, RB Travaris Cadet inactive for Week 16.

Justin BrownDec 21 11:52a

The Pittsburgh Steelers have declared OG Chris Hubbard, DL Clifton Geathers, CB Ike Taylor, WR Justin Brown, QB Landry Jones, TE Matt Spaeth, SS Troy Polamalu inactive for Week 16.

Clifton GeathersDec 21 11:52a

The Pittsburgh Steelers have declared OG Chris Hubbard, DL Clifton Geathers, CB Ike Taylor, WR Justin Brown, QB Landry Jones, TE Matt Spaeth, SS Troy Polamalu inactive for Week 16.

Carl BradfordDec 21 11:42a

The Green Bay Packers have declared DL Bruce Gaston, LB Carl Bradford, CB Davon House, C Garth Gerhart, WR Jeff Janis, TE Justin Perillo, QB Scott Tolzien inactive for Week 16.

Chris McCainDec 21 11:42a

The Miami Dolphins have declared LB Chris McCain, OT Dallas Thomas, RB Daniel Thomas, CB Don Jones, WR Matt Hazel, OG Nate Garner, WR Rishard Matthews inactive for Week 16.

Arthur BrownDec 21 11:42a

The Baltimore Ravens have declared LB Arthur Brown, DL Casey Walker, CB Chris Greenwood, C Gino Gradkowski, WR Michael Campanaro, OG Ryan Jensen, DL Terrence Cody inactive for Week 16.

Aaron MurrayDec 21 11:42a

The Kansas City Chiefs have declared QB Aaron Murray, RB Charcandrick West, WR Donnie Avery, C Eric Kush, OT Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, CB Marcus Cooper, DL Nick X. Williams inactive for Week 16.

Gary BarnidgeDec 21 11:42a

The Cleveland Browns have declared OT Andrew McDonald, TE Gary Barnidge, RB Glenn Winston, CB Joe Haden, DB K'Waun Williams, WR Rodney Smith, OT Vinston Painter inactive for Week 16.

Chris ConteDec 21 11:42a

The Chicago Bears have declared FS Chris Conte, QB David Fales, OG Kyle Long, PK Robbie Gould, CB Terrance Mitchell, DL Trevor Scott, DL Will Sutton inactive for Week 16.

Dakota DozierDec 21 11:33a

The New York Jets have declared OL Dakota Dozier, SS Jaiquawn Jarrett, QB Matt Simms, FS Rontez Miles, DL T.J. Barnes, WR Walter Powell, OG Wesley Johnson inactive for Week 16.

Alfonzo DennardDec 21 11:33a

The New England Patriots have declared CB Alfonzo Dennard, OG Dan Connolly, RB James White, OT Jordan Devey, WR Julian Edelman, CB Kyle Arrington, RB LeGarrette Blount inactive for Week 16.

Anthony CollinsDec 21 11:32a

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have declared OT Anthony Collins, FB Evan Rodriguez, CB Isaiah Frey, DL Lawrence Sidbury, RB Mike James, WR Robert Herron, WR Solomon Patton inactive for Week 16.

Kelvin BenjaminDec 21 11:22a

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin won't face Cleveland Browns CB Joe Haden (shoulder) Sunday, Dec. 21, who is out with a shoulder injury.

Joe HadenDec 21 11:22a

Cleveland Browns CB Joe Haden (shoulder) is out Sunday, Dec. 21.

Julio JonesDec 21 11:22a

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hip) is active Sunday, Dec. 21.

Jay CutlerDec 21 10:22a

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler is receiving trade interest from the Tennessee Titans. If the Titans landed him, it would alter the 2015 NFL Draft board dramatically.

T Y HiltonDec 21 10:22a

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) is a long shot to play Sunday, Dec. 21. However, he's going to try to suit up.

DeMarco MurrayDec 21 10:12a

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand) will play Sunday, Dec. 21, but the team is nervous how well he'll hold up in pass protection. If the team qualifies for [ More ]

Zach ErtzDec 20 07:42p

Philadelphia Eagles TE Zach Ertz had 15 catches for 115 yards Saturday, Dec. 20. Both of which are career highs.

Philip RiversDec 20 07:22p

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers (back) is active Saturday, Dec. 20, for Week 16.

Ryan MathewsDec 20 07:22p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (ankle) is inactive Saturday, Dec. 20, for Week 16.

Ryan MathewsDec 20 07:12p

The San Diego Chargers have declared LB Cordarro Law, DL Damion Square, CB Greg Ducre, WR Keenan Allen, P Mike Scifres, DL Ryan Carrethers, RB Ryan Mathews inactive for Week 16.

Carlos HydeDec 20 07:12p

San Francisco 49ers RB Carlos Hyde (ankle) is inactive Saturday, Dec. 20.

Ahmad BrooksDec 20 07:02p

The San Francisco 49ers have declared LB Ahmad Brooks, OG Andrew Tiller, RB Carlos Hyde, OG Joe Looney, QB Josh X. Johnson, WR Stevie Johnson, CB Tramaine Brock inactive for Week 16.

DeAndre HopkinsDec 20 06:42p

Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins (ankle) will be a game-time decision Sunday, Dec. 21, after not practicing all week.

Julian EdelmanDec 20 06:02p

New England Patriots WR Julian Edelman (concussion) has been ruled out for Week 16. Edelman didn't receive final clearance from the concussion protocol to play Sunday, Dec. 21.

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