San Diego Chargers vs. Houston Texans

The San Diego Chargers travel to Reliant Stadium (71,054) in Houston, Texas to face the Houston Texans Saturday, August 23, 2003 – 5:30 p.m. PDT. Houston will host the Super Bowl this year after the Bolts hosted it in January.

Marty Schottenheimer will lead the San Diego Chargers into the "Great State of Texas" as the Chargers head to Reliant Stadium to face the Houston Texans in a preseason game on Saturday night.

It will be the Chargers' first-ever visit to Reliant Stadium to face the second-year expansion team.

SERIES HISTORY

Saturday night's game will be the first preseason meeting between the Chargers and Texans. They met last year in a regular season game in San Diego that the Bolts won 24-3.

Home Away from Home

The Chargers have 14 players on their roster who were born in Texas, the most from any state. They include Drew Brees (Austin), LaDainian Tomlinson (Rosebud), David Boston (Humble), Quentin Jammer (Bay City), Sammy Davis (Humble), Jesse Chatman (Houston), Kelvin Garmon (Fort Worth), Terrence Kiel (Lufkin), Terry Charles (Dallas), Tim Baker (Borger), Kevin Breedlove (Arlington), Michael Keathley (Arlington), LaMarcus McDonald (Waco) and Josh Norman (Midland).

Review

The Chargers head into this week's game looking for their first win of the preseason. Last Saturday night, the Chargers lost to Arizona, 16-10 at Qualcomm Stadium. The Texans are also looking to enter the win column for the first time. Houston fell to Dallas, 34-6, on Friday night at Texas Stadium.

The second-year expansion Houston Texans have struggled to an 0-2 start to begin preseason play. The Texans fell to the Dallas Cowboys, 34-6, last Friday night at Texas Stadium and lost to Denver, 20-12, in their preseason opener two weeks ago at Reliant Stadium.

NOTEWORTHY

•Drew Brees is third in the NFL in completion percentage (.706), having completed 12 of 17 for 82 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions.
Grant Mattos is tied for second in the NFL with two touchdown catches. Mattos has three catches for 73 yards. He caught a 13-yard touchdown pass against Seattle Aug. 9 and a 35-yarder against Arizona Sept. 16.
•San Diego is ranked first in the NFL in average yards per carry (5.1). The Chargers fleet of running backs including LaDainian Tomlinson, Jesse Chatman, Nick Maddox, Dahrran Diedrick, DeMarco McCleskey, Lorenzo Neal, Joey Goodspeed and Andrew Pinnock have carried the football 40 times for 204 yards.
•San Diego is ranked second in the NFL in pass defense, allowing 96.0 yards per game.

TEXANS AT A GLANCE

The NFL's newest franchise took the field for the first time in 2002 under the leadership of head coach Dom Capers. It's Capers second tour of duty with an NFL expansion franchise. He worked his magic with Carolina when it came into the league in 1995, leading the Panthers to a 7-9 mark in his first season, the most ever for an expansion franchise, and one season later in 1996, Capers guided Carolina to a 12-4 mark and an NFC West division title. He was 4-12 in 2002, his first season with the Texans.

"This is going to be a week where we will play our starters the most of any of the preseason games," Capers said. "We'll look forward to seeing what kind of improvement we can make this week in the Chargers game."

The Texans fortunes on offense rest on the right arm of quarterback David Carr, one of five finalists for NFL Rookie of the Year honors in 2002. In preseason action, Carr has completed 16 of 23 for 125 yards. He is coming off a stellar season in which he passed for 2,592 yards, the second-most ever for a rookie quarterback on an expansion team. Carr completed 233 of 444 with nine touchdowns and 15 interceptions, despite being sacked an NFL-record 76 times. Carr's favorite target last season was tight end Billy Miller who hauled down a team-leading 51 passes for 613 yards and three touchdowns. Wide receiver Corey Bradford led Houston with six touchdown catches.

Second-year back Jonathan Wells shouldered the load of the Texans running game as a rookie in 2002. He ranked third in the AFC among rookie running backs with 529 yards. Wells carried the football 197 times and scored three touchdowns.

On defense, linebacker Jay Foreman was the Texans leading tackler in 2002 with a career-high 193 stops. Cornerback Aaron Glenn earned his third-career Pro Bowl selection after leading the Texans with five interceptions.

"I'd like to see our starters play into the second half," Capers said. "How much depends on how the first half goes. Some of them that we feel we need to see a little bit more might play three quarters. That will vary from position to position."

-SD Bolt Report staff

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