"It's a humbling game," Kubiak said. "You can walk out of the stadium one week and feel good about yourself. And then walk out the next week and wonder what the heck is going on. We got pushed around. We have to play better than that up front in order to be successful."
The only good thing the team could say about the loss is that it was an exhibition. And what a poor exhibition of football it was — and that includes offense, defense and special teams. The players quickly admitted their frustration immediately after the game ended.
"We take too much pride in what we do to go out and perform the way we did today," linebacker DeMeco Ryans said. "That's not who we are. That's not the identity that we want to set for ourselves as the Houston Texans defense. We have to go out and show it and not just talk about it. Game day is our chance to prove that we are better on defense, but we have to go out and be better."
The Saints spotted the Texans a 7-0 lead when Matt Schaub threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to David Anderson. The Saints reeled off 17 consecutive points for a 17-7 halftime lead.
When backup quarterback Dan Orlovsky threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Andre Davis to pull within 17-14, the Texans were back in it. But as soon as they pulled within three, they trailed by 10 again.
Rod Harper returned a punt 79 yards for a touchdown that boosted the lead to 24-14, and the rout was on.
"It was little stuff that turned into big stuff," defensive end Mario Williams said. "It was all on us as players. It wasn't anything that was scheme-wise that was wrong. We were just in the wrong place."
The run defense was horrible from the first team on down. They have now allowed their first two opponents to have 100-yard rushers, and it won't get any easier when Adrian Peterson arrives with the Minnesota Vikings for a clash on "Monday Night Football" next week.
"We didn't come out and run the ball like we should against some of their defenses," quarterback Matt Schaub said. "And they ran the ball on our defense more than we'd like to give up. We have to clean it up and stand up and say, ‘We're not going to let that happen.'"
"I see it as a preseason game," he said. "We'll go back and evaluate and see what we have to work on. We've got a new defensive coordinator, other new coaches and a lot of new things are being tried out there. I'm not going to be disturbed about it. I think we're going to correct those things."
"Those two players (Richardson and S John Busing) played somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 plays," coach Gary Kubiak said. "So, not only from our perspective as the Texans, but around this league, they get on film a lot, and it's an excellent opportunity for both of them."
Richardson finished the game with a team-high eight tackles, a big step in the right direction for making the team, and he'll make his home debut tonight against the Saints. For many Texans, the first game at Reliant doesn't mean much, but Richardson grew up in Marlin, about three hours northwest of Houston.
BATTLE OF THE WEEK: WR Jacoby Jones had three catches for 24 yards against the Saints. He is working hard in practice to show his consistency and maturity. Jones is in a critical third season, and he's trying to fend off Darnell Jenkins, Mark Simmons and Glenn Martinez. Jones has the talent, but he has been hampered in the past with dropped balls and bobbled returns. Ideally, he will be a return man for the team, but he's still trying to regain the team's trust in him after struggling so much last year in that department. He still has an edge to be the team's No. 5 receiver.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Rookie Connor Barwin has a lot of focus on him now that LB Brian Cushing is out for an extended period of time with a knee injury. Barwin played well in the first preseason game for the Texans. He's still working on making sure he knows all of the plays and his assignments, but his skills are already shining through. "Yeah, he's very athletic," Kubiak said. "He missed a special team which cost us a timeout, we had a little issue with some of that stuff there in the second half, but very athletic. Of course he had one big sack and he almost picked a pass off one time, so he's got a chance to help this football team." that he will be out for awhile.