I have to be honest here, trying to write a post, let alone a post about how the Texans performed in the red zone, after a gut-wrenching loss like that is difficult. It's only that much harder when you take a look at just how many times they were in the red zone and you think, "That could have been a touchdown," or "They should've put it in the end zone there." But that's neither here nor there.
Going by the red zone numbers, you would think the Texans had another banner day. What numbers you ask? Well, that's a secret reserved only for you, me, and the rest of the English-speaking world, so long as nobody else clicks on the jump.
First Red Zone Drive
The first trip to the red zone came in the opening drive of the game. The Texans entered the red zone after an 11-yard run by Ben Tate got them to the Saints' 15-yard line with just under 11 minutes in the first quarter.
With the success that Tate had on the last run, Kubiak gave him the ball again, only to see Tate gain one yard, prompting a second-and-nine from the 14-yard line.
That's all it would take, it turned out, as Schaub launched a seven yard pass to Owen Daniels who scampered an additional seven yards into the end zone for the first score of the game.
Time Spent in Red Zone: :45
End Result: Owen Daniels Touchdown Reception!
Score: Houston 7 - New Orleans 0
Second Red Zone Drive
On the Texans' second drive of the day, they get to the red zone again. Once again it's propelled by another 11-yard run by Ben Tate. He seems to be pretty good at this whole running thing.
The Texans start their red zone drive at the Saints' 11-yard line when Tate got another run, this time a three yard charge to the Saints' eight-yard line.
Second down came and Schaub, trying to recreate the same results as the first drive, passed to Owen Daniels, only for it to fall incomplete.
The Texans decided to air it out again on third-and-eight, this time a pass complete to Andre Johnson who takes it four yards, four yards shy of a first down.
Neil Rackers then came out and successfully kicked a 22-yard field goal.
Time Spend in Red Zone: 1:34
End Result: 22-yard Neil Rackers Field Goal
Score: Houston 10 - New Orleans 0
Third Red Zone Drive
The Texans wouldn't find themselves in the red zone again until the middle of the second quarter. By this time the Saints had put some points on the board and it was starting to look like the shootout we'd all been expecting. Well, okay, I was expecting a defensive battle because I'm weird like that. But anyway, they got back into the red zone after a lovely 23-yard pass to Owen Daniels. This would land the Texans at first and goal from the Saints' nine-yard line.
The first play in the red zone was a pass to Jacoby Jones, one of only two times he was targeted today, which was completed for no gain.
The Texans took to the air again by trying to pass to Owen Daniels which fell incomplete.
They try passing again on third and goal from the nine, this time to Andre Johnson, which again falls incomplete.
Finally, on fourth down, the Texans settle...again...for a 27-yard field goal from Neil Rackers which was good.
Time Spent in Red Zone: :52
End Result: 27-yard Neil Rackers Field Goal
Score: Houston 13 - New Orleans 7
Fourth Red Zone Drive
Our fourth drive of the game came a lot sooner than expected, thanks in no small part to a Johnathan Joseph interception. The Texans got into the red zone with another monster run by Ben Tate for 19 yards.
The Texans had a first-and-10 from the Saints' 14-yard line, and started the red zone drive with another Ben Tate run for, unfortunately, no gain.
This didn't sit well with Tate, apparently, because on second-and-10, Tate ran the ball again, this time for a five yard gain to the Saints' nine.
Then on third-and-five, the Texans air the ball out to Owen Daniels which falls incomplete. Which means...yep, you guessed it...
In came Neil Rackers to knock through another 27-yard field goal.
Time Spent in Red Zone: :56
End Result: 27-yard Neil Rackers Field Goal
Score: Houston 16 - New Orleans 10
Fifth Red Zone Drive
Our fifth drive within the 20-yard line comes, not surprisingly, thanks to another excellent run from Ben "Particles" Tate, who took the ball eight yards to the Saints' 17-yard line.
On second-and-two, the Texans decide to throw all logic out the window and let Steve Slaton run the ball. No, I still don't know why either. As you would expect from a run by Steve Fumblina Slaton, he lost a yard on the play, setting up third-and-nine for the Texans.
Finally seeing the light, the offense decides to throw to Andre Johnson again, unfortunately, this pass falls incomplete setting up...say it with me, kids!
...A 36-yard field goal attempt by Neil Rackers! Who didn't see that coming?!
Time Spent in Red Zone: :50
End Result: 36-yard Neil Rackers Field Goal
Score: Houston 19 - New Orleans 17
Sixth Red Zone Drive
Our last trip into the red zone comes after Schaub completes a 10-yard pass to Kevin Walter, who is, in fact, still playing for the Texans, and gets them to the Saints' 20-yard line.
The only play of this drive is probably one of the greatest catches I've ever seen, and certainly the best I've ever seen in the history of Texans football. I can't even begin to do this catch justice, so I'll put a link here so everyone can relive it, again and again as often as they want, and simply say that Kevin Walter completes a 20-yard touchdown pass from Matt Schaub.
Time Spent in Red Zone: :05
End Result: Awesomeness in the form of a 20-yard Kevin Walter Touchdown Reception!
Score: Houston 33 - New Orleans 32
Number of Trips in Red Zone: 6
Total Amount of Time in Red Zone: 5:02
Average Amount of Time in Red Zone: :50
Red Zone Efficiency: 6/6 (100%)
Scores in Red Zone: 2 TD (Daniels, Walter) 4 FG (22, 27, 27, 36)