The starters played a half in the third preseason game, but the Houston Texans were outscored 10-3 in the second half and lost 34-27 in New Orleans on Saturday night.

QB Matt Schaub played well -- 15 of 18 for 194 yards and a touchdown. More important, Schaub continues to show no ill effects from the foot injury that cost him the final eight games of last season.

Schaub completed 11 of his first 12 attempts as the offense had little trouble moving the ball in the first half, gaining 245 yards by halftime. The offense had to punt just once in the first half, but three other possessions were ended by fumbles.

WR Trindon Holliday has eventful night: Holliday has made a big splash this preseason with his kick returns. But Saturday night in New Orleans was a bit of an adventure.

Holliday fumbled a kickoff in the first quarter, and it was returned 16 yards for a touchdown by Saints LB Junior Galette. In the second quarter, Holliday atoned for his mistake with a 64-yard kickoff return. On a second-quarter punt, Holliday bobbled the ball but then secured it.

Coach Gary Kubiak has said all preseason that Holliday would need to be special to make the team strictly as a return man. The ball security issues are troubling, but Holliday should still feel good about his chances of making the team.

This from Nick Scurfield of

Field-goal kicking battle continues: The field-goal kicking battle in Houston has been tightly contested, and Saturday’s game in New Orleans didn't do much to create any separation between rookie Randy Bullock and veteran Shayne Graham.

Bullock made a 33-yard attempt in the second quarter and converted all three of his extra-point attempts. Graham made a 53-yard field goal in the fourth quarter. This battle will continue through the team’s last preseason game.

Rookie WR Keshawn Martin fumbles twice: Martin caught a 10-yard touchdown pass from Schaub in the first quarter but also fumbled twice in the first half. The first came on a 2-yard catch when he was fighting for extra yards. The second was on a reverse.

Martin has been battling WRs Lestar Jean and DeVier Posey for the No. 3 WR position. Martin ended the game with two catches for 12 yards and a touchdown. Jean had one catch for 19 yards, and Posey still hasn't caught a pass in the preseason.

WR Andre Johnson and C Chris Myers leave early: Johnson and Myers left the game in the second quarter for health reasons. Kubiak told SportsRadio 610 during halftime that Johnson fell on the ball and the team didn’t want to take any chances. Kubiak said that Myers wasn’t feeling well before the game.

This from the team's Twitter page:

Quick Hits

  • TE Garrett Graham continued his impressive preseason with four catches for 97 yards. Schaub found Graham wide open down the middle for a 26-yard gain on the team’s opening drive, which set up the team’s first touchdown.
  • Derek Newton got the start at RT over Rashad Butler. Newton played the first two series before Butler came in. Kubiak has said that he might rotate both players in the regular season.
  • Rookie LB Whitney Mercilus had a sack in the second half. Mercilus, the team’s first-round draft pick, has 2.5 sacks in the Texans' three preseason games.
  • LB Brian Cushing didn't make the trip to New Orleans. Cushing continues to recover from a rib injury he suffered against San Francisco in the Texans' second preseason game.

Follow Texans blogger Sean Bielawski on Twitter, @CBSSportsNFLHOU.