Wil Lutz kicked a 58-yard field goal as time expired as the host New Orleans Saints defeated the Houston Texans 30-28 in a wild season opener Monday night.
Lutz's kick came just moments after Deshaun Watson drove the Texans 75 yards in two plays, the second play a 37-yard pass play to wide receiver Kenny Stills to tie the game at 27-27 with 37 seconds left. Houston kicker Ka'imi Fairbairn initially missed the extra point, but Saints rookie C.J. Gardner-Johnson roughed Fairbairn, and the kicker converted on his second try to give the Texans the lead.
Starting from his own 25, Saints quarterback Drew Brees then completed three passes for 35 yards, and the Saints called their final timeout with two seconds left, bringing on Lutz, who had missed a 56-yarder on the final play of the first half.
Lutz connected on field goals of 32 and 47 yards as the Saints won their opener for the first time in six seasons.
The Texans' go-ahead drive began with 50 seconds left as Watson, who ran 21 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter, connected with DeAndre Hopkins for a 38-yard gain to the Saints 37-yard line. Watson then connected with Stills, a former Saint who was acquired just a week earlier in a trade with Miami, for a touchdown.
With the Saints trailing 21-10, Brees threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Taysom Hill late in the third quarter and a 14-yarder to Tre'Quan Smith on the first play of the fourth quarter for a 24-21 lead.
Brees completed 32 of 43 passes for 370 yards after throwing a red-zone interception in the first half, which saw Houston build a 14-3 halftime lead.
Watson connected with Hopkins on scoring passes of 2 and 16 yards as he completed 20 of 30 for 268 yards. Hopkins finished with eight catches for 111 yards. The Saints' Michael Thomas caught 10 passes for 123 yards, and teammate Ted Ginn Jr. had seven receptions for 101 yards.
Latavius Murray ran 30 yards for a touchdown on the Saints' first possession of the third quarter to close New Orleans within 14-10.
The Texans responded on the ensuing possession as Watson threw the 16-yarder to Hopkins.
The Saints' Alvin Kamara finished with 97 yards on 13 carries, while Carlos Hyde led Texans rushers with 83 yards on 10 carries.
--Field Level Media