Texans' Tom Savage: 'I'm 100 percent confident in myself'

"We moved the ball a little bit, but not good enough," Texans coach Bill O'Brien said of Tom Savage and the offense. "It's preseason. We've got to learn from it and we have to move on." Chris Graythen/Getty Images

NEW ORLEANS -- Even after the Houston Texans were shutout 13-0 by the New Orleans Saints on Saturday night, Tom Savage couldn't help but smile.

Savage and the offense struggled against the Saints, but as a whole this preseason, showed why he will be the Texans' starter to open the season. In three preseason games -- and nine series -- Savage was 27-of-36 for 246 yards. He threw one touchdown and did not throw an interception. The second game against the New England Patriots was Savage's best of the preseason and that, combined with the play of rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson, showed why the Texans' best course of action is to start Savage.

"I'm 100 percent confident in myself," Savage said. "I can't wait to get going [in the] regular season. Deep down inside ... I mean we just lost, but I'm smiling. I can't wait to get out there and play. Go out there with the guys and I know we're all itching [to play.]"

Savage took the blame for the poor offense on Saturday, saying, "We didn't score, so obviously that's on the quarterback," and Bill O'Brien added, "We didn't coach well and play well on offense tonight. We've got a lot of ground to make up there."

"A lot of times we kind of shot ourselves in the foot there with the penalties and stuff," Savage said. "The game's not meant to be second-and-15 and first-and-whatever. We've just got to execute the simple basic rules of an offense on first down."

Savage's performance this preseason came mostly without star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, and receivers Braxton Miller (ankle) and Will Fuller (broken collarbone). Hopkins is expected to start Week 1 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, but Houston will be out without wide receiver Jaelen Strong in the opener due to a suspension for a February 2016 arrest. On Saturday night, the Texans' starting receivers were two offseason additions: Bruce Ellington and Dres Anderson.

Savage said while it's tough not to have his usual starters on the field, "that's part of the preseason" and the group is still together to prepare mentally together.

"There's going to be injuries and the good thing is, they're at practice every day, we're watching film together, we're communicating," Savage said. "I'm showing them what I'm seeing on this, even though it's not them. That's the way this league is. There's going to be injuries and I think the guys are doing a good job of stepping up and making plays."

The Texans did not have an encouraging offensive performance on Saturday, but and O'Brien said the team has to get better in the regular season.

"We moved the ball a little bit, but not good enough," O'Brien said. "It's preseason. We've got to learn from it and we have to move on."