SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Colin Kaepernick completed six straight passes in his third series of the game and connected on a 5-yard-touchdown toss to Quinton Patton, and Lavelle Hawkins returned a kickoff 105 yards for a score late in the second quarter in San Francisco's 34-14 preseason victory over Minnesota on Sunday night.
Kaepernick began the game 1 for 7, then converted his next six pass attempts - including four in a row of 10 or more yards - and finished 7 for 13 for 72 yards.
Reigning NFL MVP Adrian Peterson didn't touch the ball in one series of action for Minnesota, making his preseason debut as he begins a year in which he will try to become the first player with consecutive 2,000-yard rushing seasons. Still, quarterback Christian Ponder made important strides for Minnesota's offense, throwing a pair of touchdown passes while playing three quarters. He went 17 of 23 for 116 yards, a step up after two unimpressive outings and a 28.3 passer rating in his first two exhibition games.
San Francisco improved to 2-1, amd Minnesota dropped to 0-3.
SAINTS 31, TEXANS 23
HOUSTON (AP) - Houston's Andre Johnson had 131 yards receiving before halftime in his first extended work of the preseason, and New Orleans' backups scored two touchdowns in the second half to help the Saints rally.
Johnson didn't play in the preseason opener and had less than a quarter of work last week. On Sunday, he grabbed seven of the eight passes thrown to him, highlighted by a 39-yard reception.
Matt Schaub threw for 213 yards for Houston (2-1), and Ben Tate had 74 yards rushing and a score filling in for Arian Foster.
Drew Brees threw for 104 yards and a touchdown for New Orleans (3-0) before sitting out after the third possession. With Marques Colston still out with a left foot injury, rookie fifth-round pick Kenny Stills continued to impress with 54 yards receiving and a touchdown.