.

For the first time this preseason, Zach Hocker opened the Texans game by taking the opening kicks ahead of Dustin Hopkins.

And Hocker didn’t disappoint.

The Arkansas product belted kicks of 28 yards and 53 yards through the uprights, and he put all of his kickoffs into — or out of — the end zone for touchbacks.

Hopkins took the kickoffs in the second half, but he didn’t get a field goal opportunity, the same thing that happened in the Saints’ preseason opener in Baltimore.

But the competition remains wide-open.

“I’d say it’s close,” Saints coach Sean Payton said. “It was good to see Hocker hit the long one, but it’s close. I said this last week, we are hoping that there is an easy separation and there hasn’t been.”