Texans reach playoffs for first time since 2019, defeat Colts 23-19

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By journalsofus.com

The Texans have won a combined 11 games over the last three years under three head coaches, not counting the interim coach. They have 10 wins this season, and their first playoff berth since 2019.

Houston defeated Indianapolis 23-19 in a win-or-go-home game Saturday night.

If the Titans upset the Jaguars on Sunday, the Texans (10-7) can win the AFC South. The Colts fell to 9-8.

C.J. Stroud, the leading candidate for Offensive Rookie of the Year, threw two touchdown passes and led a decisive drive in the fourth quarter to lead the Texans to victory. He went 20 of 26 for 264 yards.

He threw a 75-yard touchdown to Nico Collins on the team’s first snap and a 1-yard touchdown to Andrew Beck in the final two minutes of the first half.

Collins caught nine passes for 195 yards, while six other players caught 11 passes for 69 yards. The Texans were missing their third, fourth and fifth leading receivers.

Stroud led the Texans on a 12-play, 73-yard scoring drive, with Devin Singletary scoring on a 3-yard run with 6:20 remaining. They recovered on second-and-20 after Ronnie Harrison Jr. sacked Stroud and first-and-20 after a holding penalty on Beck.

However, kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn missed the extra point down the left sideline, leaving the Texans defense on the spot.

The Colts were at the Houston 15 with 1:06 left and faced fourth-and-1. Instead of running back Jonathan Taylor, who had 30 carries for 188 yards and a touchdown, Shane Steichen opted to put the ball in the hands of Gardner Minshew. Running back Tyler Goodson was open, but the throw was a little behind him and he dropped it.

The Texans rushed three times and took a safety on the punt with one second left on the clock. The Colts gained only 7 yards on the free kick before Houston recovered Michael Pittman’s lateral attempt.

Taylor left briefly at the end of the third quarter with heel and ankle injuries but returned. He kept the Colts in the game, with Minshew struggling going 13-24 for 141 yards.

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