The Houston Texans beat the Dallas Cowboys 19-16 in front of the largest home crowd (72,008) in Texans’ history last Sunday night at NRG Stadium.
The Texans relied on their stars in overtime. The Cowboys had the first possession in overtime but decided to punt on fourth and one at the Texans’ 42 yard line. Starting at their 10-yard line, Houston moved the ball to the 24-yard line where Deshaun Watson hit DeAndre Hopkins for 49 yards, putting the ball at the Dallas 24 yard line.
“It was man-to-man and Deshaun (Watson) put the ball on the money, so I could catch it. (Bill) O’Brien called the perfect play to give me the opportunity to win the game,” Hopkins said.
“I mean that’s D-hop (Hopkins). He’s a playmaker. He’s one of the best – if not the best – receivers in the NFL, so we rely on him. In those situations, he came up big, and playmakers make plays whenever we need them,” Watson said. “That was a situation where we needed to make a play and I threw it up for him to make a play and he did what he had to do. He did a great job of getting us down there into field goal range and making sure that he protected the ball and he did what he did.”
Three plays later Ka’imi Fairbairn kicked a 36-yard field goal to give the Texans their second win of the season. Fairbairn also had field goals of 20, 21, and 19 yards.
“(We had) a lot of ups and downs, you know every game’s like that. You got to roll with the punches, you know I missed early. We were able to bounce back, and I’m glad we got the job done,” Fairbairn said.
Hopkins’ big catch and run made up for a fumble earlier in the game.
“Yeah, DeAndre’s a playmaker, he’s a great player, we’re always trying to get the ball in his hands. He came right up to me (after his fumble). He said, ‘I’ll make up for that.’ He came right up to me right after that play and he said, ‘Coach, I’ll make up for that’. Then, obviously he did,” Texans’ head coach Bill O’Brien said.
The Texans would not have found themselves in overtime if they had been able to score when they reached the 20 yard line, the red zone. For the game, they scored one touchdown out of the six times they were in the red zone. Even worse, they only scored one touchdown out of the five times when they had a first and goal situation.
“Yeah, it’s bad. We got to get better. It’s just we tried everything down there, nothing really worked. So, we got to go back as a coaching staff and look at it, players, everybody. We all have to look at it and see what we can do to be better, because we’re moving the ball. We move the ball pretty well, but when we get down in there, we got to score touchdowns. Once tonight, we came away with no points, twice, whatever. So, we got to get better there,” O’Brien said.
The Texans lone touchdown came in the second quarter when rookie receiver Keke Coutee caught a 1-yard pass from Watson.
For the game, Watson completed 33 of 44 attempts for 375 yards and a touchdown. His quarterback rating was 98.2 He also ran the ball 10 times for 40 yards.
The Houston defense held the Cowboys to 98 yards rushing and 194 yards passing. J.J. Watt had a sack, giving him six for the season. Justin Reid and Kareem Jackson each had an interception.
The Texans’ notched was their first regular season win over the Cowboys since their inaugural game 16 years ago. Both teams are now 2-3. The Texans play Buffalo on Sunday at noon at NRG Stadium.