Stroud has 5 TDs and rookie-record 470 yards passing to lift Texans past Bucs 39-37


HOUSTON (AP) — Rookie C.J. Stroud threw for five touchdowns and a rookie-record 470 yards to lift Houston Texans to a 39-37 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a wild back-and-forth game on Sunday.

Baker Mayfield put the Buccaneers on top with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Cade Otton with 46 seconds left.

But the Texans (4-4) drove down the field and Stroud found Tank Dell in the end zone with 6 seconds left to give the Texans the lead.

Stroud kneeled instead of attempting the 2-point conversion with kicker Kaʻimi Fairbairn out with a quadriceps injury. The Buccaneers fumbled on the final play to give Houston the victory.

A 26-yard reception by Dell, who had 114 yards receiving, got the Texans within striking distance before Stroud found Dell again to complete the come-from-behind victory.

He helped carry Houston’s offense on a day when running back Dameon Pierce sat out with an ankle injury and the Texans managed just 53 yards rushing.

Noah Brown had six catches for 153 yards and a touchdown and Dalton Schultz added 10 catches for 130 yards and a touchdown for the Texans.

Mayfield threw for 265 yards and two touchdowns and the Buccaneers (3-5) dropped their fourth straight game.

Stroud led the Texans to touchdowns on their first three possessions of the second half to put them on top 30-23.

The Bucs tied it on a 1-yard run by Rachaad White before running back Dare Ogunbowale nailed a tiebreaking 29-yard field goal to put Houston on top 33-30 with about nine minutes to go. He handled the kickoff duties in the second half with kicker Kaʻimi Fairbairn out with a quadriceps injury. But Houston went for 2 on each of its three second-half touchdowns, before Ogunbowale made the big field goal.

He’s the first non-kicker or punter to make a field goal since Wes Welker did it on Oct. 10, 2004, for the Dolphins against New England.

Tampa Bay extended its lead to 20-10 on a 49-yard field goal by Chase McLaughlin early in the third quarter.

Brown took a short pass from Stroud and dashed 75 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the next drive to cut the lead. The Texans attempted a 2-point conversion with Fairbairn out. But Stroud was intercepted by Joe Tryon-Shoyinka leave the Bucs up 20-16.

McLaughlin added a 55-yard field goal to push it to 23-16 with 9½ minutes left in the third.

Schultz caught a 26-yard pass on third-and-11 to extend Houston’s next possession. Stroud then hit Dell in the corner of the end zone for a 29-yard TD that cut the lead to 23-22. The 2-point conversion failed when Stroud’s throw to Dell fell short.

Schultz grabbed a 9-yard pass for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter and Stroud ran for the 2-point conversion to put the Texans up 30-23 before White’s fourth-quarter score. A 53-yard reception by Mike Evans set up that score.

The Texans took a 7-3 lead when Stroud connected with Nico Collins on a 14-yard score with about nine minutes left in the first quarter.

Mayfield connected with Otton on a 3-yard TD pass to put Tampa Bay on top 10-7.

Mayfield threw a 9-yard pass to White on third down to get the Buccaneers to the 1. White waltzed into the end zone on the next play to push the lead to 17-7 with about nine minutes until halftime.

The Texans cut the lead to 17-10 on a 50-yard field goal by Fairbairn with five minutes left in the second quarter.

Schultz fumbled after a reception on Houston’s first drive, and it was recovered Antoine Winfield Jr. on the Houston 42. The Buccaneers took a 3-0 lead on a 35-yard field goal by McLaughlin.


Buccaneers: CB Jamel Dean left in the first quarter with a concussion. … DB Josh Hayes left in the third quarter to be evaluated for a concussion. … Houston S M.J. Stewart injured a shoulder in the second quarter. … DT Hassan Ridgeway left in the third with an ankle injury. … LB Jake Hansen injured his hand in the third. … WR John Metchie left in the second half with a rib injury.


Bucanneers: Host Tennessee next Sunday.

Texans: Visit Bengals next Sunday.



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