Houston Texans thrilling victory over Colts just the beginning

TEXANS ON TAP

Rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud and the Houston Texans wrapped up a playoff spot with a 23-19 victory over the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday night, with Devin Singletary scoring the go-ahead touchdown on a 3-yard run with 6:20 left.

The Texans (10-7) are going to the postseason for the first time since 2019. They won seven of their final 10 games and still could win the AFC South if Jacksonville loses at Tennessee on Sunday.

Indianapolis (9-8) was eliminated from the playoff chase with its third loss in five weeks. It hasn’t made the postseason since 2020.

Stroud was 20 of 26 with 264 yards and two touchdowns. Nico Collins had nine catches for 195 yards and a score, and Singletary had 64 yards on 24 carries.

The Colts had a late fourth-and-1 play from the Houston 15. But a wide-open Tyler Goodson dropped Gardner Minshew's pass, ending the Colts' hopes.

The loss ruined Jonathan Taylor's best game of the season. He rushed 30 times for 188 yards and a TD. Minshew was 13 of 24 for 141 yards.

It was an odd game that started with Stroud's 75-yard TD pass to Collins on the Texans' first play from scrimmage and included an extended third quarter and a do-over play in the second half.

But after Taylor’s 49-yard TD run and a nifty 2-point conversion with Minshew faking a handoff before backing up and floating a pass to Mo Alie-Cox early in the third quarter, the game swung on Colts coach Shane Steichen gambling on Matt Gay's 57-yard field goal that hit the right upright.

Houston quickly moved into scoring position and took a 17-14 lead on Ka’imi Fairbairn’s 51-yarder with 3:29 to go in the third.

Indy tied it on Gay’s 35-yard field goal on the ensuing drive, but Stroud responded with a 12-play, 73-yard drive that took more than seven minutes off the clock and ended with Singletary’s 3-yard TD run.

STRANGE NIGHT

The Colts thought they would open the fourth quarter facing third-and-1 from the Houston 24, but Steichen challenged the call. When the challenge resulted in a first down, the refs put 45 seconds back on the clock and the players, who had just changed ends, had down field again for one more play to finish the third quarter. Then they changed ends again after the play.

UP NEXT

Texans: Will wait to see if Jacksonville wins or loses before finding out who and where it plays next weekend.

Colts: Head into the offseason looking to take another big step forward next season.

Check out the video above as we react to the Texans big win and much more!

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Raners defeat the Astros, 4-2. Composite Getty Image.

Josh Smith homered twice with four RBIs to lead the Texas Rangers to a 4-2 win over the Houston Astros on Sunday.

Smith had a two-run shot in the first and added another one with two outs in the eighth to push the lead to 4-1. It’s the first multi-homer game of the 26-year-old’s career.

The Rangers won the last two games of the series after dropping Friday’s opener 6-3. They also got a 2-1 victory Saturday thanks to Nathaniel Lowe’s RBI single in the 10th inning.

Jake Meyers cut the lead to 1 with a solo home run in the third but the Astros went 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position to fall to 50-46 entering the All-Star break.

Texas starter Max Scherzer allowed four hits and a run with six strikeouts in four-plus innings in his fifth start of the season.

Jon Singleton walked before a single by Jeremy Peña with no outs in the ninth. There was one out in the inning when Singleton scored on a groundout by Joey Loperfido to cut the lead to 4-2. Trey Cabbage grounded out to end it and give Kirby Yates his 16th save.

Ronel Blanco (9-4) permitted two hits and two runs with five strikeouts in six innings. He settled down after his tough first inning and retired the last 12 batters he faced.

Marcus Semien singled to start the game but was out at second when Corey Seager grounded into a foreceout. Smith gave the Rangers an early lead with his towering shot to the second deck to make it 2-0.

Meyers opened Houston’s third with a shot to the seats in left field to cut the lead to 2-1. Jose Altuve singled with two outs and stole second base but Scherzer struck out Alex Bregman for the third out.

The Astros had a shot to tie it or take the lead in the fifth. Peña and Meyers both singled before Loperfido walked to load the bases with no outs in the inning and chase Scherzer. Josh Sborz (2-0) took over and escaped the jam by striking out Mauricio Dubón before retiring Altuve on a pop up and Bregman on a groundout to end the inning.

Seager walked with two outs in the eighth before Smith connected again to give him 10 home runs this season.

Altuve reached on a fielding error by Smith with one out in the eighth before Bregman singled off José Leclerc. Jacob Latz took over and struck out Yordan Alvarez before Yainer Diaz grounded out to leave Houston emptyhanded again.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rangers: 3B Josh Jung (fractured right wrist) swung 15 times off a tee using a regular bat Sunday. Manager Bruce Bochy said he would continue increasing his activity during the break as he nears a rehabilitation assignment.

Astros: RHP Justin Verlander (neck discomfort) threw a bullpen session of 25 pitches Sunday. Manager Joe Espada said he looked “really good” and would throw another bullpen session during the break.

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