C.J. Stroud's final pass of the preseason was a scoring strike.
The rookie quarterback played two series on Sunday evening in New Orleans. The first possession saw him hand off to Dameon Pierce for a short gain, and then throw just out of bounds for a pair of incompletions and the Texans punted.
But when Stroud came on the field for the next possession, he guided Houston quickly down the field.
"He did a really good job tonight," Head Coach DeMeco Ryans said. "He continued to progress. He had a good week. Last week versus Miami, and to come back out this week, I thought the ball placement, again, was very nice."
Pierce rumbled for a two-yard gain and then a six-yard pickup. Stroud found tight end Dalton Schultz for 13 yards to move the chains on third down.
Pierce went back to work, punishing New Orleans for 13 yards and then six yards.
On 2nd-and-Goal at the Saints' 3-yard line, Stroud zipped a pass to the left side of the end zone to connect with Nico Collins for a score. It was Stroud's first touchdown as a professional, and Ka'imi Fairbairn's extra point gave Houston a 7-0 advantage with 7:17 left in the first quarter.
"It was really cool to connect with Nico," Stroud said. "We work hard. Actually, we got that rep after practice on Friday like three or four times, just getting it down. So for it to pay off and for us to get a touchdown off of it was definitely cool to see."
Stroud completed 2-of-4 passes for 16 yards and a touchdown, finishing with a rating of 100.0. Pierce was also glad to see Stroud get the Texans into the end zone.
"You know it's going to boost his confidence up," Pierce said. "I'm just excited to see what he can do in terms of continuing to develop and continuing to build off tonight."
The Texans will return to practice on Wednesday at the Houston Methodist Training Center.