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Game Recap: Texans fall 15-13 in Carolina



The Panthers won the opening coin toss, elected to defer, and they kicked off to the Texans to begin the game.

The Texans offense ran it twice with Dameon Pierce and got eight yards, then a C.J. Stroud pass was batted away on third down. Cameron Johnston boomed a 52-yard punt that pinned the Panthers deep in their own territory.

From there, the Texans defense went to work. Brian Cashman sacked Bryce Young for a loss of eight on first down, and Carolina was penalized for a hold the next play. On 3rd-and-19, Young completed a 5-yard pass, and the Panthers punted back to Houston.

Houston took over with a 1st-and-10 at the Panthers' 49-yard line. Stroud picked up the Texans first first down with a 12-yard scramble, but Devin Singletary was dropped for a loss of seven yards on the next play. Stroud's third down pass attempt was again batted down, and Johnston punted again. His second punt of the day was another beauty, as the Panthers fair caught it at their own 8-yard line.

Carolina answered with their first first down of the day, when Young found Raheem Blackshear for a pickup of 19. But on the next play, Will Anderson, Jr. dropped Chuba Hubbard for a loss of two yards. The Panthers had to punt again two plays later, and the Texans offense began its third possession of the day on the Houston 8-yard line.

Stroud quickly found Nico Collins for a pickup of 15 yards. A few plays later on 3rd-and-8, Stroud linked up with Mike Boone for a 12-yard gain. A couple plays later, Tank Dell ran for 11 yards on an end-around play. Singletary followed with a run of five yards on first down, and picked up another yard on the next play. On 3rd-and-4 at the Panthers' 42-yard line, Stroud went back to Collins for a completion of eight and a first down.

Boone then carried for a 5-yard gain. Pierce picked up a yard, and the Texans again were in a third down situation. Needing four yards at the Carolina 28-yard line, Stroud threw to Noah Brown. He got the needed four yards, and the Texans had themselves another first down.

A 3-yard pass on the next play to Dell saw the first quarter finish.

End of Q1: Texans 0-0 Panthers

View the best photos from the Week 8 matchup between the Houston Texans and Carolina Panthers.


When the second quarter resumed, Dell ran the ball was dropped for a loss of three yards. Stroud then found Brown over the middle for a 22-yard completion, and he was stopped at the 2-yard line.

On 1st-and-Goal from there, Pierce got the call, and at first glance, he bulled his way into the end zone over the left side. But the touchdown call was reviewed, and Pierce was ruled down at the 1-yard line. So on 2nd-and-Goal from inside the 1, Andrew Beck blasted in for the score. He promptly handed the ball to Pierce, who spiked it into the turf.

But the Carolina offense would go to work on the ensuing possession. Young and company would go 10 plays and pick up 64 yards, but the Texans defense stood tall in the red zone. They stonewalled the Panthers on 4th-and-Goal from at the 2-yard line, which gave the Texans offense the ball back with the turnover on downs.

That drive began with a Pierce carry for six, and then a completion to Dell for nine yards and a first down. But the offense stalled there, and Johnson blasted a 53-yard punt. Carolina took over with a 1st-and-10 at their own 40-yard line with 5:03 left in the half.

A defensive holding call against the Texans on third down negated an Anderson sack, and the Panthers ran for four yards on the next play. Then Young threw for completions of 13, 20 and nine yards. Coming out of the 2-minute warning, Carolina had a 1st-and-Goal at the 4-yard line. A holding penalty on a Chuba Hubbard run pushed them back 10 yards. On 1st -and-Goal from 14, Young connected with Adam Thielen for 10 yards. That brought up a 2nd-and-Goal at the 4, and Houston called timeout. After the short break, Young scrambled for a gain of 3 yards to set up 3rd-and-Goal at the 1-yard line. The Texans again called timeout. Following the stoppage, Young linked up for a short touchdown toss to tight end Tommy Tremble. Kicker Eddy Piñeiro missed the extra point try. Houston held a 7-6 lead with 1:35 remaining before the half.

But Stroud was sacked for a loss of 11 yards on first down, and Carolina burned a timeout that stopped the clock with 1:28 left in the second quarter.

Singletary then ran for a gain of 2 yards, and the Panthers used their second timeout of the half.

On 3rd-and-19 from the Houston 16-yard line, Stroud's completion to tight end Dalton Schultz resulted in a loss of four yards, and Carolina used it's final timeout of the half with 1:20 remaining.

End of Q2: Texans 7-6 Panthers


After the intermission, the Texans kicked off. A return to the Panthers' 23-yard line saw Young and the offense set up shop with a 1st-and-10. After an incompletion and a Hubbard gain of eight, the Panthers faced a 3rd-and-2 at their own 31. Young scrambled to the right side for three yards to keep the drive alive.

But Jalen Pitre and Khalil Davis sniffed out a run to the left side for a loss of four yards. On the next play, though, Young and Jonathan Mingo stung the Texans for a 40-yard completion to give Carolina a 1st-and-10 at the Texans' 30-yard line.

A run for no gain and an incompletion followed, and Carolina again faced third down. On 3rd-and-10 at the Houston 30-yard line, Young's pass completed for a pair of yards. Piñeiro drilled a 46-yard field goal to give the Panthers a 9-7 advantage with 10:46 remaining in the third quarter.

The Texans first possession of the second half started with a Singletary run for three. Then Stroud hit Beck over the middle for what would've been a gain of eight and a first down, but Xavier Woods stripped the ball, recovered it, and returned it five yards.

The Panthers had the ball at the Texans 27-yard line and ran for two on first down, then completed a pass for seven yards on second down. The Houston defense stuffed run up the middle on third down, and Carolina called Piñeiro's number again. The kicker delivered with a 37-yard field goal, and the Panthers lead grew to 12-7, with 7:58 left in the third quarter.

The next drive began with a 2-yard Pierce run and then an incompletion. On 3rd-and-8 from the Houston 27, Stroud completed a 9-yarder to Schultz for a first down.

A penalty gave the Texans a 1st-and-15 at their own 36-yard line. Pierce carried for four yards, and then followed it with a 16-yard rumble to the Carolina 49-yard line.

Stroud found Brown for a 31-yard completion, and then Singletary ran to the left side for nine yards. A completion to Collins for a yard gave Houston a 1st-and-Goal at the Carolina 8-yard line. Then Singletary ran up the middle for a 7-yard gain, and Houston was knocking on the door.

On 2nd-and-Goal, Beck was stopped for no gain, and Pierce was stopped at the line of scrimmage on 3rd-and-Goal.

Facing a 4th-and-Goal at the 1, Stroud called his own number and snuck it in to the right side for the score. The touchdown gave them back the lead, but the 2-point conversion attempt didn't work out. Stroud's pass to Schultz fell incomplete, and the Texans were up 13-12 with 0:35 left in the third quarter.

The Texans allowed a 52-yard kickoff return after the score, and then Cashman and Hasaan Ridgeway stopped Hubbard for a loss of three yards to close out the quarter.

Johnston then bombed a 74-yard punt from his own end zone, and the coverage unit converged to drop the Panthers at their own 19-yard line. It was the longest punt in franchise history, and the third one of the day to get downed inside the opponent's 20-yard line.

Young completed a trio of short passes to get back to the Carolina 31-yard line. The half ended when Jonathan Greenard and Maliek Collins sacked Young for a loss of eight yards.

End of Q3: Texans 13-12 Panthers


Houston's defense kept it going in the fourth quarter, allowing just a 5-yard completion to Thielen, and then getting a third down sack by Jonathan Greenard for a loss of 12 yards.

The Texans ground game went back to work following the 36-yard punt. Dell went to the left side and picked up seven yards. Singletary got the first down with a 4-yard carry, then followed it with a gain of a yard. Stroud fired incomplete over the middle on second down, and then a 6-yard pass to Collins forced the Texans to punt. After Johnston's 44-yarder was returned for four yards, the Panthers had a 1st-and-10 at their own 21-yard line with 10:36 left in the game.

Maliek Collins and Denzel Perryman got to Young again, sacking the rookie for a loss of nine. Unfortunately, Perryman was injured on the next play. When the game resumed, the Panthers faced a 3rd-and-13 at their own 18-yard line.

Collins was ready.

The veteran defensive tackle sacked Young again, this time for a loss of nine yards.

Dell returned the ensuing punt for 20 yards, and Houston had a 1st-and-10 at its own 48-yard line with less than nine minutes left in the game.

Rookie center Jarrett Patterson got injured on the next play, which was a 2-yard run by Pierce. He was replaced by Michael Deiter, and the Texans got a first down on the next play when Singletary caught a pass from Stroud and got 10 yards.

He then carried for five more, and an incompletion followed, with a delay of game after that. The 3rd-and-10 pass that followed fell incomplete to Dell.

Johnston's punt was downed at the Carolina 9-yard line, with 6:17 left in the game.

The Panthers picked up a first down when Young found Hubbard for 12 yards. Two penalties by the Houston defense helped Carolina move the ball to the 34-yard line, and the Panthers got 11 more yards when Young found Mingo.

But then Greenard struck again, sacking Young for a loss of nine yards and pushing the ball back to the Panthers' 36-yard line. It was the sixth sack of the day for the Texans defense.

A Young scramble got back seven yards, and on 3rd-and-12 from their own 43-yard line, the Panthers got 10 more yards with a completion to Thielen.

On 4th-and-2 at the Houston 47-yard line, Carolina converted it with a 3-yard pass to Thielen.

Then Young connected with Hubbard for a 14-yard completion to the Texans' 30-yard line. That wound the clock down to the 2-minute warning. Hubbard ran for four after the game started up, and Houston called a timeout with 1:55 left. Hubbard gained another four yards, and the Texans called another timeout.

On 3rd-and-2 at the Texans' 22-yard line, with 1:50 remaining, Hubbard picked up three more yards to get the first down. Houston called the final timeout it had, and Carolina had a fresh set of downs at the Texans' 19-yard line with 1:45 left in regulation. Another Hubbard run picked up a yard, and he was stopped for no gain on second down. Carolina called a timeout with 0:22 remaining, Young ran into the line, and Pitre, for a loss of two yards, and the Panthers called another timeout with three ticks left on the clock.

Piñeiro and the Panthers lined up for the game-winning 38-yard field goal, and Tavierre Thomas was flagged for an unnecessary roughness penalty that moved the kick 10 yards closer. He committed another penalty after that, and from there, it was a 23-yard try. Piñeiro connected and the Texans fell, 15-13.

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