The Houston Texans dropped their home opener to the Indianapolis Colts 31-20. The Texans offense moved the ball well in the second half but couldn't catch up after the Colts jumped out to an early lead.
The Colts took an early two-touchdown lead after a pair of touchdown runs by QB Anthony Richardson.
On the opening drive, Richardson scored on an 18-yard touchdown run on the opening series to give the Colts a 7-0 lead with 10:44 left in the first quarter. Richardson completed 5-of-6 for 50 yards and rushed twice for 20 yards on the 10-play, 75-yard scoring drive.
The Texans first offensive series ended in a strip sack for a fumble recovered by Colts DE Kwity Paye at the Houston 15-yard line. Richardson scored his second rushing touchdown in as many series on the next play. The Colts led 14-0 with 9:13 left in the first quarter.
Stroud came on the next possession, throwing a 28-yard pass to Nico Collins followed by a nine-yard completion to Tank Dell to get the Texans to the Colts 25-yard line. On fourth-and-1, Dare Ogunbowale's run extended the drive. C.J. Stroud threw his first career touchdown on an eight-yard pass to Collins. The Texans cut the Colts' lead in half after the 13-play, 68-yard scoring drive.
END OF FIRST QUARTER: Colts 14, Texans 7
On the Colts second possession, QB Gardner Minshew entered the game with Richardson out with a concussion. Minshew connected with TE Will Mallory for a long 43-yard gain. The Colts scored their third rushing touchdown of the day, this time on an 11-yard Zack Moss run. Indianapolis took 21-7 lead with 9:43 left in the second quarter.
After the kickoff, Stroud threw a 24-yard pass to Collins to start the drive. On third-and-8, Robert Woods made a 19-yard catch along the sideline for a first down inside the redzone. Ka'imi Fairbairn kicked a 29-yard field goal to end the nine-play, 64-yard drive. The Texans trailed 21-10 with 4:25 left in the second quarter.
The Colts responded with another scoring drive. Minshew connected with Mallory and then Michael Pittman, for a first down inside the redzone. After his pass to WR Josh Downs for a first down at the one-yard line, Minshew threw a one-yard touchdown pass to TE Kylen Granson with 10 seconds remaining in the half.
HALFTIME: Colts 28, Texans 10
The Colts pulled away with a 42-yard field goal to extend their lead to a 21-point lead with 5:50 left in the third quarter.
On the next drive, Stroud converted first down passes to Robert Woods, Collins and Dell. Dameon Pierce added a nine-yard catch and the Texans looked to score with a first-and-goal from the two-yard line.
END OF THIRD QUARTER: Colts 31, Texans 10
A two-yard touchdown pass to Tank Dell was nullified by an offensive holding call. After a sack on Stroud on the next play, the Texans opted to kick a 36-yard field goal. Houston trailed 31-13 with 13:24 left in the third quarter.
A 25-yard catch-and-run by Robert Woods plus a 16-yard gain by TE Brevin Jordan set up a second touchdown drive for Houston. On the next play, Stroud connected with Dell for the rookie wide receiver's first career touchdown, a 23-yard catch. The Texans trailed 31-20 after the five-play, 67-yard drive that lasted just 1:41.
The Texans now head to Jacksonville next Sunday for a showdown with the Jaguars at 12:00 p.m. CT on Sunday, September 24.