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"Next week is really big for us": Texans already focused on Tampa Bay | Up Next...


During Sunday's 15-13 loss at Carolina, aside from a 10-minute stretch in the third quarter, the Texans actually were tied with or led the Panthers for nearly the rest of the 50 minutes. But an Eddy Piñeiro 23-yard field goal as time expired delivered the Panthers a win, and Houston had to fly home with its fourth loss of 2023.

Being close was nice, but getting the win was more important. But don't expect the Texans to sulk and feel sorry for themselves.

"What's the point of holding your head down?," quarterback C.J. Stroud said. "Of course you're not happy about it, but we're not that type of team that's just going to tuck our shell and not have swag and confidence no more just because we took a L."

Stroud engineered a pair of touchdown drives, one in the second quarter and another in the third. He completed 16-of-24 passes for 140 yards and is already focused on improving in time for the visiting Buccaneers this Sunday.

"We showed our potential and we're going to keep doing it," Stroud said. "I think next week is really big for us. "We have Tampa Bay and that's a really good defense and a good challenge for us. And we got to go back to work and practice really good."

Head Coach DeMeco Ryans, like his rookie signal-caller, was already looking ahead to getting better.

"Hate to lose," Ryans said. "But what can we learn from it? It happened. They won the game. It's over. How can we grow from this loss?"

Defensive lineman Maliek Collins rang up a pair of sacks, a tackle for loss and seven tackles in all. But he's eager to get back at it and get better in the process.

"We just have to go right back to work," Collins said. "You go in there and you take your medicine on Monday. You look at the tape and come right back to work. I don't think that's going to be an issue. I think everybody in this locker room is resilient. I think everybody knows their potential and how good we can be. I think everybody will come back with that mentality."

The Texans are now 3-4 in 2023 and will host Tampa Bay on Sunday at noon inside NRG Stadium.

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