The Houston Texans ended their 12-quarter touchdown drought with three consecutive scoring drives in the fourth quarter in a lopsided 38-22 loss to the Los Angeles Rams at home.
"There's no moral victories in here, don't get me wrong, but to finish the way that we did, that gives us hope that ok we can do this," WR Brandin Cooks said. "But we just got to be more consistent, more disciplined and be better earlier."
The Texans struggled on offense and defense through three quarters, trailing 38-0 until a 22-0 run in the final quarter. Houston recorded 323yards on offense, outgaining the Rams 246-11 in the fourth quarter.
"I'm disappointed and I'm frustrated, but I'm not discouraged with this football team," Head Coach David Culley said "Simply because I saw at the end there that, first of all, they're not going to quit."
In his sixth start, QB Davis Mills completed 29-of-38 yards for 310 yards, two touchdowns, one interception and 106.2 passer rating. Cooks caught six passes for a team-high 83 yards and a touchdown. RB Scottie Phillips and TE Brevin Jordan were both active for the first time in 2021, with Jordan catching a touchdown pass in his debut.
DL Jonathan Greenard recorded a sack, his seventh of the season as well as a quarterback hit, tackle for loss and a pass defensed. DB Justin Reid led the team with 10 tackles (five solo).
QB Matthew Stafford completed 21-of-32 for 305 yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions and a 127.7 passer rating before backup John Wolford entered the game early in the fourth quarter. WR Cooper Kupp caught seven passes for 115 yards and a touchdown. RB Darrell Henderson had 14 carries for 90 yards and rushing touchdown plus a receiving score.
Stafford led three touchdown drives on five offensive series in the first half. The Texans defense came up with a big stop on fourth-and-goal on the Rams' second possession and held them to a field goal on the next series.
On the Texans following possession, Mills threw his lone interception of the game. His pass, intended for WR Danny Amendola, was picked off by ILB Ernest Jones who returned the ball 19 yards to the Houston 12-yard line. Four plays later, Stafford threw a two-yard touchdown pass to WR Robert Woods to give the Rams a 17-0 lead with 6:09 left in the second quarter.
After a one-yard touchdown run by Henderson, the Texans had 30 seconds to orchestrate their final drive of the first half. K Ka'imi Fairbairn missed a 45-yard field goal. Houston trailed 24-0 at halftime.
The Rams scored two more touchdowns in the third quarter. Stafford threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Kupp and Woods added a 16-yard touchdown run.
With a 38-0 lead, Stafford exited the game in the fourth quarter and the Texans offense ended its scoring drought.
The Texans scored on three consecutive drives in the fourth quarter, first on a one-yard run by RBRex Burkhead to cap off a 10-play, 60-yard drive.
"TK (Offensive Coordinator Tim Kelly) did a great job with the play calling there," Burkhead said. "We got a rhythm going. I think it was a 10-play drive there we scored on. We really moved the ball left, right, up the middle, run game established there early on. If we can do that, if we can maybe find something from those last few drives, hopefully we can do something going forward here."
On the following drive, Mills connected with Cooks on a 45-yard touchdown pass.
Houston attempted an onside kick, recovered by Chris Moore at midfield.
Mills threw a touchdown pass to Jordan and successfully converted a two-point conversion on a keeper. The Texans trailed 38-22 with 2:25 left in the game but their final drive of the game ended on an incomplete pass in the end zone.
The Texans fall to 1-7 on the season and will travel to Miami to face the Dolphins in Week 9.
The next time you can see the Texans at NRG Stadium will be on November 28 as they host the New York Jets in Week 12. Kickoff is set for noon CT. Click here for tickets.
Check out the best photos from the Houston Texans Week 8 matchup with the Los Angeles Rams.