In their first road game of the regular season, the Houston Texans fell 16-9 to the Denver Broncos. The Texans held onto a 9-6 lead, but Russell Wilson and Denver's offense pulled away in the fourth quarter with a 10-0 run to victory.
"We had a lead in the second half," Head Coach Lovie Smith said. "Got to be able to finish it as much as anything and everybody is involved in that. Yeah the offense is, but the defense is too. The defensive guys can talk about some of the runs late, we didn't tackle as well as we needed to at the end. Got to be able to take the ball away more than that."
Davis Mills completed 19-of-38 for 177 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions. In his second start, RB Dameon Pierce rushed for a career-high 69 yards on 15 carries. Nico Collins recorded a team-high 58 yards receiving on four catches. The Texans offense was just 2-of-13 on third-down conversions and 1-of-3 in the redzone.
"We need more from Davis but it starts up front first," Smith said. "Davis having more time, run game being a little more productive, opening up some of the passing lanes. It's all of the above."
Houston's defense recorded Wilson's first interception as a Bronco and added 2.0 sacks, seven quarterback hits, five tackles for loss and six passes defensed. Jonathan Owens led the defense with 10 tackles. In his Texans debut, DL Rasheem Green recorded 1.5 sacks, five tackles, two quarterback hits and one tackle for loss.
Wilson was 14-of-31 for 219 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Courtland Sutton had seven catches for 122 yards. WR Jerry Jeudy left the game in the first quarter with a shoulder injury and did not return.
Neither team was able to find the endzone through the first three quarters of the game. In Wilson's first home game in the Mile High City, the Texans defense held the Broncos to a pair of field goals in their first two trips to the red zone.
In the third quarter, LB Christian Kirksey picked off Wilson's pass, intended for WR Courtland Sutton. Fairbairn's 24-yard field goal gave Houston a 9-6 lead.
Denver had a chance to tie the game with a 54-yard attempt, but a delay of game resulted in a punt instead. On his first play of the fourth quarter, Wilson found Sutton for a 35-yard reception on third-and-16.
"There were some critical moments, especially late, third-and-16 until that play, we had a favorable position and we let them out on the drive that they scored," Smith said. "Disappointing drive."
Three plays later, Wilson threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to TE Eric Saubert. Denver took a 13-9 lead with 12:37 left in the game. A 50-yard field goal on Denver's next possession extended the Broncos lead to a touchdown.
Houston's offense had two more possessions to score, but both resulted in a turnover on downs. With the loss, the Texans fall to 0-1-1 on the season. The Texans travel to Chicago to face the Bears in Week 3.
The Texans will host the Chargers on October 2nd at NRG Stadium. Kickoff is set for noon CT on CBS and SportsRadio 610.
Browse photos from the Texans, Broncos Week 2 matchup.