The Houston Texans dropped their eighth-consecutive game, losing 17-9 to the Miami Dolphins on the road.
"It hurts losing in a close game like that," DL Jordan Jenkins said. "You know, we were in it until the end. We had some great momentum shifts throughout the game."
The teams committed a combined nine turnovers, with five by Miami and four by Houston. The Texans were able to score just six points off those five takeaways (two interceptions, three fumble recoveries). The Dolphins scored 14 points off three interceptions and one fumble recovery.
"Very poor on offense," Head Coach David Culley said. "Our job on offense is to protect the football. Our job for our quarterback is to protect the football. We didn't do that today and when you do that, you get these results."
After missing six games with a hamstring injury, QB Tyrod Taylor struggled in his return. Taylor completed 24-of-43 for 240 yards, no touchdowns, three interceptions and was sacked five times. Culley said the performance was "uncharacteristic" of Taylor.
"Just bad decisions on my end," Taylor said. "Definitely something I have to be better at to give us opportunity to win games. Especially on the road, turnovers are critical."
WR Brandin Cooks finished with a team-high six catches for 56 yards. The Texans outgained the Dolphins with 272 net yards (73 yards rushing, 199 passing) but were 0-of-4 in the red zone. K Ka'imi Fairbairn was the lone scorer for Houston, making all three field goals in the loss.
The Texans defense held the Dolphins offense to just 262 yards of offenses and finished with four sacks. Jenkins, who had 1.5 sacks, also recorded three quarterback hits and two tackles for loss. LB Neville Hewitt finished with a team-high nine tackles with LB Christian Kirksey placed on Reserve/Injured. QB Jacoby Brissett started under center for the Dolphins with QB Tua Tagovailoa dealing with a fractured finger. Brissett completed 26-of-43 for 244 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.
Houston's defense forced a three-and-out on Miami's opening drive, but the Texans' first possession ended in a turnover. Taylor led an eight-play drive down to the Miami 16-yard line before throwing his first interception of the season on deep ball intended for Cooks.
Brissett led a 12-play, 80-yard drive that ended in a six-yard touchdown run by RB Myles Gaskin to give Miami an early 7-0 lead.
The Texans defense forced a takeaway on back-to-back Miami possessions but came away with just three points. After DB Eric Murray picked off Brissett on the Dolphins' third drive, LB Kamu Grugier-Hill punched the ball out of Gaskin's hands. DL Roy Lopez recovered the fumble at the Miami 33-yard line. Fairbairn kicked a 31-yard field goal after a seven-play, 20-yard drive.
Houston scored again after a third takeaway, this time on Dolphins fumbled punt return. DB A.J. Moore forced the fumble and LB Kevin Pierre-Louis recovered at the Miami 23-yard line. Fairbairn added a 40-yard field goal with 4:32 left in the second quarter. The Texans trailed the Dolphins 7-6.
Taylor had his second pass picked off when he tried to throw the ball away. With his feet still in bounds, Taylor's pass was intercepted by LB Jerome Baker. Brissett turned the takeaway into a score, connecting with WR Mack Hollins on a five-yard touchdown.
The Texans headed into halftime trailing, 17-6.
Taylor threw his third interception of the day on the opening drive of the second half. Intended for Danny Amendola, the short pass was picked off by CB Justin Coleman near midfield. Three plays later, DL Maliek Collins intercepted Brissett but the Texans offense was unable to get into Miami territory.
The Texans settled for their third field goal after a 14-play, 92-yard drive, the longest of the day with four first-down conversions. After Fairbairn's 20-yard field goal, the Texans trailed 17-9.
The Texans defense also recorded a strip sack on Brissett in the fourth quarter. DL Jacob Martin forced the fumble on the sack while Collins recovered.
Again, the Texans were forced to punt. On their next offensive drive, Jordan Akins caught a pass but fumbled and the Dolphins recovered.
Houston had time for one final drive with 35 seconds remaining, but were unable to score as time expired.
With the loss, the Texan fall to 1-8 on the season and will have a bye in Week 10.
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 Texans Week 9 matchup with the Miami Dolphins.