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Statement Play: Texans react to opening 75-yard touchdown | Week 18


It was a rather easy first offensive drive for Texans center Michael Deiter. 

One snap and back to the sideline. 

Deiter watched as an opening pass from C.J. Stroud soared 59.2 yards through the air inside Lucas Oil Stadium, which eventually fell into the hands of Nico Collins, who took it the rest of the way for the 75-yard touchdown. 

"One play, one touchdown, you can't ask for a better start than that," Deiter said. "It just gives everyone confidence that we're in this fight and we just keep executing and cut it loose, we're going to win." 

That is the first one-play scoring drive since October 13, 2019 when the Texans did it against the Chiefs. It is the longest receiving touchdown by Collins in his career and the second 75-yarder for the Texans offense this season.

The entire Texans sideline erupted into celebration as Collins rolled into the endzone to take the early 7-3 lead over the Colts. 

Houston had just watched as Indianapolis had driven down on their first drive and kicked a field goal, taking 5:45 off the clock. 

The Texans' response only took nine seconds off the clock. 

"It just set the tone for the game," Texans linebacker Blake Cashman said. "It gave us a bunch of momentum early. I know some people don't believe in it but it's something that every player feels. And we need those guys, that connection, to keep rolling and play well throughout the playoffs." 

Watching from the sideline was Texans cornerback Desmond King along with the rest of the team. Not surprised. 

"That's Nico Collins for you baby, that's all I can say," King said. 

It was a play that they had worked on throughout the week, and then the Colts defense gave them the look they wanted and Texans offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik called it in. 

"We didn't think they were gonna be in that coverage but [Slowik] is a dawg man, [Slowik's] that guy," Stroud said. "He had a feeling that we can hit them up top. And Nico did a great job creating separation, I tried to do my best getting it out there … That was a special first play."

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