In their first road game of 2015, the Texans fell to Carolina 24-17 in a matchup that came down to the final seconds of regulation.
Dropped passes and a sluggish first half plagued the Texans offense in Ryan Mallett's first start of the season. Mallett finished the game 27-of-58 for 244 yards and added two touchdowns (one passing, one rushing) while throwing one interception.
The Texans offensive line was forced to reshuffle as starting left tackle Duane Brown was inactive. The unit then lost right tackle Jeff Adams to a knee injury during the game.
The defense held the Panthers to 10 points in the first half, but struggled to contain Cam Newton, who tossed two touchdowns and rushed for 76 yards and a score. Rahim Moore nabbed the first takeaway of the season with an interception of Newton.
Houston's defense forced two three-and-outs to start the game. Randy Bullock's 43-yard field goal in the first quarter put the first points on the board, giving the Texans a 3-0 lead.
Newton's 25-yard pass to Ted Ginn, Jr. gave the Panthers their first lead of the game early in the second quarter. A 28-yard field goal extended their lead on Carolina's following offensive series.
Moore's interception in the red zone kept the Panthers from adding to their lead in the second quarter. Moore returned the pick 17 yards and fumbled, but Justin Tuggle recovered. The Texans took over at their own 22-yard line but were unable to convert the turnover into points.
Bill O'Brien squad trailed 10-3 at halftime.
Mallet and the Texans offense came out firing in the second half. He was 7-of-7 on his first touchdown drive of the day. The 13-play, 80-yard drive was capped by a Mallett-to-Garrett Graham strike at the back of the endzone. The 7-yard score featured Graham's one-handed catch, and tied the contest at 10-all.
Carolina fired back with its own 80-yard drive, punctuated by a two-yard leap into the endzone by Newton. The Panthers regained the lead 17-10.
Mallett's first interception in the fourth quarter, by A.J. Klein, led to Carolina points. One play after the Klein pick, Newton threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to Corey Brown. The Panthers took their biggest lead of the day, 24-10 with 8:53 left in the game.
Mallett bounced back on the next drive, throwing a 48-yard deep pass to Nate Washington to move into scoring range. On fourth-and-goal, Mallett's six-yard run brought the Texans within one score. Houston trailed 24-17 after the 7-play, 80-yard drive. The Panthers attempted a 53-yard field goal with 2:48 left in the game. Jared Crick blocked the attempt to give Houston possession on its 43-yard line.
The Texans moved the ball down to the Carolina 20-yard line during their final drive of the game but came up short on fourth down.
Check out these snapshots from the Texans' Week 2 matchup with the Panthers.