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VanderBlog: Texans win epic game over Tampa Bay


We're going to be talking about this one for a long time.

On a day when the Texans lost multiple players, including their place kicker, they dug ocean-deep and came up with a magnificent pull-it-out-of-the fire victory.

There are certain games I've called in the history of this team where the emotions run so high I'm not even sure what I said at certain points.

It was one for the ages - almost a walk-off touchdown. And we haven't seen too many over the last 22 years. There was Matt Schaub to Andre Johnson to win in OT in 2012. They had another connection for the win in the final minute of a week 6 game against Kansas City here. Of course the big one was T.J. Yates to Kevin Walter in Cincinnati in '11. This game also earns a spot as one of the all-time Texans thrillers.

There is so much to digest: Two double-digit deficits, Dare Ogunbowale having to kick, two safties lost on back-to-back plays. The list goes on.

As good as C.J. Stroud has been, he took things to another level in this outing. As is often the case, he had us reaching for the record books even before the game was over. After the buzzer, we could reflect on a record NFL rookie quarterback performance and the third most yards thrown for in the history of this franchise.

The running game wasn't working the way they needed, so the Texans rested their hopes on the thunder bolt arm of Stroud. The rookie put seven points on the board in the first half then 'went off,' helping Houston rack up 364 second half yards, including 17 points in the fourth quarter. The Texans scored 13 in the entire game last week.

Three receivers eclipsed 100 yards, including Tank Dell, who played an enormous clutch role. The Cougar helped spring Noah Brown with a key block on a 75-yard catch-and-run. His toe-tapper at the 15-yard line set up Stroud's bullet to the end zone for the winning score, his second of the game. It was an electric performance.

Dalton Schultz came up big with several significant grabs and a TD on fourth-and-goal from the nine.

Another hero was Ogunbowale, who kicked off with Ka'imi Fairbairn injured. You got the feeling the Texans would not attempt a field goal after that, having gone for two after two second half touchdowns. But, in need of a three-pointer, they let Dare try one from 29 yards and it worked! It grabbed the lead at the time and proved to be crucial in a game where every point mattered.

There will be much healing to do now. Five players had to leave the game and numerous others needed medical attention. It'll be a busy week of healing and preparing as the Texans take their show to Cincinnati. For now, they'll celebrate and smile after one of the most exhilarating wins we've seen in this building.

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