The Houston Texans secured a historic 39-37 victory against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, highlighted by a game-winning drive that showcased their ability to perform under pressure. Quarterback C.J. Stroud delivered a remarkable rookie-record performance with 470 passing yards and five touchdowns, reestablishing the Texans as a formidable team. Additionally, Houston’s special teams played a significant role in the game.
During the Week 9 win, kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn suffered a quad injury, leading Texans’ head coach DeMeco Ryans to turn to backup running back Dare Ogunbowale, who kicked off six times and made a crucial 29-yard field goal, putting Houston ahead 33-30. The team rallied around their new kicker, injecting enthusiasm and energy into their performance.
Ryans emphasized the “next man up” mentality and a winning mindset, and the special teams responded by making the necessary plays. The decision to have Ogunbowale attempt the field goal from the Buccaneers’ 11-yard line in a tied game was based on confidence in his ability, given his successful halftime warm-up kicks.
With a record of 4-4, the Texans remain competitive, and their upcoming Week 10 matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals poses a challenging task. In the absence of Fairbairn, newly-signed kicker Matt Ammendola is likely to be promoted to the active roster.