Texans overcome 3 INTs from CJ Stroud and hold off Cardinals

Nov 19, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) walks onto the field before the game against the Arizona Cardinals at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Texans defeated the Arizona Cardinals on the road by a score of 21-16. Rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud overcame his first career performance with multiple interceptions, and the Texans also prevailed despite playing a sloppy second half.

Stroud had two touchdown passes for 336 yards, but he also had two interceptions within the opponent’s 10-yard line. These turnovers contributed to counteracting the outstanding performances of rookie wide receiver Tank Dell, who had eight receptions for 149 yards and a touchdown, and running back Devin Singletary, who rushed for 112 yards and a touchdown. Tank Dell was a rookie.

After getting within five points with 2:52 left in the third quarter on a 1-yard run by Kyler Murray, the Cardinals (2-9) were unable to get over the hump. They finished 3 of 10 on third downs and 1 of 4 on fourth downs, with three of those following the Murray scoring dash, which led to their ninth consecutive loss on the road.

In his second season, Murray threw for 214 yards and ran for 51 yards. He finished with a total of 335 yards.

The significance of the missed opportunities in the red zone by the Texans in the first half is highlighted below.

The Texans were successful in getting into the red zone on all five of their first-half drives, but they were unable to score on their first drive when Arizona Cardinals linebacker Kyzir White was able to stuff running back Mike Boone on fourth down at the 15-yard line.

The Texans (6-4) were behind at that point due to a touchdown pass that Murray completed to Rondale Moore from 48 yards out. With 5:48 remaining in the first quarter, Houston managed to tie the score with a five-play, 61-yard drive that culminated in a touchdown pass from 20 yards out that Stroud completed to Dalton Schultz.

With 11:20 remaining in the first half, the Texans responded to a Matt Prater field goal kick from 57 yards by marching ten plays and 75 yards, culminating in a touchdown run by Singletary from 11 yards out.

However, instead of capitalizing on an interception by Murray that Derek Stingley Jr. threw on the next drive, the Texans pushed their way into the red zone. At this point, Stroud threw the first of his interceptions, and Arizona safety Jalen Thompson caught it.

Stroud had learned from his mistake on the ensuing possession as he directed a six-play, 74-yard march that culminated in a touchdown pass to Dell for 40 yards and a 21-10 lead with 26 seconds left in the first half. It was the sixth touchdown reception for Dell, setting a new rookie record for the organization.

Before the halftime break, the Texans had amassed 333 yards of total offense and 18 first downs while converting 6 of 7 third downs. During the first half of the game, Stroud completed passes for 259 yards, while Dell had 120 yards receiving.

Hey, I'm Emily Logan, a sports writer with a passion for extreme sports. From snowboarding to rock climbing, my adventurous spirit and firsthand experiences in the field bring an adrenaline-fueled perspective to my articles that resonate with thrill-seekers.

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