INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud and the Houston Texans wrapped up a playoff spot with a 23-19 victory over the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday night, with Devin Singletary scoring the go-ahead touchdown on a 3-yard run with 6:20 left.
The Texans (10-7) are going to the postseason for the first time since 2019. They won seven of their final 10 games and still could win the AFC South if Jacksonville loses at Tennessee on Sunday.
Indianapolis (9-8) was eliminated from the playoff chase with its third loss in five weeks. It hasn’t made the postseason since 2020.
Stroud was 20 of 26 with 264 yards and two touchdowns. Nico Collins had nine catches for 195 yards and a score, and Singletary had 64 yards on 24 carries.
The Colts had a late fourth-and-1 play from the Houston 15. But a wide-open Tyler Goodson dropped Gardner Minshew’s pass, ending the Colts’ hopes.
The loss ruined Jonathan Taylor’s best game of the season. He rushed 30 times for 188 yards and a TD. Minshew was 13 of 24 for 141 yards.
It was an odd game that started with Stroud’s 75-yard TD pass to Collins on the Texans’ first play from scrimmage and included an extended third quarter and a do-over play in the second half.
But after Taylor’s 49-yard TD run and a nifty 2-point conversion with Minshew faking a handoff before backing up and floating a pass to Mo Alie-Cox early in the third quarter, the game swung on Colts coach Shane Steichen gambling on Matt Gay’s 57-yard field goal that hit the right upright.
Houston quickly moved into scoring position and took a 17-14 lead on Ka’imi Fairbairn’s 51-yarder with 3:29 to go in the third.
Indy tied it on Gay’s 35-yard field goal on the ensuing drive, but Stroud responded with a 12-play, 73-yard drive that took more than seven minutes off the clock and ended with Singletary’s 3-yard TD run.
The Colts thought they would open the fourth quarter facing third-and-1 from the Houston 24, but Steichen challenged the call. When the challenge resulted in a first down, the refs put 45 seconds back on the clock and the players, who had just changed ends, had down field again for one more play to finish the third quarter. Then they changed ends again after the play.
Texans: Will wait to see if Jacksonville wins or loses before finding out who and where it plays next weekend.
Colts: Head into the offseason looking to take another big step forward next season.
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