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Field goals propel Texans, Cowboys to wins

Texans end losing streak in OT after Vinatieri sets record

By MICHAEL MAROT

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ Ka’imi Fairbairn took advantage of his second chance on a 37-yard field goal attempt Sunday, making it as time expired in overtime to give the Houston Texans a 37-34 victory over the Indianapolis Colts.

He had missed the first kick wide left _ just after Indy called timeout. Houston (1-3) ended the league’s losing streak at nine games with its first victory since Nov. 19.

The Colts threw an incomplete pass on fourth-and-four from their own 43, giving the ball back to Houston with 24 seconds to go. Deshaun Watson then connected with DeAndre Hopkins on a 24-yard pass to set up the winning kick.

It’s the third time in four weeks Indy (1-3) has come up short in the closing minutes. The loss spoiled Adam Vinatieri’s record-breaking day.

The 45-year-old kicker became the league’s career leader in field goals when he made a 42-yarder with 2 seconds left in the first half and he extended the mark to 567 with a 44-yarder to give the Colts a 34-31 lead in overtime.

But Fairbairn tied the score with a 29-yard kick and won it with the 37-yarder.

Vinatieri moved past Hall of Famer Morten Andersen, who had 565 career field goals.

Watson, who missed the final nine games last season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, looked like his old self. He was 29 of 42 with 375 yards, two touchdown passes and one interception. He also rushed six times for 41 yards and his first rushing score of the season.

Hopkins had eight catches for 134 yards and Keke Coutee had 11 catches for 109 yards.

Luck nearly matched the franchise’s regular-season record with a 21-point comeback. But his final pass hit the ground.

He was 40 of 62 for a career-high 464 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. He tied the single-game franchise record for completions and broke the mark for attempts.

Indy struck first, using T.Y. Hilton’s 40-yard reception to set up a 4-yard TD pass from Luck to Zach Pascal.

The Texans tied it on Jadeveon Clowney’s recovery of a botched snap in the end zone, then took the lead on Watson’s 3-yard TD pass to Will Fuller V. They made it 21-7 when Hopkins caught a 5-yard TD pass.

Vinatieri’s field goal got the Colts within 21-10 at halftime.

The Texans made it 28-10 with Watson’s 5-yard scoring run to open the second half.

But Luck methodically brought Indy back.

He hooked up with Nyheim Hines on a 14-yard TD pass to make it 28-17 and Eric Ebron on a 5-yard TD pass to make it 28-23. After Fairbairn made a 40-yard field goal to give the Texans a 31-23 lead with 2:58 left, Luck took the Colts 85 yards in a little more than two minutes and threw a 9-yard TD pass to Hines and a 2-point conversion pass to Chester Rogers with 45 seconds left in regulation.

INJURY REPORT

Texans: Hopkins started despite dealing with thumb, ankle and hamstring injuries all week. Fuller left with a hamstring injury late in the first half and linebacker Brian Peters did not return after injuring his ankle.

Colts: Hilton left with a chest injury and cornerback Kenny Moore III departed with a concussion in the first half. But Hilton returned then left in the second half with a hamstring injury. Moore did not return.

UP NEXT

Texans: Host cross-state rival Dallas next Sunday night.

Colts: Head to New England on Thursday night.

 

Brett Maher FG on final play lifts Cowboys over Lions 26-24

By SCHUYLER DIXON

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) _ Brett Maher kicked a 38-yard field goal as time expired, lifting the Dallas Cowboys to a 26-24 victory over the Detroit Lions on Sunday.

Maher’s fourth field goal was set up by Dak Prescott’s 34-yard completion to running back Ezekiel Elliott on a deep throw after Matthew Stafford had put the Lions in front with a 38-yard touchdown to Golden Tate, their second TD connection of the day.

Elliott had a career-high 240 all-purpose yards, with 152 yards rushing and 88 receiving. The rushing total was 1 yard shy of his best.

The best offensive day of the season for a previously struggling Dallas offense spoiled Stafford’s homecoming again, with his third straight loss at the home of the Cowboys (2-2). The former Dallas-area high school star threw for 307 yards.

Trailing 20-10, Stafford led the Lions (1-3) 75 yards to rookie Kerryon Johnson’s first career touchdown, an 8-yard run that started a back-and-fourth final quarter.

After the Cowboys settled for Maher’s third field goal on an 85-yard drive, Stafford found Tate for 35 yards into Dallas territory before Tate easily beat zone coverage down the sideline and strutted toward the end zone, just as he had on a 45-yard score in the first quarter.

But Prescott had an answer while throwing for at least 200 yards for the first time this season. The Dallas quarterback saved the final drive by picking up a fumble when he was hit on the arm and scrambling before throwing the ball out of bounds.

Prescott then converted a third down on the next play and two plays later threw deep to Elliott with linebacker Jarrad Davis trailing the 2016 NFL rushing leader by a couple of steps. The Cowboys then killed the clock to set up Maher, the kicker they chose over trusty Dan Bailey at the end of the preseason in a cost-cutting move.

Elliott had a season-high 25 carries for his 152 yards, and Prescott was 17 of 27 for 255 yards with two touchdowns, including tight end Geoff Swaim’s first career score.

Stafford was 24 of 30 with the two scores to Tate, who had eight catches for 132 yards.

ROUGHING THE PASSER

The touchdown screen to Elliott was set up by a roughing-the-passer penalty against Romeo Okwara. The question was whether the whistle had blown when he hit Prescott, who was trying to escape pressure when he stumbled out of an attempted tackle and went to a knee. Prescott popped up but had stopped moving, anticipating that he was down, when Okwara knocked him to the ground. Officials discussed the play before announcing two defensive penalties. The other was an illegal contact call against Darius Slay.

CAREER FIRST

Dallas receiver Terrance Williams was a healthy scratch for the first time in his six-year career. The Cowboys have struggled for consistency with their pass catchers in the first season without Jason Witten and Dez Bryant. They have seven receivers on the 53-man roster. Williams was the odd man out this week, and was a no-show at practice Friday.

INJURIES

Lions: RG T.J. Lang didn’t return after sustaining a concussion in the first quarter.

Cowboys: WR Tavon Austin injured his right shoulder falling to the ground after dropping a potential touchdown catch in the first half. He returned in the second half. … DT Antwaun Woods left in the first half with a calf injury. Woods was questionable before the game because of a groin injury.

UP NEXT

Lions: Green Bay at home next Sunday.

Cowboys: At Houston next Sunday.

Short URL: http://wtaw.com/?p=127438

Posted by on Oct 1 2018. Filed under Sports.
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