Texans 21, Cardinals 16: Cardinals can’t complete comeback despite 3 C.J. Stroud INTs

The Arizona Cardinals did something no other team had done this season. They picked off Houston Texans rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud three times.

They held Houston scoreless in the second half but, after falling behind 21-10 in the first half, they could not complete the comeback. Kyler Murray was picked off once and they turned the ball over three times on downs leading to a 21-16 road loss.

Below is what happened in the game.

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After the Texans won the coin toss and elected to defer, the Cardinals began on offense. Trey McBride had a 13-yard catch on a screen, the Texans were flagged for illegal contact, James Conner had a nine-yard run and then Kyler Murray threw a 48-yard bomb to Rondale Moore for a touchdown.

It was only the second time all season the Cardinals scored a touchdown on their opening possession.


The Cardinals held the Texans scoreless on their first offensive possession when they stuffed Mike Boone for no-gain run on fourth down at the Arizona 15.


Texans 7, Cardinals 7

The Cardinals went three-and-out after the fourth-down stop and then were unable to stop the Texans on their second drive. On third down, C.J. Stroud connected with tight end Dalton Schultz and Schultz slides the final two yards untouched for a 20-yard touchdown to tie the score.

Cardinals 10, Texans 7

Matt Prater nailed a 57-yard field goal to take the lead. James Conner had a pair of runs for more than 10 yards each and Murray scrambled for 22 yards, but a holding penalty, a fumble and a sack pushed them back from the red zone to have to attempt the long field goal.

Texans 14, Cardinals 10

The Texans took the lead with a 10-play, 75-yard drive. Leki Fotu sacked Stroud for a 10-yard loss but that was erased on the next play with a 23-yard screen play. Devin Singletary ran 11 yards for the touchdown. He was up to 64 yards on the afternoon.

Kyler picked off

Murray attempted a deep ball for an open Hollywood Brown. It was a little underthrown and Derek Stingley just took the ball away from Brown when trying to catch it. The Texans took over at their own 25.

Kyzir White hurt

White, a defensive captain, exited the game with an elbow injury.


After Murray’s interception, the Cardinals took the ball back. The Texans drove down the field but Jalen Thompson picked off a pass intended for Nico Collins in the end zone, ending another red-zone trip without Houston scoring. It was his second interception of the season.

Texans 21, Cardinals 10

Stroud threw an absolute dime to Tank Dell for a 40-yard touchdown. Stroud showed mobility and accuracy, and Dell got behind Marco Wilson, scoring his sixth touchdown of the season.

Texans missed FG!

The Cardinals needed a stop to open the second half after struggling to slow the Houston offense and did just that. The Texans picked up a couple of big third downs but the Cardinals forced a 48-yard field goal that Matt Ammendola missed wide left.

Texans 21, Cardinals 16

Kyler Murray used his legs to score a one-yard touchdown on fourth down to cap a 12-play, 62-yard drive. The two-point attempt was short so they remained five points behind.

Leki Fotu out

The Cardinals already lost linebacker Kyzir White. They lost defensive tackle Leki Fotu, who had a sack in the first half, for the rest of the game with a hand injury.

Cardinals turn ball over on downs

The Cardinals were close to the red zone. Elijah Higgins had a 20-yard catch overturned on review. Tony Jones ran 10 yards to make it 4th-and-3, but Greg Dortch caught the fourth-down pass a yard short of the line to gain. They could have kicked a field goal to make it 21-19.

Cardinals hosed by officials on punt

The Cardinals forced a punt but the officials ruled the ball touched a Cardinals player with the Texans recovering.

On review, the play was not overturned despite it being fairly clear that the ball never touched Starling Thomas.

So after the defense forced a punt, the Texans took over at Arizona’s 31.


The Cardinals needed a stop and got a big one. Krys Barnes, playing because Kyzir White got hurt, picked off a tipped pass for C.J. Stroud’s second interception of the game and returned it 46 yards to the 49-yard line.

It was Barnes’ first career interception.

Failed opportunity: Turnover on downs

The Cardinals were unable to pick up a first down after the interception. On fourth-and-5, Murray’s throw was a little behind Trey McBride and they gave the ball back to Houston.


The Cardinals took the ball away again as Antonio Hamilton picked off Stroud at the sideline at Arizona’s 19-yard line.

Hamilton got hurt on the play. It appeared to be a groin injury. He had to be helped off the field.

Cardinals turn ball over on downs

After the takeaway, the Cardinals threatened but could not get the winning score. Murray’s third-down pass was batted down behind the line of scrimmage and, on fourth down, his pass to Hollywood Brown was broken up by Steven Nelson.

The Texans ran the clock out and completed their 21-16 win.

Story originally appeared on Cards Wire