Texans clinch first playoff berth since 2019, eliminate Colts with 23-19 win

The Texans won 11 games combined the past three years under three head coaches, not counting an interim coach. They have 10 wins this season, and their first playoff berth since 2019.

Houston held off Indianapolis 23-19 in a win-or-go-home game Saturday night.

The Texans (10-7) can win the AFC South if the Titans upset the Jaguars on Sunday. The Colts fell to 9-8.

C.J. Stroud, the leading candidate for offensive rookie of the year, threw two touchdown passes and had a defining drive in the fourth quarter to lead the Texans to the win. He went 20-of-26 for 264 yards.

He threw a 75-yard touchdown to Nico Collins on the team's first snap and a 1-yard touchdown to Andrew Beck in the final two minutes of the first half.

Collins caught nine passes for 195 yards, with six other players catching 11 passes for 69 yards. The Texans were missing their third, fourth and fifth leading receivers.

Stroud led the Texans on a 12-play, 73-yard scoring drive, with Devin Singletary scoring on a 3-yard run with 6:20 left. They overcame a second-and-20 following a sack of Stroud by Ronnie Harrison Jr. and a first-and-20 after a holding penalty on Beck.

Kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn missed the extra point wide left, though, putting the Texans defense on the spot.

The Colts reached the Houston 15 with 1:06 left and faced a fourth-and-one. Instead of running Jonathan Taylor, who had 30 carries for 188 yards and a touchdown, Shane Steichen opted to put the ball in Gardner Minshew's hands. Running back Tyler Goodson was open, but the throw was slightly behind him, and he dropped it.

The Texans ran three times and took a safety on the punt, leaving one second on the clock. The Colts picked up only 7 yards on the free kick before Houston recovered Michael Pittman's attempted lateral.

Taylor left briefly at the end of the third quarter with heel and ankle injuries but returned. He kept the Colts in the game, with Minshew struggling in going 13-of-24 for 141 yards.