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C.J. Stroud, Texans’ defense stomp out Saints

C.J. Stroud threw two touchdown passes and the Houston defense held the New Orleans Saints without a touchdown after the first quarter in the host Texans’ 20-13 victory Sunday afternoon.

Stroud threw the first interception of his rookie season, but he and the Texans (3-3) overcame that as he threw for 199 yards and hit Dalton Schultz and Robert Woods for first-half touchdowns.

Derek Carr passed for 353 yards and a touchdown, but New Orleans (3-3) was scoreless in three trips deep into Houston territory in the fourth quarter.

The Texans reached the New Orleans 1-yard line midway through the third quarter before settling for Ka’imi Fairbairn’s 22-yard field goal and a 20-10 lead.

Blake Grupe answered with a 45-yard field goal that got the Saints within 20-13 at the end of the third quarter.

New Orleans missed a chance to get closer early in the fourth quarter when Grupe was wide left on a 29-yard field-goal attempt.

The Saints missed another scoring opportunity after they reached the Houston 14, when Carr’s pass to Alvin Kamara on fourth-and-4 gained just 2 yards.

They reached the Texans’ 24 in the final minute, but Carr threw three straight incompletions before Steven Nelson intercepted him with 16 seconds left.

New Orleans drove into scoring range on its first possession, but Grupe was wide right from 52 yards.

Stroud extended his NFL record for consecutive passes without an interception to start a career to 191 before Zack Baun intercepted him, but Baun fumbled on his return and the Texans recovered at their 41.

Six players later, Stroud threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Schultz for a 7-0 lead.

Carr threw a 34-yard touchdown pass to Rashid Shaheed to tie the score at seven at the end of the first quarter.

Fairbairn kicked a 24-yard field goal to give Houston a 10-7 lead early in the second.

Stroud added a 6-yard touchdown pass to Woods to increase the lead to 17-7 with 2:56 before halftime.

Grupe’s 48-yard field goal trimmed the lead to 17-10 at the half.

–Field Level Media

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