Ka’imi Fairbairn kicked a 37-yard field goal as time expired in overtime and the Houston Texans claimed their first victory of the season, 37-34 over the host Indianapolis Colts on Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The triumph halted a nine-game winless streak dating back to last November.
The Texans (1-3) benefitted from the odd decision of Colts coach Frank Reich to attempt a fourth-down conversion at the Indianapolis 43-yard line inside the final minute. Colts quarterback Andrew Luck was errant on his pass attempt, and Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson answered with a 19-yard pass to DeAndre Hopkins to set up the game-winning kick.
Fairbairn and Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri traded field goals in overtime. Vinateri drilled a 42-yard field goal to close the first half, surpassing Hall of Famer Morten Anderson with his NFL-record 566th field goal, The overtime boot raised his total to 567.
Watson completed 29 of 42 attempts for 375 yards and two touchdowns, with both scoring strikes coming in the first half. He capped a 15-play, 79-yard drive to open the second half with a 5-yard touchdown run that helped the Texans extend their lead to 28-10.
With the Colts trailing 28-23 late in the fourth, Watson scampered 18 yards on third down to move the chains and set the table for a 40-yard field goal by Fairbairn with 3:02 remaining.
But Luck finished 6-of-7 for 74 yards on the game-tying march, completing a 9-yard touchdown pass to Nyheim Hines with 45 seconds left and a two-point conversion to Chester Rogers that pulled the Colts (1-3) even at 31. Watson delivered a deep strike to Hopkins to give the Texans a chance in regulation, but Fairbairn missed a 59-yard kick wide right with a second left.
Luck finished 40 of 62 for 464 yards and four touchdowns. The attempts broke the club record of 59 by Jeff George in 1993.
Luck gashed the Texans on a seven-play, 75-yard drive to open the game, with his 4-yard touchdown pass to Zach Pascal giving the Colts a 7-0 lead. But Texans linebacker Jadeveon Clowney recovered a botched snap in the end zone at the 5:19 mark of the first quarter to pull Houston even. Later in the half, Texans defensive end J.J. Watt completed a strip sack on Luck, with the ensuing turnover providing Houston possession at the Indianapolis 8-yard line.
Two plays later, Watson hit Hopkins for a 5-yard touchdown pass and the Texans led 21-7.
—Field Level Media