It shouldn’t have come down to what it came down to, but a replacement kicker hit a 38-yard field goal on the final play to give the Texans a dramatic 30-27 win.
Matt Ammendola, subbing for the injured Ka’imi Fairbairn, slid the kick just inside the right upright.
Both teams now are 5-4, the most wins for Houston since 2019. The Bengals entered the game having won four in a row.
It was the second consecutive week the Texans have won at the end of the game. They stunned the Bucs with a 40-second drive, scoring with six seconds left on a C.J. Stroud throw to Tank Dell for a 39-37 win.
Sunday’s game should not have come down to the end.
The Texans led 27-17 with less than four minutes to play before Houston cracked open the door.
Stroud had three turnovers, with two fumbles deep in Cincinnati territory in the first half and a late interception to keep the Bengals in it. With 3:41 remaining, facing a third-and-two, Stroud rolled right and tried to hit Dell.
Instead, Cam Taylor-Britt undercut him and returned the interception 30 yards to the Houston 4 before Dell’s diving tackle. The Bengals scored two plays later on Joe Mixon‘s 1-yard run with 3:18 remaining. That cut the Texans’ lead to 27-24.
Stroud had only one career interception before Sunday.
The Bengals got the ball back after Houston’s three-and-out, and went 58 yards in six plays. Bengals receiver Tyler Boyd dropped a would-be, go-ahead touchdown that hit him in the hands with no one around him with 1:37 left. It was his second drop of the day. The Bengals kicked a chip-shot field goal with 1:33 left to tie it.
It was way too much time for Stroud.
He directed a six-play, 55-yard drive to set up Ammendola’s game-winning kick.
Stroud finished 23-of-39 for 356 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He also ran for a score. Noah Brown had seven catches for 172 yards, a week after six for 153 and a touchdown. Tight end Dalton Schultz caught four passes for 71 yards.
Burrow had two costly interceptions in the fourth quarter on back-to-back possessions, one that ended at the Houston 35 and another at the Houston 14. He was 27-of-40 for 347 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Ja’Marr Chase caught five passes for 124 yards and a touchdown. Boyd caught eight for 117.