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Texans’ Nico Collins has great day to help defeat Broncos

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Nico Collins had a career-high 191 receiving yards and a touchdown in the fourth quarter, and Jimmie Ward intercepted Denver’s Russell Wilson in the end zone with 9 seconds left to help the Houston Texans hold on for a 22-17 win over the Broncos on Sunday. .

Ward pounced in front of receiver Lucas Krull to secure Houston’s (7-5) fourth win in five games and end a five-game winning streak for Denver (6-6).

Wilson was intercepted a season-high three times, all after halftime. Derek Stingley Jr. had the first two picks for the Texans. The Broncos had forced 15 turnovers during their winning streak, but had nothing to hold back on Sunday.

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Houston rookie CJ Stroud threw for 274 yards to end a streak of four straight games with at least 300 passing yards. Star rookie wide receiver Tank Dell injured his ankle in the first half and was carted off the field.

Texans rookie defensive end Will Anderson Jr., the third overall pick in the draft, had the best game of his young career. The former Alabama star had two sacks, four quarterback hits, deflected one of Stingley’s intercepted balls and deflected a punt.

Wilson threw for 186 yards with a touchdown in Denver’s first loss since October 12.

Early in the fourth quarter, Wilson’s 41-yard pass to Jerry Jeudy put Denver within 1, and the QB ran for the touchdown on the next play to cut Houston’s lead to 22–17 .

The Broncos stopped and were driving on the ensuing possession when Stingley jumped in front of a pass intended for Courtland Sutton to give the ball back to Houston.

Stroud was shaken up on a run during the next drive and left the game for two plays while he was examined in the sideline medical tent. He returned and was sacked before the Texans punted.

Houston Texans wide receiver Nico Collins (12) catches a pass in front of Denver Broncos cornerback Fabian Moreau (23) in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Sutton caught a 45-yard touchdown pass from Wilson that cut the lead to 16-10 with about five minutes left in the third. It was the 329th career TD pass for Wilson, who passed Dan Marino for second in a player’s first 12 seasons.

Stroud was sacked and fumbled on third down on Houston’s next possession, but the Texans got the ball back. They punted, but Stingley intercepted Wilson on Denver’s first play on a ball deflected by Anderson.

The Texans took advantage of the mistake when Collins scored on a 3-yard reception on the second play of the fourth quarter. The 2-point conversion failed to give Houston a 22-10 lead.

The Texans forced a three-and-out on the first possession of the second half when Anderson sacked Wilson on first down and Jonathan Greenard picked him off on third down. Houston pushed the lead to 16-3 on Matt Ammendola’s 38-yard field goal.

The Texans led by three in the first quarter when they went for it on fourth-and-2. Houston was called for a false start on the play, but Alex Singleton hit Stroud late to draw an unnecessary roughness penalty and give the Texans a first down at the Broncos 3.

Two plays later, Pierce scored the touchdown to make the score 10-0. Dell was injured when he got rolled at the end of Pierce’s run.

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INJURIES

Broncos G Quinn Meinerz left in the fourth quarter with a shoulder injury.

FOLLOWING

Broncos: Visit the Los Angeles Rams next Sunday.

Texans: Visit the New York Jets next Sunday.

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