The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-5) fall to the Houston Texans (4-4) 39-37 Sunday at NRG Stadium.
The Bucs defense set the tone early, forcing and recovering a fumble early on Houston's first drive of the game, Antoine Winfield Jr. with the recovery. The Bucs took advantage, scoring three points courtesy of a Chas McLaughlin 35-yard field goal, giving Tampa Bay a 3-0 lead with 12:56 left in the first quarter. Houston responded with a touchdown pass from CJ Stroud to Nico Collins, taking a 7-3 lead over the Bucs. Not long after, Baker Mayfield and the Bucs marched down the field, scoring a touchdown on a three-yard TD pass to Cade Otton, giving the Bucs a 10-7 lead late in the first quarter.
At the start of the second quarter, the Bucs offensive drive stalled; the Texans took over 1st and ten at their 10-yard line following Jake Camarda's punt. Just a few drives later, the Buccaneers were able to tack on another touchdown; this time, it was a one-yard TD run for Rachaad White, giving the Bucs a 17-7 lead in the second quarter. Houston relied on their Kicker Ka'imi Fairbain's 50-yard field goal, cutting into the Bucs lead, 17-10 with 5:17 left in the first half. At the end of the half, the Bucs led 17-10 over the Texans.
Chase McLaughlin added a 49-yard field goal early in the third quarter, helping Tampa's lead grow 20-10 over Houston. CJ Stroud and Houston's offense wasn't going to go without answering back with a score of their own as a 75-yard TD was scored by WR Noah Brown, cutting into the Bucs lead, 20-16. Baker Mayfield and the Bucs made their downfield, helping set up a 55-yard field goal by Chase McLaughlin, extending Tampa's lead 23-16 in the third quarter. Another CJ Stroud threw another TD pass; this time, it was a 29-yard pass to Tank Dell. Tampa led 23-22 after Houston's failed 2-point conversion.
CJ Stroud and the Texans clawed their way back, as he connected with Dalton Schultz on a 9-yard TD strike; Houston converted the 2-point try, giving the Texans a 30-23 lead. The Buccaneers returned the favor with a 1-yard TD run from Rachaad White, tying the game at 30 with 11:43 left in regulation. Stroud and the Texans countered with another score of their own, as Dare Ogunbowale made a 29-yard field goal, giving the Texans a 33-30 lead with 8:41 left in play. Baker Mayfield connected with Cade Otton on a 14-yard TD strike, giving the Bucs a 37-33 lead with 46 seconds left in regulation. CJ Stroud found Tank Dell again on a 15-yard TD, giving Houston a 39-37 lead with 10 seconds remaining in regulation.
The Buccaneers now prepare to face the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, November 12th, in Tampa, Florida. Kickoff time is 1 PM ET- you can hear the game on 97.9 WXTB-FM - The Mighty 98 Rock.
PHOTO COURTESY: GETTY IMAGES