Houston Texans vs. Denver Broncos

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DEN
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Brandon McManus missed a 51-yard field goal as time expired, leading the Houston Texans to a 19-17 win over the Denver Broncos.

1:03 | November 4, 2018 | Football, Houston Texans, NFL

Game Information
Location: Broncos Stadium at Mile High Denver, Colorado
Attendance: 76,270

DENVER (AP) For the first time in his life, Demaryius Thomas celebrated Brandon McManus missing a field goal.

Thomas won his hasty homecoming Sunday when his ex-teammate's windless 51-yard attempt drifted wide right, allowing the Houston Texans to escape Denver with 19-17 win .

"We wanted him to walk out there as a captain and we wanted him to walk off the field as a winner," J.J. Watt said of Thomas, whom the Texans (6-3) acquired five days earlier from the Broncos (3-6).

Only, Thomas lost the coin flip and didn't exactly walk off the field a winner - he sprinted.

"I think that's the fastest I ran all day," Thomas said. "I ran inside. We got that W."

DeShaun Watson targeted Thomas three times and Thomas caught all three for 61 yards, including back-to-back grabs for 31 and 18 yards on Houston's opening touchdown drive.

But he stood to be the goat after a series of fourth-quarter follies that including a false start, lining up in the wrong spot - even having to run over and ask Watson what to do - and having to burn a timeout.

"I messed up a couple of times and I felt like it would have been on me if we didn't get that W," Thomas said.

"He was hearing one thing and doing the opposite," Watson said. "I had to make sure he was on the same page as me. He did a good job. Some things we are going to fix."

The Texans joined the 1970 New York Giants as the only teams since the merger to win six straight following an 0-3 start.

McMANUS' MISSES

McManus' second miss of the game came after Case Keenum completed an 18-yard pass between two defenders to Emmanuel Sanders on fourth-and-8 from the Denver 45-yard line with under a minute left.

"Terrible kicks," McManus said. "Even the 62-yarder, it was terrible."

Broncos coach Vance Joseph blamed himself for the first miss, saying he got greedy. It backfired when the Texans got the ball in Broncos territory and 18 seconds left in the first half and Ka'imi Fairbairn nailed a 46-yard do-over for a 16-10 Houston halftime lead after his errant attempt was wiped away because Joseph had called timeout to ice him.

Joseph said he didn't try to get closer for McManus' game-winning attempt because the Broncos had already reached their "line to go" inside the 35.

"I was totally confident in Brandon," Miller said. "From 62 and 51, my money's on Brandon. He's our sniper. He's our brother. It's one of the hardest positions in pro sports. Sometimes you just can't put it through the uprights."

Said Keenum: "I knew Brandon was going to make it and I still know he's going to make it when we give him that chance again. I think he's the best kicker in the league."

Keenum threw a 5-yard pass to tight end Jeff Heuerman, who had a career-best 10 catches for 83 yards and then running back Phillip Lindsay lost a yard, leaving McManus with a 51-yard attempt.

After the Broncos took a 17-16 lead on Keenum's 12-yard dart to Heuerman between two defenders, Fairbairn put the Texans back ahead with a 37-yard field goal with 14:06 remaining.

It turned out to be the game-winner when McManus missed again.

"Seeing the kick go wide right was a breath of fresh air," Texans safety Tyrann Mathieu said.

Particularly for Thomas.

THOMAS TRIBUTE

Thomas had started all 114 games for the Broncos since Jan. 8, 2012, when he caught an 80-yard touchdown pass from Tim Tebow on the first snap of overtime to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 29-23.

This time, he drew loud ovations when he emerged from the tunnel for pregame stretch and again during a video tribute after "The Star-Spangled Banner."

Outside the stadium, the Broncos put up a giant "Thank you, D.T." banner at the bottom of a 10-story-high image of Thomas next to one of Von Miller, who said last week it was "super weird" not having Thomas as a teammate anymore.

After Thomas lost the coin toss, Denver deferred and Thomas went right to work , catching consecutive passes covering 31 and 18 yards as the Texans took a quick 7-0 lead on Watson's 7-yard TD pass to tight end Jordan Thomas .

Watson's 36th career TD throw was a 16-yarder to DeAndre Hopkins that put Houston ahead 13-3. The only other quarterbacks in NFL history to have 35 or more TD passes in their first 16 NFL games were Hall of Famers Kurt Warner and Dan Marino.

INJURY REPORT

Texans: OLB Duke Ejiofor left in the first half with a shoulder injury.

Broncos: Center Matt Paradis broke his right fibula when Keenum rolled up on him just before halftime. Paradis had never missed a snap in his four-year career and appeared in line for a contract extension with the money the Broncos saved by trading Thomas.

"It's a huge loss," Joseph said, "losing one of our captains and a guy who's played a lot of football for us."

UP NEXT

Texans: Travel to Washington on Nov. 18 after a bye.

Broncos: Visit Los Angeles Chargers on Nov. 18 after a bye.

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1st Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Texans Broncos
10:53 Jordan Thomas 7 yd pass from Deshaun Watson (Ka'imi Fairbairn kick) 7 0
04:42 Brandon McManus 44 yd FG 7 3

2nd Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Texans Broncos
11:05 DeAndre Hopkins 16 yd pass from Deshaun Watson (missed kick) 13 3
05:33 Devontae Booker 14 yd run (Brandon McManus kick) 13 10
00:00 Ka'imi Fairbairn 46 yd FG 16 10

3rd Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Texans Broncos
05:57 Jeff Heuerman 12 yd pass from Case Keenum (Brandon McManus kick) 16 17

4th Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Texans Broncos
14:06 Ka'imi Fairbairn 37 yd FG 19 17

Team Stats
  Houston Denver
1st Downs 17 19
Total Yards 290 348
Passing 192 273
Passing Completions/Attempts 17-24 26-42
Yards/Pass 6.9 6.2
Rushing 98 75
Rushing Attempts 33 20
Yards/Rush 3.0 3.8
Turnovers 0 1
Fumbles Lost 0 1
Interceptions Thrown 0 0
Possession 32:25 27:35

Houston Passing
Player CP ATT YDS AVG TD INT
Deshaun Watson 17 24 213 8.9 2 0

Denver Passing
Player CP ATT YDS AVG TD INT
Case Keenum 26 42 290 6.9 1 0

Houston Rushing
Player ATT YDS AVG TD LG
Alfred Blue 15 39 2.6 0 7
Deshaun Watson 6 38 6.3 0 8
Lamar Miller 12 21 1.8 0 9

Denver Rushing
Player ATT YDS AVG TD LG
Phillip Lindsay 17 60 3.5 0 22
Devontae Booker 3 15 5.0 1 14

Houston Receiving
Player REC YDS AVG TD LG
DeAndre Hopkins 10 105 10.5 1 16
Demaryius Thomas 3 61 20.3 0 31
Lamar Miller 2 27 13.5 0 16
Ryan Griffin 1 13 13.0 0 13
Jordan Thomas 1 7 7.0 1 7
Jordan Akins 0 0 0.0 0

Denver Receiving
Player REC YDS AVG TD LG
Jeff Heuerman 10 83 8.3 1 14
Courtland Sutton 3 57 19.0 0 22
Emmanuel Sanders 6 47 7.8 0 18
Matt LaCosse 1 44 44.0 0 44
Phillip Lindsay 2 24 12.0 0 12
Tim Patrick 1 17 17.0 0 17
Devontae Booker 2 9 4.5 0 8
Andy Janovich 1 9 9.0 0 9

Houston Defense
Player TACKLES ASST SACKS SACK YDS
Justin Reid 8 1 0 0
Tyrann Mathieu 6 0 0 0
Brandon Dunn 4 2 0 0
Kareem Jackson 4 0 0 0
Benardrick McKinney 4 3 0 0
Shareece Wright 3 0 0 0
J.J. Watt 2 0 1 7
Natrell Jamerson 2 0 0 0
Whitney Mercilus 2 0 0 0
Mike Tyson 2 0 0 0
Jadeveon Clowney 1 0 1 10
Angelo Blackson 1 0 0 0
Christian Covington 1 0 0 0
Brian Peters 1 0 0 0
D.J. Reader 1 0 0 0
Brennan Scarlett 1 0 0 0
Duke Ejiofor 0 0 0 0
Buddy Howell 0 0 0 0
Josh Keyes 0 0 0 0
A.J. Moore Jr. 0 0 0 0

Denver Defense
Player TACKLES ASST SACKS SACK YDS
Todd Davis 9 1 0 0
Bradley Chubb 5 1 1 3
Derek Wolfe 4 0 1 9
Adam Gotsis 4 0 0 0
Tramaine Brock 3 0 0 0
Chris Harris Jr. 3 0 0 0
Josey Jewell 3 0 0 0
DeMarcus Walker 2 1 1 6
Von Miller 2 0 1 3
Su'a Cravens 2 1 0 0
Shelby Harris 2 0 0 0
Zach Kerr 2 2 0 0
Will Parks 2 3 0 0
Shaquil Barrett 1 0 0 0
Shane Ray 1 0 0 0
Justin Simmons 1 0 0 0
Jeff Heuerman 0 0 0 0
Adam Jones 0 0 0 0
Brian Parker 0 0 0 0
Isaac Yiadom 0 0 0 0

Houston Interceptions
Player INT YDS TD
No interceptions.

Denver Interceptions
Player INT YDS TD
No interceptions.

Houston Kick Returns
Player KR YDS AVG TD LNG
No kick return stats.

Denver Kick Returns
Player KR YDS AVG TD LNG
No kick return stats.

Houston Punt Returns
Player PR YDS AVG TD LNG
Tyler Ervin 2 16 8.0 0 16

Denver Punt Returns
Player PR YDS AVG TD LNG
Adam Jones 5 12 2.4 0 10
River Cracraft 1 5 5.0 0 5

Houston Kicking
Player FGM FGA PCT LG
Ka'imi Fairbairn 2 2 100.0 46

Denver Kicking
Player FGM FGA PCT LG
Brandon McManus 1 3 33.0 44

Houston Punting
Player PUNTS YDS LG
Trevor Daniel 6 307 61

Denver Punting
Player PUNTS YDS LG
Colby Wadman 5 236 59