Texans’ Strong grabs Hail Mary TD, scores on first two career catches
Jaelen Strong officially has a reception in the NFL. And what a catch it was.
With the Houston Texans trailing the Indianapolis Colts 13-3 Thursday night and struggling to get anything going on offense, the rookie wideout lined up on the right side and headed straight into the end zone as quarterback Brian Hoyer threw up a prayer on the final play of the first half.
And more than 50 yards later, Strong answered the prayer. The play was officially a 42-yard touchdown pass. But between Hoyer’s drop-back and Strong’s position in the middle of the end zone, it was a Hail Mary that sailed more than half the distance of the field and into the hands of a receiver whose career had gotten off to a rocky start.
Just for good measure, Strong’s second career catch went for a score, as well, an 11-yard grab in the third quarter that pulled Houston to within 20-17.
The third-round pick out of Arizona State was inactive for the Texans’ first four games this season, struggling with drops in the preseason and early going in practices. But as Strong told the Houston Chronicle before Thursday’s game, "I’m ready to go out there and do what I’m coached to do."
And apparently coaching to catch Hail Mary’s is something Strong has been getting for some time.
Nearly one year ago to the day, Strong hauled in a 46-yard Hail Mary in the end zone as time expired to lift Arizona State over the Trojans in Los Angeles, 38-34.