Dare Ogunbowale #33 of the Houston Texans reacts after kicking a field goal in the fourth quarter of a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at NRG Stadium on November 05, 2023 in Houston, Texas.
Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Texans Running Back Forced Into Kicker Action, Drills Go-Ahead Field Goal

The Houston Texans found an unlikely hero.

On an afternoon that C.J. Stroud authored one of the finest performances of his young career, it was running back Dare Ogunbowale who stole the show, but not for any reason that you might expect.

With Ka'imi Fairbairn sidelined with a quad injury, Ogunbowale was forced into the role of emergency kicker for the Texans, and wound up drilling a 29-yard field goal to give the Texans a 33-30 lead over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday afternoon.

The look of relief on Texans head coach DeMeco Ryans' face, as Ogunbowale's kick split the uprights with plenty of room to spare, was priceless, and most likely an expression shared by Houston fans everywhere.

As ESPN's Field Yates points out, Ogunbowale became the first non-kicker to make a field goal during an NFL regular season game since Wes Welker in 2004.

In addition to his clutch field goal, Ogunbowale also handled the Texans' kickoff duties in the second half, including booting the second-half opener inside the five-yard line.

Prior to lining up at kicker, in an emergency situation, Ogunbowale had previously appeared in 70 games, rushing for 426 yards with four career touchdowns.

Losing Fairbairn certainly caused the Texans to take a more aggressive approach on offense, and Stroud delivered.

The No. 2 overall pick in the NFL Draft stepped up, completing 25-of-36 passes for 395 yards and four touchdowns, while rushing for 10 more yards, as the game entered its final 5:00 of action.

While the Texans held on for the come-from-behind win, with Stroud completing 470 passing yards, a single-game rookie record, it's difficult to imagine anyone talking about anything else from this game than Ogunbowale delivering in one of its biggest moments.

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