Texans top Bengals to advance to AFC divisional round

Posted Sunday, Jan. 06, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
A

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

HOUSTON -- The Houston Texans had their doubters this week. Nobody gives them a snowball's chance next week.

But give them this: There are worse things than going on the road to face Tom Brady.

Like being at home with a Monday tee time.

Houston lived to die another day, beating the Cincinnati Bengals 19-13 on Saturday to earn a trip to New England for a divisional playoff game next Sunday.

"Our backs were against the wall," Texans linebacker Bradie James said. "You've got to win. It's the playoffs. You win, you stay in. You lose, you go home. Very cut and dry. You can't worry about what's happened in the past. It's a credit to the leadership on the team to keep everybody positive and forging forward. So that's where we are."

The Texans could have earned a first-round bye and home field throughout the playoffs by winning two of their final four games. Instead, they went 1-3, including a 42-14 loss to the Patriots on Dec, 10 in New England.

Never has a 12-4 regular season felt so empty.

The Texans have gone from midseason favorites to facing longer Super Bowl odds than six other teams at 14-1.

The Texans, though, did what they needed to do Saturday against an inferior opponent, eliminating the Bengals for the second consecutive season.

"It was fun to go out there and prove a lot of people wrong today," linebacker Connor Barwin said. "... There was a little bit of a lapse that last month. We only needed to win two out of four games, and it looked like with the teams we were playing, we could do that. We didn't focus enough to get that job done. But everybody kind of refocused. When we do that, we're a pretty damn good team."

Houston, which averaged 27.2 points in its first 12 games but only 16.2 in its last four, could muster only one touchdown out of four red-zone possessions against the Bengals, and Matt Schaub threw a pick-six. Otherwise, the first game of the postseason was all Texans.

The Bengals were outgained 295 to 52 in the first 34:29, with Cincinnati getting only 3 passing yards in that span. The Bengals finished with 198 total yards and went 0 for 9 on third down. Former TCU star Andy Dalton went 14 for 30 for 127 yards with no touchdowns, one interception and a 44.7 passer rating.

"That's what we said early in the week: Let's get our swag back. Let's get it going. Let's get the mojo. Whatever it takes," Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips said. "We're in the top of the league stats in a lot of the categories. I went through that with them and said, 'Hey, you guys had a great year, and we won 12 games. You should be confident.'"

With Schaub starting his first playoff game and not playing his best football of late, the Texans leaned heavily on Arian Foster. He had 32 rushes for 140 yards and a touchdown and caught eight passes for 34 yards.

Owner Bob McNair said he wanted to plant a kiss on Foster when Foster clinched the game with a 10-yard run inside of two minutes with the Bengals out of timeouts.

"I don't think he would have got that far, man," said Foster, who became the first running back ever to rush for 100 or more yards in his first three postseason games. "Don't get me wrong, man. Bob is a good guy. I just don't want no kiss from Bob. A nice little hug will do."

Charean Williams

817-390-7760

Twitter: @NFLCharean

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse, images, internet links or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?





Friday, August 29Full Scoreboard
Minnesota 8/29 7:05 PM ET
Baltimore TV: FSN-N, MASN
Cincinnati 8/29 7:05 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: MLB N, FSN-OH, ROOT-PIT
NY Yankees 8/29 7:07 PM ET
Toronto TV: MLB Network, YES, SNET
Philadelphia 8/29 7:10 PM ET
NY Mets TV: CSN-PHI, SNY
Boston 8/29 7:10 PM ET
Tampa Bay TV: NESN, Sun Sports
Miami 8/29 7:35 PM ET
Atlanta TV: FSN-FL, FSN-S
Detroit 8/29 8:10 PM ET
Chicago WSox TV: FSN-DET, CSN-CHI
Texas 8/29 8:10 PM ET
Houston TV: FSN-SW, CSN-HOU
Cleveland 8/29 8:10 PM ET
Kansas City TV: STO, FSN-KC
Chicago Cubs 8/29 8:15 PM ET
St. Louis TV: WGN, FSN-MW
Colorado 8/29 9:40 PM ET
Arizona TV: ROOT-RM, FSN-AZ
Oakland 8/29 10:05 PM ET
LA Angels TV: CSN-CA, FSN-W
Los Angeles 8/29 10:10 PM ET
San Diego TV: SportsNet LA, FSN-SD
Washington 8/29 10:10 PM ET
Seattle TV: WUSA 9, MASN 2, ROOT-NW
Milwaukee 8/29 10:15 PM ET
San Francisco TV: FSN-WI, CSN-BA
Full Scoreboard
Friday, August 29Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard
Week 1Full Scoreboard
Thursday
Green Bay 8:30 PM ET
Seattle TV: NBC
Sunday
New Orleans 1:00 PM ET
Atlanta TV: FOX
Cincinnati 1:00 PM ET
Baltimore TV: CBS
Buffalo 1:00 PM ET
Chicago TV: FOX
Washington 1:00 PM ET
Houston TV: FOX
Tennessee 1:00 PM ET
Kansas City TV: CBS
New England 1:00 PM ET
Miami TV: CBS
Oakland 1:00 PM ET
NY Jets TV: CBS
Jacksonville 1:00 PM ET
Philadelphia TV: CBS
Cleveland 1:00 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: CBS
Minnesota 1:00 PM ET
St. Louis TV: FOX
San Francisco 4:25 PM ET
Dallas TV: FOX
Carolina 4:25 PM ET
Tampa Bay TV: FOX
Indianapolis 8:30 PM ET
Denver TV: NBC
Monday
NY Giants 7:10 PM ET
Detroit TV: ESPN
San Diego 10:20 PM ET
Arizona TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Friday, August 29Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard