Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 1/5/13
J.J. Watt #99 of the Houston Texans looks on against the Cincinnati Bengals during their AFC Wild Card Playoff Game at Reliant Stadium on January 5, 2013 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images) The Houston Texans entered into Saturday afternoon’s wildcard game with the Cincinnati Bengals carrying more than just the hopes of moving on to the next round of the 2013 NFL playoffs. After losing three of four games to end the regular season, the Texans were surrounded by doubts and worries that all added up to one big question mark hanging over the best record in franchise history. But despite the late-season setbacks, Houston came into this game and handled its business, staying off the feisty Bengals in a 19-13 win in a rocking Reliant Stadium. The Texans will now travel to New England to face the Patriots in the next round of the playoffs for a rematch of the week 14 Monday Night Football showdown in which Houston was humiliated in a 42-14 blowout.  There’s no question that this meeting will carry drastically different implications and likely a different taste and feel. Houston will certainly look to change things up, as the Patriots had them beat at every turn and snuffed out the Texans’ game plan from the beginning. The resurgence of Arian Foster against the Bengals on Saturday was certainly a boost to the team’s morale. The running back carried the ball 32 times for 140 yards, scored one touchdown, and caught eight balls for 34 yards. This is exactly the kind of performance Houston will need from Foster next week to have success against the Patriots. In week 14, Foster was held to 46 yards on 15 carries, and although he did score a touchdown, he didn’t have enough of an impact to change the game. Arian Foster #23 of the Houston Texans celebrates after he scored a 1-yard rushing touchdown in the third quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals during their AFC Wild Card Playoff Game at Reliant Stadium on January 5, 2013 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images) Matt Schaub did not make the impression that his fans were hoping for in his playoff debut. He finished the day 29-of-38 passing for 262 yards and one interception. Schaub was saved by the play of Foster and the Texans’ defense that held the Bengals out of the end zone for the entire game. If recent trends continue, the Texans will need all the help they can from their defense and their backfield to have a chance at winning the Lombardi trophy – not-to-mention next week’s matchup. As for the game with Cincinnati, the Texans really didn’t do anything flashy, and didn’t take chances. But despite yielding a somewhat subdued playoff game, in terms of entertainment value, the formula was largely successful to keep the Bengals at bay and contain the game to a battle of the defenses. If I had a game ball to give, I would award it to head coach Gary Kubiak, who inspired his team to overcome their late-season struggles and get a win in the biggest game his team has played this year. His clock awareness and his overall management of the game were also invaluable in determining the outcome of the game. The Texans will need all of that and more again next week as they go head-to-head with the great football mind of Bill Belichick.   As for now the Texans live to play another day. They have the talent to hang with anyone, and we have all seen flashes of their brilliance. But we’ve also seen signs of inexperience, immaturity and a lock of focus. At times this year it seems like the Texans have fielded two entirely different teams from week to week. The question now becomes: which team will show up one week from now? The Houston Texans meet the New England Patriots in Gillett Stadium at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday. Follow @jon_coffey
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Marc Gasol signs five-year deal with Grizzlies

Manu Ginobili announces he will return next season

Robinson Cano dealing with stomach ailment all season

Tony Romo on Dez Bryant's contract: 'I think it will work out'

Report: Giants pull $60 million offer to Jason Pierre-Paul

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Dwayne Bowe: I’m here to fill Josh Gordon’s shoes

Report: DeAndre Jordan was tired of Chris Paul's antics

Marcus Smart eager to show full skill set with injury behind him

Geno Smith: Brandon Marshall is 'a quarterback's best friend'

Report: NFL executive questions hype around Sam Bradford

Raiders coaching staff excited about running backs

Braves the most interesting team to watch at the deadline?

Video shows FSU QB De'Andre Johnson punching woman

Is James Harden dating Khloe Kardashian?

Odell Beckham Jr. poses for nude version of 'The Catch'

Dwyane Wade: I'll retire 'when I can no longer play'

How Matt Ryan became “Matty Ice”

The long road of an NBA second-round pick

Jameis Winston visits Miami teen in hospital with condition

2015 MLB first-half all-surprise team

World Cup Final smashes ratings records

Tsunami survivor fulfills dream by signing with Sporting Lisbon

Andre Johnson reconnects with Chuck Pagano by joining Colts

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Video shows De'Andre Johnson punching woman

Odell Beckham Jr. poses for nude version of 'The Catch'

Report: Giants pull offer to Pierre-Paul

Report: Jordan was tired of Chris Paul

2015 All-Star starters announced

JPP injured in fireworks mishap?

Odell Beckham doesn't want to be known for 'the catch'

Russell Wilson 'would definitely consider' playing for Mariners

Solo, Rapinoe among USWNT stars up for World Cup awards

LBS on Sports Jeopardy! Here's how how it went

College football's 35 most patriotic helmets

A brief history of non-star All-Stars

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.