Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/9/14
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: Rick Barnes not expected back at Texas

Metta World Peace interested in coaching at St John's

Knicks want Marc Gasol, do they know what they’re asking for?

New York Rangers are the first team to clinch a playoff spot

Victorino: I plan on playing every day for Red Sox in 2015

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

The Rams are still planning on drafting a quarterback

Howard willing to make 'ultimate sacrifice' for Rockets

Pacquiao bought P. Diddy’s house for $12.5M, fight tickets

The Seahawks are already winning the NFL Draft

Fiancée takes stand at Aaron Hernandez's murder trial

Thunder announce Kevin Durant to miss rest of season

WATCH: Tom Brady jumps off tall cliff in Costa Rica

WATCH: 2 Chainz beats Dominique Wilkins in HORSE

Angels remove Josh Hamilton banner from front of stadium

Elite Eight preview: Arizona vs. Wisconsin

Support for relocation growing among NFL powers

Mother says special needs son forced to remove varsity letter

NFL owners chose cost over game integrity

Minnesota Timberwolves: Should they tank?

Be careful how loudly you cheer on Mo'ne Davis' olive branch

Twins to offer $19 Bloody Mary with pizza slice garnish

Ranking the NBA's hottest coaching seats

The beginning of the end for Notre Dame

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

Rick Barnes not returning to Texas?

WATCH: Brady jumps off cliff in Costa Rica

WATCH: 2 Chainz beats Nique in HORSE

Elite Eight preview and predictions: Notre Dame vs. Kentucky

Elite Eight preview and predictions: Arizona vs. Wisconsin

NFL owners chose cost over game integrity

Be careful how loudly you cheer on Mo'ne Davis' olive branch

James Harden and the collective consciousness

Hottest coaching seats in NBA

Under-the-radar NL MVP candidates

Notre Dame’s coach makes first Elite Eight

The last Expo standing

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.