Posted January 05, 2013 on
AP on Fox
New England Patriots
J.J. Watt swatted away passes, Arian Foster ran away from tacklers and the Houston Texans did just enough to knock Cincinnati out of the playoffs for the second straight year.
Matt Schaub made his postseason debut a successful one when Foster's 1-yard touchdown in third quarter helped the Texans to a 19-13 AFC wild-card playoff win over the Bengals on Saturday.
Now comes the big test. The Texans (13-4) move on to the second round on Jan. 13, when they visit the New England Patriots, who beat them 42-14 in Week 14.
Shayne Graham kicked four field goals for the Texans, while Foster finished with 140 yards and became the first NFL player to have 100-yard games in each of his first three playoff games. Watt finished with a sack and swatted away two of Andy Dalton's pass attempts, once wagging his finger at the Bengals quarterback after the play.
The Texans had trouble finishing drives and managed three field goals in the first half against the Bengals (10-7). Houston struck first after the break, with Foster scoring the game's only offensive touchdown to make it 16-7.
Schaub, who missed last year's playoffs with a foot injury, had an interception returned for a touchdown by Leon Hall before halftime.
''It was never easy,'' Schaub said. ''Cincinnati is a great team. I made a turnover and gave them points. We just had to rally around each other and we did that.''
Johnathan Joseph, a former Bengal, came up with an interception for the Texans, who kept Cincinnati without a playoff win since 1991, the league's longest current streak.
''I think it was a full defensive effort, everybody was flying around and we were getting off the field on third downs,'' Watt said.
Houston had struggled on third downs lately. This time, the Texans didn't let the Bengals convert a third down on nine tries.
The Texans rebounded from a terrible month where they lost three of four games and the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs. The win came in front of a record crowd of 71,738, including former Oilers great Earl Campbell.
''We like to run the ball and play good defense,'' Foster said. ''It only takes one week to turn things around in the NFL and we did that.''
Schaub shook off his first-half miscue to finish 29 of 38 for 262 yards.
The Bengals couldn't do anything offensively before the break, and were outgained 250-53 in the first half. Dalton was 4 of 10 for 3 yards in the first half. He finished 14 of 30 for 127 yards.
Houston piled up 351 yards and held the ball for 32 minutes through three quarters, but got into the end zone only once.
Dalton's 45-yard pass to A.J. Green got Cincinnati moving in the third quarter and set up Josh Brown's 34-yard field goal. When Dalton tried to go to Green again, Joseph intercepted and got the Texans in scoring range again as the quarter ended.
In last year's playoffs, the Texans trounced the Bengals 31-10, with Dalton throwing three interceptions.
The main difference in this one: Schaub was back in charge for Houston. Rookie T.J. Yates filled in for Schaub, got the Texans a win in their first-ever playoff game, but couldn't take them any farther.
On their second possession, the Texans started moving. Schaub completed an 18-yard pass, Foster had a 17-yard run and Keshawn Martin went 16 yards on a reverse, setting up Graham's field goal.
It became a pattern - move the ball down the field, settle for three points. The fans started booing.
And then Schaub did the one thing he wanted to avoid - he let Cincinnati's defense get its hands on the ball. Hall anticipated Schaub's throw, stepped in front and returned it untouched, high-stepping the last few yards, for the defense's fourth touchdown in the last four games.
Hall also ran back an interception 17 yards for the only Bengals touchdown in a 13-10 win over Pittsburgh that clinched a playoff spot. It was the first interception return for a touchdown against the Texans this season.
Like the Texans, the Bengals ended the season by hitting a wall on offense - one touchdown in the last two games. The offensive woes continued on Saturday when the Bengals failed to score a touchdown on offense again.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Just in case the Houston Texans needed any more fuel for this weekend's upcoming AFC Divisional playoff game, Boston sports writer Dan Shaughnessy provided them with some.
Houston Texans running back Arian Foster recently changed his Twitter avatar to this quote taken from a Shaughnessy article written on Sunday bashing the Texans after their Wild Card win over the Bengals...
Houston Texans running back Arian Foster used what Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe wrote as bulletin board material by posting it as a his Twitter profile picture as they get ready to play the Patriots this week. I’m sure this will fire the Texans up a little more. After getting dismantled by the Patriots earlier in the season, it will be interesting to see how they play...
Many NFL pundits aren’t giving the Texans much of a chance in their return trip to New England this weekend, not after stumbling to a 42-14 loss less than a month ago. Texans running back Arian Foster is soaking in all the doubt, though, and using it as motivation for his rematch with the Patriots.
Foster, who is very active on social media, changed his Twitter avatar to a photo...
The above is what Texans running back Arian Foster is now using for his Twitter avatar. It is a cut and paste job from the article Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe wrote yesterday in advance of next weekend's AFC playoff game between the Patriots and Texans. Shaughnessy is known for two things: being a troll while offending pretty much everyone, and making grandiose and hyperbolic...
Texans running back Arian Foster bulldozed his way to 140 yards rushing Saturday in a first round win over Cincinnati.Fantasy Spin:The 32 carries Foster received were a season-high. Foster and the Texans play New England a week from Sunday. Foster was held to 46 yards on 15 rushes when he played against the Patriots earlier in the season.
Arian Foster of the Texans has a new Twitter avatar.
From Shaughnessy’s column yesterday.
Shaughnessy’s Column Used As Bulletin Board Material by @ArianFoster is a post from: Boston Sports Media Watch
Dear Houston Texans, I think you can win it all.
As a matter-of-fact, I know that you will. But first things first, we need to talk.
The post "An open letter to the Houston Texans" appeared first on Players View Dot Net
HOUSTON (AP) -- Arian Foster ran for 140 yards and a touchdown, and the Houston Texans used a stifling defensive effort for a 19-13 win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday in an AFC wild-card playoff game.
The Texans will next play at New England on Jan. 13.
Foster became the first player in NFL history to have 100-yard games in each of his first three playoff games.
After beating the Bengals 19-13 to open wildcard weekend for the second straight year, the Houston Texans (13-4) head into the divisional round as pretty heavy underdogs to the New England Patriots (12-4).
Though head coach Bill Belichick is inevitably sending a message that the 42-14 win in Week 14 means nothing now, Dan Shaughnessy has a different outlook in his column in the...
J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans knocked down a pass from the Bengals Andy Dalton and wasn’t going to let him forget about it. Following the bat-down, which Watt specializes in, Dalton was greeted with a Mutombo finger wag.
Article found on: Cosby Sweaters
Couldn't stop Arian Foster. Couldn't make that one big play when it was right at their fingertips. And, in an ending so sickeningly familiar, the Bengals couldn't break one of the NFL's longest streaks of playoff futility.
Plenty of blame to go around for this one.
Andy Dalton overthrew an open A.J. Green in the end zone in the closing minutes, and the Houston Texans...
Arian Foster could be the player with the most on his shoulders this weekend
Cincinnati Bengals at Houston Texans 4:30 p.m.
@ Reliant Stadium in Houston
The Texans have been struggling as of late as their 1-3 record shows to end the season. In those four games, Texans quarterback Matt Schaub has one touchdown and three interceptions. That type of production in this playoff...
THE GOOD: Houston's OffenseThe Texans scored just one touchdown in Saturday's game, but scored on five different possessions. That tells us that Houston moved the ball consistently all day, and stuck to its game plan: giving the ball to #23. Arian Foster ran for 140 yards on 32 carries, and scored the only offensive touchdown in the game. He also added eight grabs for...
They say running backs are worth less than a dime a dozen in the NFL, and they have a point. After all, the NFL's No. 2 leading rusher this season -- Alfred Morris of the Washington Redskins -- was passed on exactly 172 times in the 2012 NFL draft. And the league's rushing touchdown leader -- Arian Foster of the Houston Texans -- wasn't even selected in the 2009 draft...
After a bye week off, the Patriots now know who their divisional round opponent is — and they should seem pretty familiar.
It wasn’t all that lone ago (just under a month, in fact) that the Houston Texans traveled to Gillette Stadium for what was billed as a heavyweight matchup between two Super Bowl contenders. The end result didn’t nearly match the hype, as Tom Brady and...