Texans Foster Win, Dalton Wonders Watt Happened

Posted: January 8, 2012 by Kodi in NFL


Everything is bigger in Texas, even NFL playoff wins

Arian Foster exploded against the Bengals good rush defense and Yates managed another win

It was an incredible play by rookie DE J.J. Watt that completely changed the game. . .


The last time a NFL franchise from Houston won a playoff game it was 1991 and the Oilers had just defeated the New York Jets in the AFC Wild Card, the last win for the Cincinnati Bengals was over the Oilers in the Wild Card round the year before. In front of a record settingcrowd of nearly 72000 the Houston Texans made their first postseason appearance since forming as a franchise in 2002. They are the 6th expansion team to win their playoff debut joining the Panthers, Jags, Ravens, Seahawks and Bucanneers. Things didn’t start off fast for the Texans who opened the game with two straight three and outs and didn’t take a lead until the 3rd quarter.


The Bengals scored first with a 1 yard rushing touchdown by Cedric Benson but the Texans answered on the next drive with their franchises first postseason touchdowns, an 8 yard run by Arian Foster. The Texans first lead came just three plays after Neil Rackers 39 yard field goal tied the game at 10. There was just under 2 minutes left in the first half when Andy Dalton attempted a short pass to the right. He was not expecting former Wisconsin rookie DE J.J. Watt to drop back after reading what he believed was going to be a dump off screen, he stuck his hands up and palmed the ball bringing it back towards his body and intercepting the pass. Watt ran the 29 yards back into the end-zone and gave Houston a 17-10 lead going into the locker room and the momentum had completely shifted.


I was really just trying to put my hands up and get in the way of the passing lane,” Watt said. “It happened to kind of stick. I realized I had the ball, so I was running to the end-zone just kind of trying not to fall down” the rookie explained. “That was it and I scored and I got mobbed by my teammates. The stadium wen absolutely nuts, so thank you to our fans for really changing the momemntum” and Watt couldn’t have been more right. “It’s really one of those moments where it really couldn’t be any better, especially at that point in the game when we needed that play it’s really something special” the young man told reporters after his teams victory.


Up until this point it seemed that Andy Dalton and the Bengals were playing better under the pressure but Cincinnati’s poise was completely deflated after the Watt pick six and they couldn’t recover. On Houston’s second possession in the second half the young T.J. Yates hit a streaking Andre Johnson for a 40 yard touchdown pass, the first in Texans history and extended their lead to 24-10. Andre has been around for all but the Texans first season and he finally got his shot to produce under the bright lights that accompany the NFL playoffs.


Johnson explained that the win was “not just for me, bu for the whole organization” and explained that the success is “a very special feeling” and told reporters that after the game it was “probably the most I’ve smiled in a long time.” Johnson finished the game with 5 catches for 90 yards and his touchdown It was like a big relief. It was just more of what I have been through this season as far as the injuries and everything, and being in my first playoff game and wanting to win so bad, wanting to make a play.”


With just over 5 minutes left in the game Arian Foster ran down the right sideline before stiff arming his way into the end-zone for a 42 yard touchdown his 2nd of the day. Foster should not have scored but the Bengals were defeated both mentally and on the field and a simple move propelled Arian down the field and past the only defender between him and pay dirt. Foster had 24 rushing attempts and rushed for 153 yards and his 2 touchdowns averaging 6.4 yards per carry and became just the just the 7th undrafted player in NFL history to rush for more than 100 yards in a playoff game. Bengals RB Cedric Benson did score the first touchdown of the game but finished the game with 7 rushes for 14 yards and a score. As a team the Bengals rushed for just 76 while the Texans ran for 188 as a team and have outrushed their opponents 11 times and have been victorious in 8 of them.


I thought that it was going to be a battle of the rookie QB’s but T.J. Yates finished 11-20 passing for 159 yards and his 1 touchdown to ‘Dre and I thought that wouldn’t be enough to propel his team to victory but a solid game by Foster and a huge game by his defense proved me wrong. Andy Dalton was throwing the ball early and often but his 3 interceptions made it impossible for his team to overcome and the rookie finished 27-42 with 257 passing yards. He looked for rookie phenom WR A.J. Green 12 times throughout the game but he caught just 5 balls for 47 yards and after former Bengal CB Jonathan Joseph began covering Green he was nearly all but forgotten for the final three quarters.


Houston had 3 takeaways and committed no turnovers and scored 14 points off of those turnovers, adding to their regular season total of 119 points off of 27 turnovers. Like most team the Texans win games when they are positive in the turnover margin and are now 7-2 when they have more takeaways than turnovers in 2011. They also added 4 sacks and 8 tackles for loss on top of their 3 interceptions and after the first quarter Dalton and the Bengals looked lost.


Defensive Coordinator Wade Philips told reporters that “[the Texans] had a strong group all year so we try to alternate guys but they’re all every down players and that’s the key. High motor, high energy that’s the way that we play defense” and we all know the old cliché defense wins championship. Houston will travel to Baltimore to face the Ravens another team with a strong defense and it will be interesting to see how this momentum can help the Texans surprise the AFC’s number 2 seed. 


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