Texans advance, topple Bengals
By The Associated Press
Published: Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013, 7:54 p.m.
HOUSTON — 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.
“It hurts when you lose, particularly when you lose in the playoffs,” Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said.
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 the Steelers 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 Saturday when the Bengals failed to score a touchdown on offense again.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Mail for IRS delivered to Squirrel Hill home
- North Versailles, Murrysville families still waiting for report on 2011 chopper crash that killed couple
- Philanthropist helps waitress become nurse
- Drug crime reclassification to help ex-cons get vote rights
- Penguins’ Bylsma wants Cup version of Letang
- Pitt QB Savage turns down NYC invite to NFL Draft
- Outdoor notices: April 19
- ‘Roosevelt’s Beast’ provides diverting expedition
- Youngster falls over hillside in Churchill
- Orpik: Penguins must keep their cool
- Cranberry’s Community Chest hopes yearly project will boost VFDs across county