Houston Texans special teams played pivotal part in wildcard win

The Houston Texans emerged victorious in part due to the flawless execution of the special teams unit throughout the game.

The Houston Texans offense struggled to put up points in the first half against the Buffalo Bills, but the defense and special teams played a pivotal role in limiting the Bills to only 13 points in the first two quarters.

In the battle for better field position, Texans’ punter Bryan Anger finished the game with five punts due to the offense’s early struggles but managed to flip the field effectively to put the football inside the Bills’ 20-yard line three times.

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Anger averaged 43.2 yards per punt and had a net average of 41.6 yards per punt attempt. Anger, along with the Texans punting coverage, did a phenomenal job of limiting former first-team All-Pro  Andre Roberts in the return game with only eight yards.

The Texans kicking unit also did its fair share of work to keep the team in the game through all four quarters of regulation plus overtime. Ka’imi Fairbairn and the kickoff unit kept Roberts at bay as the designated kick returner, which is no small feat with Roberts being one of the better special team players in the league and finishing last season as the NFL kickoff return yards leader.

Fairbairn played sparingly with the Texans opting to go for a couple of two-point conversions to tie the game to 16, but he made both of his field-goal attempts, including the game-winning score to defeat the Bills in overtime.

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The Texans counted on all three phases to overcome a 16 point deficit, and the special teams did their part in helping Houston pull out the win to advance the AFC Divisional Round against the Kansas City Chiefs.

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