The Houston Texans are back in the AFC Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs. Is this the year they finally get over the hump and advance to the AFC Championship game?
For the fourth time, the Houston Texans will be playing in the AFC Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs this Sunday, but this time around the franchise is hoping for much better results than the previous three trips.
It is no secret the Texans haven’t had the best of luck or success when they advance to the Divisional Round of the playoffs, as their history shows they are 0-3 all-time when making it this far into the postseason.
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This year, the Texans will be on the road to face the Kansas City Chiefs, a team they defeated in Week 6 by a 31-24 score, giving the Texans a signature win at that point of the regular season. Now facing the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium — the location of the regular-season meeting — it is now time for the Texans to prove all over again they should be mentioned in the same sentence as the No. 2 seeded team that resides in Kansas City.
Looking back at the three Divisional Round playoff games for the Texans, they came in the 2016 Playoffs when the Texans lost to the New England Patriots 34-16, in the 2012 Playoffs to the Patriots (41-28) and then to the Baltimore Ravens (20-13) in the 2011 Playoffs.
The first Divisional Round loss in Baltimore saw the Texans trail early at 17-3 at the end of the first quarter and 17-13 at halftime. From there, the scoring was low when the Texans were held scoreless in the second half and Baltimore had three points in the fourth.
T.J. Yates was the quarterback for the Texans in that game, as he was 17-of-35 for 184 yards with no touchdowns and three interceptions. His counterpart in that game was Joe Flacco, who finished 14-of-27 for 176 yards passing with two touchdowns and no interceptions. Flacco was even sacked five times by the Houston defense, but it wasn’t enough for the win.
The following season, the Texans were back in the Divisional Round and this time were handled by the Patriots, 41-28 at Gillette Stadium. Again, the Texans trailed at the end of the first quarter by a 7-3 score, followed by both teams scoring 10 points in the second frame for a 17-13 deficit at halftime for the Texans.
The Texans were outscored 14-0 in the third, and Houston added 15 points in the fourth with the Patriots having 10 points, but it was too little, too late. Matt Schaub was Houston’s quarterback in the loss, where he was 34-of-51 for 343 yards and sacked once. The Texans had the unfortunate task of taking on Tom Brady at his best (24-of-40 for three touchdowns and no interceptions).
J.J. Watt had a half sack, four tackles, one tackle for loss and a QB hit in that playoff loss.
The most recent visit to the Divisional Round saw the Texans lose to the Patriots for a second time in the 2016 Playoffs by a 34-16 score. For a third straight time, the Texans trailed at the conclusion of the first quarter (14-3) and at halftime (17-13).
Also, the Texans were held scoreless in the third frame, while New England scored seven points in the same quarter. The fourth quarter included 10 points by the Patriots and three points from the Texans for the 16-point loss.
The Texans this time had Brock Osweiler as their playoff quarterback, and well, he didn’t fare well. Osweiler was 23-of-40 for 197 yards passing for one touchdown and three interceptions, though he did have one rush for 18 yards and was sacked three times in the loss.
This time around, the Texans aren’t getting the benefit of a doubt as they will have Deshaun Watson as their starting quarterback, who seemingly is the best quarterback to lead the Texans to a playoff game. The Action Network has the Texans as +9.5, which isn’t great for the Texans entering this game.
As for the history of the Texans in the Divisional Round, it isn’t great at all, but the Texans have an opportunity to rid themselves of their past misfortunes. If that happens, the long-awaited AFC Championship game is in store.