Arian Foster ran for 140 yards on 32 carries, and a touchdown to lead the Texans over the Bengals, 19-13, Saturday in an AFC wild-card gam at Reliant Stadium, earning a rematch with the Patriots next Sunday at 4:30 p.m. in the AFC divisonal round at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots crushed the Texans, 42-14, on Monday night football on Dec. 10 at Gillette Stadium.
In a rematch of last year's AFC wild-card matchup, the Texans and J.J. Watt were able to pressure Andy Dalton in the first half, holding the Bengals to -6 passing yards. The Bengals still managed a 7-6 lead when Leon Hall returned a Matt Schaub interception 21 yards in the second quarter. The Texans dominated the first half in time of possession but managed just three field goals, taking a 9-7 halftime lead.
The Texans were able to finally finish a scoring drive with a touchdown in the third quarter when Arian Foster ran it in from two yards out to make it 16-7. The Bengals and Dalton finally targeted A.J. Green on the next drive as Cincinnati worked its way into the red zone. But Dalton misfired to Green and they had to settle for a field goal that made it 16-10.
The Bengals got ball back but Dalton threw an interception to former Bengal Johnathan Joseph set up Houston's fourth field goal of the day, giving the Texans a 19-10 lead. The Bengals responded with a 47-yard Josh Brown field goal, making it 19-13 with nine minutes left.
Twice the Texans had fourth-and-1 and Gary Kubiak decided to punt, even with Foster available. They gave the Bengals the ball twice, including with 6:15 left in the game and a chance to drive 80 yards for the go-ahead score. The Bengals drove down to the Texans 35 but the drive stalled as Dalton missed a wide open Green in the end zone on third down and were stopped on fourth down. The Bengals finished 0-for-9 on third down.
The Bengals became the first team in NFL history to go 0-6 all-time in road playoff games. Bengals coach Marvin Lewis also fell to 0-4 in the playoffs. Lewis, who is now the second-longest tenured NFL coach behind Bill Belichick, has gone longer without a playoff win (10 seasons) than any coach in NFL history.
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