This should be an interesting matchup as two potent running backs go at each other with fifth-ranked running back the Houston Texans Arian Foster against twelfth-ranked running back Cincinnati Bengals Cedric Benson. To top things off, veteran quarterback Houston Texans Matt Schaub has been sidelined and recovering from surgery. The rookie Texans quarterback T.J. Yates will go against brilliant rookie Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton in perhaps the most significant game of his career to date. This wildcard playoff game was played at the Texans’ Reliant Stadium.
Now the post-game analysis:
- With a penalty from the Texans’ safety Glover Quin at 9:16 in the first quarter, it led to an easy touchdown by the Bengals’ Cederic Benson.
- But the Houston’s return with theirs on the next drive with Arian Foster from 8-yards out after a penalty from Bengals’ safety Reggie Nelson. These offenses are already going at each other by the end of first quarter after they settle down.
- The Houston Texans defense steps up and forces Bengals kicker Matt Nugent to miss a 50-yard field goal at 12:52 in the second quarter.
- Bengals tight end Donald Lee has a 36-yard reception at 9:20 in the second quarter after breaking tackles. Ultimately, the Bengals stall, and Mike Nugent kicks a shotput 37-yard field goal with 7:14 left.
- Texans kicker Neil Rackers answers with 39-yard field goal to tie the game 10-10 with 1:48 left until halfime.
- A 29-yard interception by Texans defensive end J.J. Watt gives the Texans a 17-10 lead with 1:26 in the second quarter. He punctuated the second half by a sack on Andy Dalton with eight seconds left.
- After miscues by Andy Dalton forcing time to call timeout early in the third quarter, the Cincinnati Bengals could not get into rhythm. Meanwhile, the Houston Texans begin to roll. Defensive end Antonio Smith gets a sack on Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton with 6:25 left in the third quarter.
- The Houston Texans score with a 40-yard reception from Andre Johnson to gain a 24-10 lead with 1:18 left in the third quarter. The pass was phenomenal as the Bengals safeties lost containment of the Texans talented wideout.
- Defensive tackle Earl Mitchell gets another sack on Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton at the start of the fourth quarter. The Texans defense is still feeling the momentum, and Andy Dalton is feeling the pressure. To make matters worse, Dalton throws an interception to Texans cornerback Jonathan Joseph on a fourth down at 12:46 in the fourth quarter. Clearly, the pressure has gotten to Bengals rookie quarterback Andy Dalton, and he has been shaken.
- A tackle by Texans fullback James Casey on the punt at 7:38 in the fourht quarter sets Andy Dalton and his Bengals on the Cincinnati Bengals 9-yard line. Yet another interception on Andy Dalton as the pass for A.J. Green is intercepted by safety Danieal Manning with 7:09 left.
- Houston Texans running back Arian Foster scores a 42-yard touchdown after missed tackles by the Bengals. The score is 31-10 Texans with 5:26 left in the game.
- The Bengals were dazed and confused as Andy Dalton is forced to call their last timeout at 2:28 left, but it is to no avail as Johnathan Joseph breaks up the fourth down pass.
Cincinnati Bengals brilliant quarterback Andy Dalton had a rookie presence with 3 interceptions and a dismal 51.4 quarterback rating in this AFC Wildcard playoff game. T.J. Yates performed better with a 97.7 quarterback rating surprisingly despite it was only his third NFL start after injuries to starting quarterback Matt Schaub and backup Matt Leinart. The first half became a battle after the teams settled down. Whereas quarterback Andy Dalton was the factor in the first half for the Cincinnati Bengals, running back Arian Foster was the factor for the Houston Texans.
With the halftime show in tow, Charles Barkley was seriously out of place with his inane football discussion. He should stick to basketball analysis instead. At least, with basketball, he’s conversant on the topic but not much better.
With the assistance of receptions and rushing by Arian Foster, Houston Texans rookie quarterback T.J. Yates found breathing room and rhythm he gained from the second quarter. Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson finally broke through in the third quarter with a touchdown, and Arian Foster gained a touchdown in the last quarter. Throughout the second half, the Houston Texans defense clinched down on Bengals Andy Dalton and with the 31-10 Texans lead, the defense played containment and held in the redzone.
Now the Houston Texans will face the Baltimore Ravens at M & T Bank Stadium in the AFC Divisional playoff game. That should be an interesting matchup as one of the league’s fifth-ranked running back Arian Foster will go against second-ranked run defense in the league. It’s going to be tougher sledding for this elite running back.