It wasn’t pretty, but the Houston Texans advanced to the divisional round of the AFC playoffs.
The Oakland Raiders were unable to get anything going on offense without quarterback Derek Carr, who broke his fibula in Week 16. The Texans held the Raiders and third-string quarterback Connor Cook to 14 points and 203 total yards in their 27-14 win at NRG Stadium on Saturday.
Quarterback Brock Osweiler went 14-of-25 passing for 168 yards and one touchdown to lead the Houston offense, which has been historically bad this season.
The Texans’ defense, which allowed the fewest yards per game in the NFL, hounded Cook all day long and forced him into throwing three interceptions, as well as sacking him three times.
The game looked like it might be a defensive battle at the onset, as both teams struggled to move the ball. But, with the Texans leading 3-0 midway through the first quarter, defensive end Jadeveon Clowney made a crucial play.
Cook dropped back and looked to swing the ball to running back Latavius Murray in the flat. The pass never got there, though, as Clowney read the play and tipped the ball up in the air before coming down with the interception.
The Texans took over at the Oakland 4-yard line and punched it in for a touchdown on the next play to take a 10-0 lead.
Osweiler hit receiver DeAndre Hopkins for a 2-yard touchdown strike right before halftime, and the Raiders were unable to muster a second-half charge after going into the break trailing 20-7.
The Texans will have to wait until the conclusion of Sunday’s game between the Miami Dolphins and Pittsburgh Steelers to see where they will play their game next weekend.
If the Dolphins pull off the upset, the Texans will head to Kansas City to play the Chiefs. Otherwise, they will be headed to Foxboro to take on the New England Patriots.
Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images