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Texans look for 4th playoff win in franchise history

HOUSTON – The Houston Texans will once again venture into the NFL postseason territory Saturday afternoon when they open the 2019 Wild Card round against the Buffalo Bills. The two teams will square off starting at 3:35 p.m. If the Texans win, they will likely face the Ravens in round two or possibly the Chiefs, should New England lose its opener Saturday night against Tennessee.

The Texans franchise began back in 2002 and their playoff history is not exactly a long list of accomplishments. Since the inaugural season, the Texans have played in only eight playoff games with three wins to show for their efforts.

It took until the Texans tenth season before they experienced what January football was all about. It was Jan. 7, 2012 when they wowed the sellout crowd of 71,725 people at the then Reliant Stadium and beat the Cincinnati Bengals 31-10. Backup quarterback T.J. Yates led the team to victory, running back Arian Foster had 24 carries for 153 yards and two scores but the highlight was turned in by rookie J.J. Watt’s interception return for a touchdown that will go down as one of Houston’s greatest highlights in franchise history.

That season was a success that included the playoff win over the Bengals but then the following week their season ended on the road with a divisional-round loss at Baltimore against the Ravens.

The following 2013 season the Texans returned to the postseason and again opened at home against Andy Dalton and the Bengals. Houston was a winner again notching a 19-13 victory. Quarterback Matt Schaub led the way as did Arian Foster once again who carried it 32 times for 140 yards and a touchdown. The victory sent Houston on the road for round two and the trip to Foxborough resulted in a 41-28 loss to Tom Brady and the Patriots. Schaub passed for 343 yards and Foster went for 90 in the loss. Brady led the Patriots with 344 yards and three touchdowns.

A two-year playoff drought followed for the Texans before a return in Bill O’Brien’s second season in 2015. The Texans run though was short-lived as they lost at home in the first round to the Kansas City Chiefs 30-0 in a game that included four interceptions from backup quarterback Brian Hoyer.

2016 produced a 9-7 regular season for the Texans and Bill O’Brien’s team won the AFC South and earned a first-round home game with 12-4 Oakland. The Raiders had major injuries and had to go with third-string quarterback Connor Cook. Brock Osweiler threw a touchdown pass to Deandre Hopkins and the Texans earned a 27-14 wild card win. That was followed by another playoff road trip to New England where the Patriots prevailed 31-16 on a day Osweiler threw three interceptions and Tom Brady tossed two touchdowns as the Pats pulled away in the fourth quarter to advance.

The Texans missed out in 2017 but returned to the playoffs in 2018 after winning the AFC South. That earned Houston a home date last January in the wild card round against Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts. The Texans were not healthy and it showed. The Colts struck early with two touchdowns in the first quarter and led 21-0 at the half. Houston could only produce one score in the fourth quarter and walked away with a 21-7 first-round exit.

Now, here we are with the 2019 regular season in the books and it’s January playoff time again. With a 3-5 all-time playoff record, the Texans will go after their fourth postseason win when they host the Buffalo Bills.

Time to update the history books with a victory and punch a ticket to the second round.