Posted on January 5, 2020, by Travis Pulver
It didn’t look good for the Houston Texans from the start. With how easily the Buffalo Bills moved down the field on the opening drive of the game, it looked like fans in Houston were in for a long day. The Bills quarterback, Josh Allen, to break loose for 49 yards on the ground and then catch a 16-yard touchdown pass.
Yeah, it was looking pretty bleak for the Houston Texans.
It didn’t really get any better throughout the first half, either. The offense was anemic barely gaining 60+ yards in the half. While the defense improved after the opening drive fiasco and held the Bills out of the endzone, they struggled to get off the field.
But Buffalo ended up having two more scoring drives in the half, one 11 plays long and the other 15. Houston’s defense was able to toughen up at the end of each drive and hold them to field goals, but with how the offense was playing 13 points was looking like more than enough.
Something had to change in the second half if the Texans were going to make it the divisional round of the playoffs—and something did change.
However, it didn’t look like it at first.
The second half nearly started with a fumble recovery for a touchdown for the Bills. But the Texans kick returner caught the ball in the back of the end zone and flipped it to the ref. Since the returner didn’t take a knee to signify he was giving himself up, the ref treated it like a live ball. But common sense eventually prevailed, and Houston got the ball.
Not that it mattered much since the Texans offense went three and out, anyway. On the Texans next possession, DeAndre Hopkins fumbled effectively setting the Bills up for a field goal.
Things still looked bleak for the Texans. A 16-point deficit was not that bad, but when you can’t move the ball on offense and the defense can’t get off the field—you are going to lose.
That was when it happened. Down 16-0, it appeared as Deshaun Watson had been told to do whatever it took to get the team on the board, and he did. Following the Bill field goal, he drove the team down the field in nine plays.
He took the ball the last 20-yards himself to get Houston on the board.
But now they just needed the defense to make a few plays, which they did. They forced a turnover on the next Bills drive leading to a field goal, cutting the deficit to 16-11. After forcing their first three and on the following Bills drive, Watson took the offense on an eight-play, 74-yard drive for a touchdown.
With the two-point conversion, the Texans took their first lead of the game with 4:37 to play. Then things got a little crazy.
Buffalo got within range to kick a field goal, but then two big plays by the defense pushed the ball back from the Houston 25 to the Buffalo 39—where Houston took over on downs only to return the favor a few plays later.
With 1:16 on the clock, Josh Allen gets the Bills into field goal range and they tie the game up at 19-19, sending it to overtime. That is where Deshaun Watson made the play that will eventually make him the highest-paid quarterback in the game.
Rather than risk a fumble, Bill O’Brien opted to go for the field goal and the win—and it worked, Texans win,22-19.
With the Titans beating the Patriots, they will travel to Kansas City next week to face the Chiefs (rather than Baltimore to face the Ravens).