Arian Foster turned in an impressive performance in the biggest game in Texans' history. With a pair of touchdowns and 153 rushing yards on 24 carries, Foster was "exceptional" according to head coach Gary Kubiak. His second touchdown iced the game in the fourth quarter, as he scampered up the right side for 42 yards, pushing around the Bengals' defense in the process.
"It was an outside zone to the right and our guys did a great job of walling them off," Foster said. "Jacoby Jones had a good block, staying square about a good 15 yards downfield and I just made a play. I guess he just thought I was going to go out of bounds but I didn't."
The process of obtaining an NFL franchise began in the latter part of the 1990's, and in season 10, Bob McNair was able to see his team in the playoffs. The Texans' founder/chairman/CEO was thrilled after the win, and shared his emotions.
"It has to be the happiest moment and greatest accomplishment because of what we've had to deal with and being able to win with all the adversity," McNair said. "It's just a wonderful message for everybody."
McNair spoke to the media in the locker room, just moments after former Oilers head coach Bum Phillips answered questions outside the locker room. McNair liked it when Phillips said "Houston is back," and harkened back to the days of Luv' Ya Blue.
"I remember when we had the 50,000 people at the Astrodome when we lost to Pittsburgh," McNair said. I'm just delighted to be a part of it and just so happy for our fans."
Yates' big day
T.J Yates only threw the ball 20 times, but he completed 11 passes, one of which was a touchdown to Andre Johnson. He didn't throw any interceptions and didn't fumble, finishing with a quarterback rating of 97.7 and a victory.
"T.J. played a great game," right tackle Eric Winston said. "His confidence is going to be huge as we continue."
The 40-yard scoring strike to Johnson gave the Texans a 24-10 lead late in the third quarter, and was one that had been worked on during the runup to the game.
"It was a play we had been practicing all week," Yates said. "We knew if we had a chance to get Andre one-on-one out there it was going to be a good thing for us. Andre did an amazing job of getting open. Broke them down with a little double move and he made it easy on me."
The crowd inside Reliant Stadium let loose with a full-throated roar for most of the win, and the players said the noise played a large part in the victory.
Defensive end J.J. Watt's interception return for a touchdown helped change the momentum late in the first half, and he a special message to the fans after the win.
"Thank you to our fans for really helping us change momentum because that was unbelievable," Watt said.
Inside linebacker Brian Cushing agreed, and said the crowd made it especially tough on quarterback Andy Dalton and the Bengals' offense.
"I mean the crowd couldn't have helped any more," Cushing said. "It was just a tremendous environment in there. It was loud. You could tell he couldn't communicate as well as he wanted to, and I think after J.J.'s interception, it really got to him a little bit, and we were able to just get pressure on him after that."