The Houston Texans fell 51-31 to the Kansas City Chiefs in Sunday's Divisional Round game to end their 2019 season. The Texans took an early 24-0 lead in Kansas City, scoring three touchdowns in the first quarter, but couldn't match a Kansas City comeback that included six unanswered scores on the next six drives.
"That's playoff football," Deshaun Watson said. "Two great teams going at it, going back and forth dealing with adversity and we couldn't flip the script. That's pretty much the whole thing."
Watson completed 31-of-52 for 388 yards, two touchdowns with a 95.7 passer rating. Watson added 37 yards on the ground and a rushing score. DeAndre Hopkins finished with a team-high nine catches for 118 yards. Will Fuller V had five receptions for 89 yards.
"I wanted to be out there, playoff game and all, but I wanted to get a win," Fuller said. "It was tough losing because one and done, you lose and you're out. (You) wait a long time to play another game so it's going to be tough."
Patrick Mahomes was 23-of-35 for 321 yards and five touchdowns. Travis Kelce scored all three of his touchdowns in the second quarter and caught a team-high 10 passes for 134 yards.
"As a defense, we have to go out there and we have to make a stop," defensive end J.J. Watt said. "Somebody's got to make a play. That's the same thing as last week and same thing as any football game. Somebody has to go make a play to change it, especially when momentum swings like that. We didn't do that so I put that on my shoulders."
Houston won the coin toss and elected to receive. On his first catch of the day, Fuller caught a nine-yard pass on third down to extend the drive. Three plays later, Watson threw a 54-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Stills. Houston took a 7-0 lead on the opening drive.
Big plays by special teams led to two more touchdowns. After Houston's defense forced a three-and-out on the Chiefs' first drive, Barkevious Mingo blocked the punt. Lonnie Johnson recovered and returned the ball 10 yards for a score. Houston took a 14-0 lead with 10:06 left in the first quarter.
With 2:20 left in the first quarter, Bryan Anger's punt was muffed by the Chiefs' Tyreek Hill. Keion Crossen recovered at the Kansas City six-yard line. Two plays later, Watson threw a four-yard touchdown pass to Darren Fells.
The Texans extended their three-touchdown lead to 24 points after Fairbairn kicked a 31-yard field goal early in the second quarter.
Then, the momentum swung in Kansas City's direction.
Mecole Hardman returned the resulting kick 58 yards to the Houston 42-yard line. Mahomes threw a pass to Kelce for a 25-yard gain. Damien Williams scored on a 17-yard catch-and-run on the next play.
The Chiefs capitalized on a short field again on the next two drives. Houston attempted a fake punt, but was unable to convert on fourth-and-4 when Justin Reid was stopped short. Mahomes threw a five-yard touchdown pass to cap off the three-play, 33-yard drive.
DeAndre Carter's fumble on the ensuing kickoff return gave the Chiefs possession at the Houston six-yard line. Kelce caught his second touchdown of the day as Kansas City pulled within one score, down 24-21 with 8:11 left in the second quarter.
Kelce added two more touchdown catches on the next two drives. The Texans attempted a field goal on their final possession of the half, but Fairbairn's 51-yard kick was wide right.
Houston was quickly trailing 28-24 at halftime.
The Chiefs offensive onslaught continued in the second half, scoring on their next four possessions.
Williams scored two rushing touchdowns in the third quarter before the Texans found the endzone again. Watson scored on a five-yard touchdown run with 0:24 left in the third quarter to cap off a nine-play, 75-yard scoring drive. The Texans trailed 41-31 heading into the fourth quarter.
Mahomes responded with an eight-yard touchdown pass to tight end Blake Bell. Butkus added a 24-yard field goal and the Chiefs took a 51-31 lead with 8:06 remaining in the game.
"We're never going to quit fighting as long as I'm on that field and I'm healthy and keep pushing to try to get points," Watson said. "We couldn't do that and they did a good job at keeping us from scoring extra points."
Kansas City will host the AFC Championship game next Sunday against the Tennessee Titans.