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Texans defeat Raiders in Wild Card game

In front of a home crowd of 71,790, the Houston Texans defeated the Oakland Raiders 27-14 in the AFC Wild Card game to advance to the next round of the NFL playoffs.

In his return to the starting lineup, Brock Osweiler completed 14-of-25 passes for 168 yards, throwing one touchdown, and rushing for another. DeAndre Hopkins led all receivers with five catches for 67 yards and caught Osweiler's lone TD throw.
The Texans rushed for 124 net yards, led by Lamar Miller's 73. This was Miller's first game back since Week 15.

Houston's defense had another dominant performance, forcing three turnovers on rookie quarterback Connor Cook and holding the Raiders to just 203 total yards of offense. The Texans also forced eight-consecutive Oakland punts through the second and third quarters.

Whitney Mercilus recorded two sacks, two quarterback hits and three tackles for loss. Jadeveon Clowney, in his playoff debut, had an interception along with Corey Moore and A.J. Bouye. Johnathan Joseph led the defense with 10 tackles (all solo) and three passes defensed.

The Texans took an early 10-0 lead after a 50-yard Nick Novak field goal and an early takeway. Jadeveon Clowney tipped and intercepted Connor Cook's pass, intended for Latavius Murray, deep in Oakland territory. One play later, Miller scored on a 4-yard touchdown run.

After a 37-yard punt return by Jalen Richard, the Raiders responded with a scoring drive of their own. Murray rushed for a two-yard touchdown to cap off a five-play, 38-yard drive. Oakland trailed 10-7 with 1:06 left in the first quarter.

Novak added his second field goal of the day with a 38-yard kick to finish off a 10-play, 75-yard drive. The Texans took a 13-7 lead in the second quarter.

With less than two minutes remaining in the first half, Osweiler threw two deep passes to Fuller and Hopkins to move the Texans offense down the field. Hopkins' 38-yard catch gave Houston a first-and-goal at the three-yard line. Two plays later, Hopkins caught a two-yard touchdown pass, his first career postseason score, to cap off a four-play, 60-yard drive. The Texans led 20-7 with 1:24 left in the second quarter.

Will Fuller's 19-yard catch-and-run extended a Texans drive late in the third quarter. Osweiler's deep pass to Hopkins in the endzone drew a defensive pass interference call on Oakland, giving Houston first-and-goal at the one-yard line. Osweiler would then rush for a one-yard touchdown run to give the Texans a 27-7 lead.

On the next drive, a defensive pass interference call on Houston moved the ball 25 yards down the field to give Oakland possession with first-and-goal. Cook connected with Andre Holmes on an eight-yard touchdown pass. Oakland trailed 27-14.

The Raiders final two possessions ended in interceptions. Moore picked off a pass intended for Amari Cooper and returned it 20 yards. On Oakland's final offensive play, Bouye picked off Cook on fourth-and-10. The Texans finished the game in victory formation.

With the win, Houston advances to the divisional round of the NFL Playoffs next weekend. The Texans will have to wait for the conclusion of Sunday's game between Pittsburgh and Miami to find out their next opponent. If Pittsburgh wins, Houston will head to New England to face the Patriots. If the Dolphins upset the Steelers, the Texans will play the Chiefs in Kansas City.

Check out the best photos of the Houston Texans as they take on the Raiders at NRG Stadium.

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