On January 7, 2017, the Houston Texans won their first playoff game under head coach Bill O’Brien. After earning their second-consecutive AFC South division title, Houston defeated the Oakland Raiders 27-14 in the AFC Wild Card game at NRG Stadium.
The Texans were off to a fast 10-0 start after back-to-back scoring drives in the first quarter. After a 50-yard field goal by Nick Novak, the Texans top-ranked defense forced a turnover deep in Raiders territory. In his first career interception, Jadeveon Clowney picked off Connor Cook’s pass intended for Latavius Murray. One play later, Lamar Miller scored on a four-yard touchdown run.
The Raiders scored a touchdown late in the first quarter after a two-yard run by Murray. However, the Texans defense would shut down Oakland until the fourth quarter, forcing eight consecutive punts and allowing just three first downs.
By halftime, Houston had a 20-7 lead. Novak successfully made a 38-yard field goal and DeAndre Hopkins caught a two-yard touchdown pass with 1:20 left in the second quarter. Hopkins caught a deep 38-yard pass just two plays earlier to move the Texans quickly into goal-line territory.
Both teams exchanged touchdowns in the fourth quarter. A one-yard touchdown run by Brock Osweiler gave Houston a 27-7 lead. The Raiders tried to rally a comeback after Cook’s touchdown pass to Andre Holmes with 8:10 left in the game. However, the Texans defensive backs forced turnovers on Oakland’s final two possessions. Safety Corey Moore and cornerback A.J. Bouye picked off Cook’s final two drives. The Texans won by a final score of 27-14.
Johnathan Joseph led the defense with 10 tackles and three passes defensed. Whitney Mercilus added a pair of sacks, three tackles for loss and two quarterback hits. Miller rushed for 73 yards and a touchdown, while Hopkins led the receivers with five catches for 67 yards and touchdown.