Vandermeer's View: Wild Ride Ends 

Only one playoff team ends its season happy, the champion.

The Texans saw their run come to an end on a drama-filled afternoon in Kansas City that saw gigantic momentum surges and swings in all three phases of the game.

Things could not have started any better. An opening 54-yard TD pass to Kenny Stills started the scoring. This is after Bill O'Brien took the ball following winning the coin toss, something he doesn't usually do. It paid off immediately.

Then the defense forced a three-and-out and special teams scored on a blocked punt.

A muffed punt return gave them a short field and Deshaun Watson would find Darren Fells for a short TD pass to create a three score lead. The Texans would add a field goal before the trouble started.

Short kickoffs were paying off until the Chiefs popped a 58-yard return followed by a two play scoring drive. Then, a fake punt would get snuffed out resulting in another short field drive for Kansas City.

Right after that, a fumble on a kickoff return would create a goal-to-go drive start for Patrick Mahomes, who was really starting to heat up, especially finding Travis Kelce, who had three TD catches. The lead shrunk to three.

After the Texans had trouble getting their offense in gear, the Chiefs would march 90 yards and take the lead. This was all before halftime.

Following the break, the Texans were never quite the same. After falling behind by 17, they cut the lead to 10 late in the third quarter on a Watson run, but couldn't put the brakes on the Kansas City attack.

Both of Houston's playoff games had their emotional swings and momentum shifts. The Texans began the divisional round with a seismic barrage of points that reflected the momentum they had in the second half of the Bills game. However, that was answered, and then some, by the Chiefs.

It was a wild game that Houston will think about for a long time.

The offseason is here. There will be contract talks, free agency acquisitions, draft prep and the entire process of getting to the starting gate for the 2020 season.

This squad will be remembered as a resilient bunch that pulled out a lot of close games, beat the Chiefs, Patriots, Colts and Titans and won a division title. They'll have to use the sting of the playoff exit to fire them up when they get to this stage again. It was a wild ride and it's over. For now.

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