The Houston Texans are set to lock up with the Oakland Raiders in the AFC Wildcard round at NRG Stadium. The Texans needed some help in order for the Raiders to land in Houston and they received it with a Kansas City Chiefs win over the San Diego Chargers 37-27 and the Denver Broncos defeating the Raiders 24-6.
This will be the second season in a row that the Texans will host a playoff game at NRG Stadium. In 2016, the Texans suffered an embarrassing loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, 30-0.
The Texans faced the Raiders in Mexico City where they were handed a controversial loss with a score of 27-20.
Texans Game Notes vs. the Tennessee Titans
Youth Shows Up
Rookie defensive end Joel Heath notched the first two sacks of his career against the Titans. Ufomba Kamalu also had his first career sack, showing that the growth of the defensive line has been solid over the final month of the season. Christian Covington also had a sack and some pressures throughout the game.
DeAndre Hopkins Wakes Up
The Texans continue to work Hopkins in and out of formations and today, they made sure to put him in the slot to get him in the middle of the field. Hopkins had 11 targets, hauling in 7 passes for 123 yards with his longest reception coming on a 51-yard scamper. In the 3rd quarter, Hopkins had 5 receptions for 100 yards and did not take a snap the entire 4th quarter, ensuring there were no health concerns going into next weekend's playoff game.
Hopkins passed Andre Johnson for the most receptions in the first four seasons of their Texans careers with 312, and he tied Johnson with the most 100-yard receiving games in the same time span with 13.
The Texans sat Brian Cushing, Jadeveon Clowney, John Simon, Johnathan Joseph, and Lamar Miller to get ready for the wildcard matchup. As the game went on, the Texans pulled other starters on both sides of the ball to make sure there were no unnecessary injuries.
The big story of the game was Tom Savage getting dinged on a 4th and 1 quarterback sneak from a tackle by multiple defenders. The line judge called for Savage to come out of the game after he was slow to get up, then Savage was evaluated by team doctors. He was taken into the locker room during the first half to continue the concussion evaluation, during which he was cleared to come back in the game.
After taking a snap to kneel out the first half, Savage did not return to the game, even after Bill O'Brien mentioned on Texans Radio that Savage would be the starter for the second half.
That did not happen and Brock Osweiler ended up starting the second half and finishing out the game. Osweiler had a strong second half, scoring on the first three drives with two touchdowns and a field goal. He finished the game going 21 of 40 for 253 yards and 2 touchdowns. (1 passing/1 rushing)
With Savage's concussion confirmed, the Texans are now behind the 8-ball with the NFL's concussion protocol. A short week is possible for the Texans, with them likely set to play on Saturday against the Raiders. Savage being in the concussion protocol is not an overnight thing and the Texans need to start prepping for the Raiders during practice with reps on the field. Savage could be slowed and getting him ready for the Raiders looking like a long shot.
Osweiler has a real chance of being the starter for the Texans when wildcard weekend arrives and he has a shot to wipe some of the bad feelings manifested from a lackluster regular season.