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NFL Game Summary - Houston at Cincinnati



(Sunday, December 11th)

Final Score: Houston 20, Cincinnati 19

Cincinnati, OH (Sports Network) - The Texans clinched the first playoff berth in franchise history Sunday, and neither Matt Schaub nor Andre Johnson were on the field.

No, it was rookie quarterback T.J. Yates who completed a six-yard pass to Kevin Walter with two seconds to play, giving Houston a 20-19 victory over Cincinnati.

The victory was the Texans' seventh in a row and improved their record to 10-3. They clinched the AFC South shortly afterward, when the Titans lost to the Saints and fell to 7-6.

Houston's streak is an improbable run during which it has used three quarterbacks. Schaub, the team's starting quarterback for the last five years, landed on injured reserve with a foot injury suffered during a Week 10 win against the Buccaneers. Then, backup Matt Leinart suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in Week 12 against Jacksonville, leaving Yates to be the quarterback.

"I'm kind of a low-key guy," Yates said. "Sometimes I don't feel I get up enough for certain situations, but it kind of turns around in situations like that. I'm pretty level-headed."

The Texans also haven't had Johnson, their star receiver -- and, with Schaub, a face of the franchise -- for much of the streak. He has missed seven games this season because of hamstring problems.

But Yates has been capable under center, leading the Texans past the Falcons last week in his first career start. On Sunday he passed for 300 yards and two touchdowns.

Tight end Owen Daniels has picked up the slack with Johnson out, and caught seven passes for 100 yards Sunday. Walter finished with six receptions for 76 yards and the decisive score.

Thanks to them, the Texans are in the playoffs for the first time since coming into the league in 2002.

Houston beat the Bengals (7-6) Sunday only after overcoming a 16-3 halftime deficit.

The Texans started their comeback with a defensive play. On the second play from scrimmage in the third quarter, Connor Barwin sacked Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton and forced a fumble.

Houston took over at the Cincinnati 17 and reached the end zone in four plays, the last of which was Yates' six-yard pass to tight end Joel Dreessen.

But after that, the Texans endured a stretch when they didn't play especially well, and certainly not well enough to win.

Cincinnati's Mike Nugent kicked a 28-yard field goal with two minutes left in the third quarter, and Yates fumbled the ball away 90 seconds into the fourth. Houston's next drive started off badly, with a fumble by running back Arian Foster.

However, the Texans forced the Bengals to fumble the ball right back and were still within striking distance, down only nine points with more than 11 minutes to play.

While they used up more than six minutes of the clock just to get a 33-yard field goal by Neil Rackers, the kick got them within a touchdown.

And after the Houston defense forced the Bengals to punt, Yates led the Texans to the end zone.

They took over at their own 20-yard line with 2:33 to play and moved into Cincinnati territory with Yates' 19-yard pass to Walter. He later lost five yards on a sack, but converted a long third down with a 17-yard scramble.

After spiking the ball with 24 seconds to play, Yates twice threw incomplete. But Bengals cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones was whistled for holding Jacoby Jones' arm on the second incompletion, setting the Texans up at the Cincinnati six-yard line.

Two plays and one Bengals timeout later, Yates found Walter open over the middle for the winning score and a stunning finish.

Dalton threw for 189 yards and a touchdown during a partially successful first half for the Bengals.

After Rackers kicked a 46-yarder about five minutes into the game, the Bengals got a 22-yarder from Nugent. He kicked a 47-yard try later in the quarter, but Cincinnati had a good chance to reach the end zone in both instances.

His first field goal came after the Bengals had a first down at the Texans' one-yard line. But they wasted that opportunity thanks to a false start penalty, and couldn't get their offense going again.

Cincinnati then had good field position -- at the Houston 25 -- after intercepting Yates. But it lost four yards before turning to Nugent again.

"We had a couple situations again today in the red zone where we don't get touchdowns," said Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis. "That ends up being the difference. For us, right now, offensively is us finishing off drives."

The Bengals did dominate the second quarter to take control.

The Texans were threatening to score after a 10-yard run by Ben Tate put them at the one-yard line. But on the next play, he lost two yards and fumbled the ball away. Despite starting at their own three, the Bengals managed to score.

The 97-yard drive included a crucial decision. Facing a 4th-and-3 at the Houston 35, the Bengals went for it and picked up a first down thanks to Dalton's 11-yard pass to A.J. Green.

Cincinnati scored on Dalton's 17-yard pass to Jerome Simpson on third down with 3:02 left in the half. The drive lasted nearly eight minutes.

Rackers' 47-yard try in the final minute went wide right, and despite the fact that it left only 30 seconds on the clock, the Bengals managed to score again. Dalton's long passes to Andrew Hawkins and Jermaine Gresham set up Nugent's 49-yarder, which gave Cincinnati a 16-3 lead at the break.

Game Notes

The Texans had never won 10 games in a season before this year...Tate ended with 67 yards on eight carries...Yates completed 26-of-44 passes...Dalton was 16-of-28...Cedric Benson ran for 91 yards for Cincinnati, which lost its second consecutive game.

12/11 19:26:04 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
ECU 58
FRES 52
Final
CIN 59
NCCU 50
 
12:00pm Today
UNC
BUT
 
2:30pm Today
ECU
HAW
 
5:00pm Tonight
DUKE
FUR
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
POR
 
7:00pm Tonight
NCSU
RICH
 
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
CAR
 
Final
WAS 102
ATL 106
Final
MIA 97
GSW 114
Final
MIL 98
DET 86
Final
NOP 89
SAC 99
Final
DEN 114
CHI 109
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
BRK
 
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
GSW
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
POR
 
7:00pm Tonight
CLE
WAS
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
LAC
 
7:30pm Tonight
DAL
NYK
 
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
TOR
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
MIL
 
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
SAC
 
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
UTA
 
8:30pm Tonight
SAN
IND
 
9:00pm Tonight
PHO
DEN
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
MEM
 
Final
UMO 21
OHIO 24
Final
ECU 58
FRES 52
Final
ELON 74
MRGST 73
 
Final
MIZZ 61
PURD 82
Final
MAR 55
HAW 62
Final
UNF 77
LIB 57
 
Final
CHAM 85
BYU 121
Final
BUCK 58
MDES 55
Final
UGST 85
WCU 70
Final
UWGB 64
EVAN 62
Final
ARST 71
ALA 76
Final
OHIO 69
ARKPB 60
 
Final
UNH 75
BU 68
 
Final
OU 70
CHIST 57
Final
TOL 79
DET 82
Final
CLMB 57
FD 47
 
Final
QUIN 50
HART 54
 
Final
SFLA 71
HOF 70
Final
HARV 84
HOU 63
Final
BONA 79
JST 71
 
Final
STJOE 74
LIU 70
 
Final
SYR 70
GHND 37
 
Final
MLOWELL 102
MTIDA 57
 
Final
CIN 59
NCCU 50
 
Final
VT 54
NIOWA 73
Final
WOFF 82
OHVALLEY 54
 
Final
TEMPL 76
PENN 67
Final
RUTG 50
PETE 68
Final
BGU 62
SEMIZ 54
Final
LAS 73
Terriers 60
 
Final
UVA 79
TENST 36
Final
KENT 92
TXARL 44
Final
FSU 66
CITA 55
Final
PBY 63
TOCC 40
 
Final
COOK 56
TENNM 74
 
Final
WMARY 83
WILL 49
Final
USB 71
WKENT 61
 
Final
HIGH 88
WMPEACE 71
 
Final
SMU 72
ARK 78
Final
ARMY 80
BING 54
 
Final
CSOU 80
CARK 67
 
Final
UMBC 54
HOW 68
 
Final
ARZ 72
KYST 68
Final
OREG 63
VCU 77
Final
PSU 78
AKR 72
Final
SCST 92
CIU 55
 
Final
CREI 75
EILL 53
Final
ALAAM 61
JVST 67
 
Final
ABCHRIST 91
JCHR 65
 
Final
TXSA 57
LOYC 71
Final
NDST 64
MNCROOK 63
 
Final
NEB 80
NEOM 67
Final
VANDY 63
NORST 53
 
Final
STLU 57
NCAT 54
 
Final
MTST 65
NARZ 53
Final
TTU 75
NWST 64
 
Final
TULA 74
SOUTH 59
 
Final
ILLCH 87
STXAVIER 76
 
Final
TEX 78
RFLSH 46
Final
BRAD 52
TAMCC 38
 
Final
SMISS 72
TROY 70
Final
DRAK 73
IUPUI 60
Final
ARKST 58
LAM 63
 
Final
FLGC 62
USF 47
Final
COL 68
AFA 53
Final
IDAHO 75
BSU 86
Final
GRCN 64
BUF 80
 
Final
ORU 52
LALAF 76
Final
CHAR 74
MIAMI 77
Final
ISU 63
MD 72
Final
UMO 46
NW 55
Final
SACST 97
BRISTOL 63
 
Final
MICH 55
VILL 60
Final
SDST 74
PITT 57
Final
USC 53
CSFU 49
 
Final
STAN 84
DEL 47
12:00pm Today
UNC
BUT
 
12:00pm Today
FRES
MAR
 
12:00pm Today
CHAT
RMU
 
12:00pm Today
EMICH
ROCH
 
1:30pm Today
MRGST
LIB
 
2:00pm Today
HAMP
AMER
 
2:00pm Today
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2:00pm Today
UMASS
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2:00pm Today
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2:00pm Today
KNST
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2:30pm Today
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HAW
 
2:30pm Today
CHAM
MIZZ
 
2:30pm Today
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2:30pm Today
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4:00pm Today
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4:30pm Today
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5:00pm Tonight
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7:00pm Tonight
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CSNO
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AKAN
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Final
CLB 2
WIN 4
Final
NAS 4
LOS 3
Final
STL 2
OTT 3
Final
DAL 3
EDM 2
Final
ARI 3
COL 4
Final
ANA 3
CAL 2
 
Final
VAN 2
NJD 0
 
7:00pm Tonight
NYI
WAS
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUF
WIN
 
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
CAR
 
7:30pm Tonight
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NYR
 
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