Scoring chances will likely be at a premium Saturday when the Texans host the Bengals in the first round of the NFL playoffs. For the Texans, it’s especially critical that they turn those chances into seven points instead of three.
““It’s really big. Especially when you’re playing a team that’s giving up 12 a game in the last eight weeks,” Texans head coach Gary Kubiak said. “This team has been in a lot of close football games and when we get opportunities down there it’s going to be extremely important.”
While the Bengals defense has been playing well over the second half of the season, it hasn’t mattered who the team has lined up against when it comes to turning red zone opportunities into touchdowns. Houston scored touchdowns on just two of nine red zone possessions in the team’s final three games.
“Usually that gets back to us running the ball pretty good,” Kubiak added. “We were a pretty good red zone team, haven’t done it very well in the last few weeks. But it’s usually predicated on us running the ball well.”
“That’s the core of what we do, is running the ball,” echoed running back Arian Foster. “And I think when we’re effective running the ball, it opens up our offense. It keeps our defense off of the field. That’s what we like to do.”
The fact that there have been only nine red zone possessions for the Texans is another issue all together. The Texans are doing their best to put what has happened over the last month of the season behind them and are focusing solely on Saturday.
“To me this game always has been and always will be about fun. You have to go out and play,” Foster said. “I’m not sure there’s a player in the NFL that goes into the red zone if their team has been struggling and says, ‘You know, we’ve been struggling here guys.’ Throw it out the window. You just have to go play ball.”
“Everyone is 0-0 right now. You know, you lose one and you go home,” Texans center Chris Myers said. “You’ve got to understand that everyone has a shot in these playoffs and you see teams that are top seeds go down every single year in the first round or after their bye so you never know what’s going to happen. You’ve always got to be prepared.”