Can the Houston Texans get to the Super Bowl with T.J. Yates at quarterback? It sounds crazy, but on Sunday in Cincinnati it was just crazy enough to work.
Yates completed 26 of 44 passes for 300 yards, with two touchdowns and one interception, and he engineered a furious fourth-quarter comeback as the Texans went from down 19-10 to winning 20-19 in Cincinnati. The comeback reached its fruition when Yates hit Kevin Walter in the end zone for a six-yard touchdown with two seconds left, at the end of a drive that was kept alive by Yates scampering 17 yards on third-and-15. It was a gutty showing for Yates, a rookie fifth-round draft pick who’s only playing because the Texans have lost starter Matt Schaub and backup Matt Leinart for the season.
The Bengals headed into today’s game in position to be the sixth and final playoff team in the AFC, but this loss probably means Cincinnati won’t be in the playoffs. The competition for the last AFC wild-card berth is going to be furious, and this was a game the Bengals couldn’t afford to lose.
But the Texans are now in the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. Despite being down to their third-string quarterback, they’ve clinched the AFC South. A playoff game in Houston with T.J. Yates as the Texans’ quarterback? No one saw that coming before the season, but the Texans have made it happen.