T.J. Yates is Captain Comeback as Texans clinch AFC South


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.

35 responses to “T.J. Yates is Captain Comeback as Texans clinch AFC South

  1. But, but, but they should have signed Favre, McNabb, or Orton according to a certain faction of “expert” PFT commenters. This Texans team is different, you can see the chemistry and heart for once. Even if they are one and done in the playoffs, the foundation is in place to be in the AFC South conversation while this group is in its prime.

  2. I’m not so sure that shouldn’t say “because of being down to their third-string quarterback” instead of “despite being down to their third-string quarterback.”

  3. Congrats, but the Texans will come back down to Earth in the playoffs. They have NO chance to beat any of the top teams when it counts. I’d love to see the Ravens crush them again.

  4. 1) The Texans are not beating up on the Jags, Bucs, and Browns anymore. Two wins in a row against good teams (Falcons, Bengals) with a rookie QB.

    2) Clutch defensive performance will be lost in Yates’ fourth quarter insanity, but half a game ball should go to D.

    3) Question now: can the Texans win out and hope Baltimore or NE trips up and get to a first-round bye?

    4) If not, looks like Texans/Jets at HOU first round.

  5. I’ve got to hand it to Gary. After giving Wade the first 4 draft picks for his shiny new defense, Gary did OK with the first offensive pick.

  6. I think this takes any doubt out about Colt McCoy. TJ Yates, Dalton, Tebow, and every other rookie is better than Colt. They also show more upside.

  7. The Bengals did not choke. The Texans woke up and started playing offense…after almost giving the game away many times over.

    T.J. has been excellent in the fast-paced 2-minute drill. Remember, he came off the bench and looked pretty good in that situation.

    The Owen Daniels 1-handed tipped grab for a first down? T.J. running for 15 on 3rd and (was it 13?).

    They made plays and got some help when Pacman grabbed Jacoby Jones going to the end-zone. Jones doesn’t have great hands, he may drop it if it hits his hands…no need to interfere.

  8. Ooops – I should have sound
    First round (Wild card round) Loss to whatever team they play in the first playoff game they play – guess they could still get a bye somehow .. but lets face it – they aren’t going ANYWHERE in the playoffs … nice season but it ends with first playoff game

  9. That was an awesome game! Yates is shutting all the naysayers up. No I’m not calling him the MVP or anything, and he’s still making some mistakes. But he is showing that he’s not gonna be a liability to this team.

  10. Between Ed hochuli making the rules up as he went along and the bengals just choking defensively that’s why the texans won not because of Yates texans are one and done. Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. It doesn’t hurt to have hochuli calling your games either

  11. the evolution of tj yates is amazing. but also not surprising. he went from being unc’s biggest liability a few years ago to the dude that carried a decimated team last year. an amazing turnaround. his success in the nfl is not surprising at all because his growth in college was so astronomical. he’s a damn good kid and i hope to watch him succeed.

  12. That game was nerve racking, but looking back through Houston’s history I really couldn’t see it being any other way. I’ve been a Texans fan since the first day, do this is VERY exciting. Yates stepped up when we needed him the most. Pretty good for a Tar Heel, he just became a legend in H Town!

  13. Kubiak deserves COTY. SF and GB haven’t had the adversity his team has and they both have their starting QBs.

  14. darkchilde00 says:
    Dec 11, 2011 4:36 PM
    First Playoff Birth
    First AFC South Title
    First 10 win season
    First 7 Game win streak
    TJ Yates first 300 yd game

    Lots of firsts today.


    ….And your point is?? We were plagued by a defensive minded head coach the first couple years of our existance..and look where that Packers D is now, had absolute no offense until schaub came into the mix..sounds like a lot of excuses I know, but why can’t you just let us soak in the glory we have so desperately been waiting for.

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