Were the Kansas City Chiefs a more beloved team in a bigger market, blanking a division winner in last Saturday’s wildcard round would be noteworthy. After all, the 30-0 drubbing of the Houston Texans is the first playoff shutout in a decade. In fact, it’s the fifth-worst shutout in postseason history. You wouldn’t know it from the scuttlebutt in media circles around the league though. Let the pundits tell it, the Texans were roughly equivalent to an NFL bye week.
My, how the colors of the media’s portrait of Houston, before the game, have changed. Coming into the first tilt of the postseason tournament, the Texans were a surging team — like the Chiefs — who’d won 8-of-11, and overcome a miserable 1-4 start, on their way to winning the AFC South. They were a team that bested the Cincinnati Bengals (with a healthy Andy Dalton at the helm) and the New York Jets in consecutive weeks. The offensive group amassed 64 points in the final two weeks of the regular season for crying out loud!
At the end of regulation on Saturday though, the Texans failed to post a single point. Quick, assemble the screenwriters to come up with alternate ending! Houston wasn’t a good football team that was thoroughly outcoached, they backed into the postseason thanks largely to an injury to Colts’ quarterback Andrew Luck and an otherwise awful division. The Texans were just the recipients of the inferior conference’s good fortune, right?
As for Brian Hoyer, shouldn’t he stand as the sole guilty party for Houston’s humiliating loss over the weekend? I mean, he did turn in an abysmal performance that resulted in five Texans turnovers, but those were hardly unforced errors. It’d be nice to see the Chiefs defense get its due for a stellar outing. In the week leading up to the game, Hoyer was a serviceable and efficient quarterback who’d played a major role in Houston’s turnaround. Three days later, he’s high school-caliber signal caller. His 91.4 regular season passer rating be damned. Let’s also forget that only one quarterback in the NFL, with a minimum of 300 passing attempts, had fewer interceptions in 2015 (Tyrod Taylor).
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