The Texans lead the Bengals by a score of 17-10 at halftime of their wildcard playoff game in Houston. The game was tied until the very end of the half when a freak interception turned into a Texans touchdown, giving the Texans the lead and all the momentum.
Here's how the first half of the Bengals' wildcard playoff game against the Texans played out.
The Bengals and the Texans started the game similarly in Houston. The Texans got the ball first after the Bengals won the coin toss and deferred. The Bengals were able to force T.J Yates and the Texans offense to punt the ball away after going three-and-out. Unfortunately, the Bengals returned the favor and went three-and-out themselves.
The Texans got the ball back and on the first play of their second drive they got the game's first first down, but the drive stalled after that and the Texans had to punt the ball away again. Once the Bengals got the ball back, they scored the game's first touchdown. Largely thanks to a 53-yard pass interference penalty on Glover Quin, the Bengals were able to march 74 yards down the field on just three plays before they scored on a short Cedric Benson touchdown.
The Texans answered right back. Arian Foster carried the ball five times in the Texans' third drive and combined with a 21-yard pass to tight end Owen Daniels, Houston was able to scored on an eight-yard run, tying the game at seven a piece.
After scoring their first touchdown, the Bengals offense, led by rookie wide receiver A.J. Green, was able to drive down the field, picking up first down after first down. However, in their next two drives, the Texans defense was able to stop the Bengals before they could score a touchdown. With the score tied at seven, Andy Dalton was searching for a receiver on third down but was sacked by Brooks Reed, which set the Bengals up for a 50-yard field goal that Nugent missed.
The Bengals forced the Texans to punt on their next drive and once they got the ball back, the same thing happened. The Bengals were stopped closer to their own end zone this time, setting Nugent up for a much more manageable 37-yard field goal, which he was able to make giving the Bengals a 10-7 lead.
The Texans got the ball back and once again they answered by tying the score. They drove 59 yards down the field on 13 plays before the Bengals were able to stop them on third down. Neil Rackers put a 39-yard field through tying the game at 10-10.
The Bengals got the ball back with just under two minutes left to play in the half and one time out. After picking up a first down on a quarterback scramble, Dalton dropped back to pass and threw to the right side. Before the ball even got close to his target, though, defensive end J.J. Watt caught the pass, which 99 percent of defensive ends would have batted down at the line of scrimmage, and was able to return the freak interception for a touchdown. The Texans took a 17-10 lead.
The Bengals got the ball back with less than a minute remaining and they went into the locker room. The Bengals have no challenges left in the game, which hopefully doesn't come back to hurt them, and they get the ball back first in the second half. If they don't score and score soon, this game could get out of hand very quickly.