Foster helps Texans stand tall in playoff win over Bengals

Sat Jan 5, 2013 11:30pm EST
 

(Reuters) - The Houston Texans got back to basics on Saturday, using a swarming defense and a steady diet of Arian Foster on offense to regain their swagger with a 19-13 playoff win over the Cincinnati Bengals.

After tumbling from an 11-1 start this season with three losses in four games to squander a first-round playoff bye, Foster led the way with 140 yards rushing and Houston's only touchdown to send the Texans into the second round against the New England Patriots.

Foster has rushed for over 100 yards in a game eight times this season, and the Texans have notched wins every time.

"It helps everybody," Foster said about getting the running game in gear against the visiting Bengals. "It keeps our offense on the field. It keeps their offense off the field and it gives our defense a break. It gives us momentum. We love to run the ball here. That's what we're built for."

Foster added another 34 yards on eight receptions to register 174 yards in all.

The quick-footed Foster, who darts in and out of tight spaces with his cut-back moves, did some of his best work near the end of the game when he gained 20 yards on four carries as Houston ran out the clock after taking over on downs at their own 28-yard line.

"The whole stadium knew we had to line up and run the ball and boy was he at his best there at the end," said Houston coach Gary Kubiak. "It just seems, the bigger it gets, the better he gets."

Foster, a consistent force in the game whose longest run covered 17 yards, was also a dominant factor in Houston's playoff-opening victory over the Bengals last year with 153 yards rushing.

That victory also lifted the Texans into the second round of the National Football League playoffs against the Patriots, who thumped Houston 42-14 last month.   Continued...

 
Houston Texans running back Arian Foster celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Cincinnati Bengals during the third quarter of their NFL AFC wildcard playoff football game in Houston, Texas January 5, 2013. REUTERS/Tim Sharp