The Texans couldn’t have scripted a better first 19 minutes to the AFC divisional playoff game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.
The Texans were off to a stunning 24-0 lead with 11 minutes remaining in the first half when it all went wrong. There was the breakdown in kickoff coverage, the inexplicable decision to attempt a failed fake punt and then a fumbled kickoff.
That all led to the Chiefs comeback and the wheels completely falling off the Texans, who were stomped 51-31 in a postseason game for the record books.
Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs move on to host the Tennessee Titans next week in the AFC Championship Game for the right to move onto the Super Bowl. Deshaun Watson and the Texans are left to wonder this offseason how did it all go wrong.
But the Texans have to look no further than themselves. After taking the 24-point lead in the second quarter, they completely unraveled as the Chiefs scored 41 consecutive points on the way to a postseason record-shattering win.
The Chiefs are the first team to win a postseason game by 20 points after trailing by as many as 20 points. They are also the first team to score a touchdown on straight drives in the postseason.
The Texans simply had no answer for Mahomes, tight end Travis Kelce and running back Damien Williams who combined to scorch the Texans defense. Mahomes finished with five touchdown passes and a passing rating of 134.6, while Kelce and Williams both scored three touchdowns apiece.
And the Texans offense couldn’t get back on track after scoring the first 21 points in the first quarter.
Watson completed 31 of 52 passes for 388 yards and two touchdown and was sacked four times, primarily the result of holding the football too long.
After scoring on a field goal early in the second quarter, the Texans wouldn’t score again until late in the third quarter. But they were down 41-31 and had no realistic chance of making a comeback.