Texans with 5 turnovers in 30-0 playoff loss to Chiefs

BY foxsports • January 9, 2016

HOUSTON (AP) -- Houston's loss to Kansas City illustrated clearly just how desperately the Texans need an upgrade at quarterback.

Brian Hoyer played the worst game of his career, committing five turnovers to doom Houston in a 30-0 loss to the Chiefs in the wild-card round of the NFL playoffs on Saturday.

"It's disappointing; it's embarrassing," Hoyer said. "Bad things happen in life, and, obviously, in my football career this was a bad day, and I will learn from it and try to get better."

Hoyer was booed all day in a game that cast more doubt on his future as a starter as the Chiefs took the opening kickoff 106 yards for a touchdown and never looked back to hand the Texans (9-8) their first home playoff loss in franchise history.

Hoyer's woes weren't Houston's only problems. J.J. Watt was hurt in the third quarter and Jadeveon Clowney never even put on his jersey.

The Chiefs extended their NFL-best winning streak to 11 games and will face Denver or New England next week.

On the opening kickoff, Knile Davis got three good blocks around the 10-yard line and then simply outran the rest of the defenders for the second-longest kickoff return TD in postseason history.

The Kansas City defense took over after that, forcing Hoyer into a fumble and a three of his career-high four interceptions before halftime to help the Chiefs (12-5) take a 13-0 lead.

"It just wasn't good," coach Bill O'Brien said of Hoyer's day. "It's a combination of us having to do a better job coaching and execution all the way around on offense today."

Alex Smith threw a touchdown pass late in the third and Spencer Ware added a 5-yard TD run on the first play of the fourth quarter to make it 27-0.

The victory breaks a streak of eight straight playoff losses by the Chiefs and is their first postseason win since beating the Oilers in Houston on Jan. 16, 1994.

Hoyer was 15 of 34 for 136 yards.

O'Brien said he never considered benching Hoyer, but backup Brandon Weeden said he was warming up late in the game.

"We had talked about me going in there with Brian," Weeden said. "Brian wanted to finish the thing out. I don't blame him."

Hoyer bristled when asked if he thought he should have been replaced.

"As bad as it was going I wasn't going to come out of that game," Hoyer said. "A lot of guys have put a lot of work in and for me to cop out I think would just show lack of being a man and lack of leadership."

Star receiver DeAndre Hopkins noted that it's all but impossible to win a playoff game with five turnovers and said he didn't feel bad for Hoyer.

"He's a grown man. You know I can't sit here and say I feel bad for a grown man," he said. "You learn and it's football ... I don't feel bad for him because I know he's going to move on and be a better player from this game."

Watt missed most of the second half after injuring his groin in the third quarter. Last year's Defensive Player of the Year and the NFL sack leader didn't have a sack as Houston's defense played well but couldn't hold off an offense that got so many extra chances because of Hoyer's terrible day.

"That's not how we expected to play," Watt said. "That is not the way it was supposed to go. We didn't do enough and they did."

Watt returned for a few plays after his initial injury, but soon left again when he was pushed to the ground by the head by tackle Eric Fisher.

"That's just a dirty play," Watt said. "But the injury was before that moment."

Fisher said he didn't know the play was over. Kansas City receiver Jeremy Maclin strained his right knee on the same play and didn't return.

The Chiefs capped that drive when Smith found rookie Chris Conley in the back of the end zone for 9-yard touchdown that extended the lead to 20-0.

Turnovers killed several Texans' drives. Down 7-0, Hoyer was sacked by Allen Bailey and fumbled. Dontari Poe recovered it at the Kansas City 42 for the Chiefs and they extended their lead to 10-0 on a 49-yard field goal.

Trailing 13-0, a 49-yard run by Alfred Blue got Houston to the Kansas City 13. The Texans got a first down at the 2 and Watt and defensive tackle Vince Wilfork came in on offense, with Watt lined up as the wildcat quarterback and Wilfork blocking. Watt took the direct snap but lost a yard on his first career carry.

"It was a jumbo package and we felt like it was going to work and it didn't work," O'Brien said.

Hoyer was intercepted on the next play.

Hoyer had also struggled against the Chiefs in the season opener, being benched in the fourth quarter of a 27-20 loss.

The Texans won the AFC South to reach the postseason for the third time in franchise history and first since 2012.

NOTES: Clowney, the top overall pick in the 2014 draft, was inactive with a foot injury. ... Maclin will have an MRI on Sunday. ... Kansas City right tackle Laurent Duvernay-Tardif suffered a concussion in the first half.


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