Foster continues playoff dominance

Brett Davis/USA TODAY Sports

Arian Foster has had at least 100 rushing yards in each of his three career playoff games.

For the second straight season, the Houston Texans defeated the Cincinnati Bengals in the wild-card round of the NFL playoffs. It’s the fourth time under the current playoff format (since 1990) that two teams met in the wild-card round two years in a row, and in each instance, the team that won the first game also won the second game.

Not much changed as far as Bengals postseason history is concerned. They still have never won a road playoff game (0-6) and they still have not won a playoff game since 1990. Since the last time the Bengals won a playoff game, every other NFL team has won at least one.

Bengals coach Marvin Lewis is now 0-4 in the playoffs. Jim E. Mora is the only coach with more postseason losses without a win (0-6).

Most Rushing Yards
1st 3 Career Postseason Games

Arian Foster, who finished with 140 rushing yards and the game’s lone offensive touchdown, is the first player in NFL history with at least 100 rushing yards in each of his first three career playoff games. His 425 rushing yards are the most ever in a player’s first three postseason games (according to the Elias Sports Bureau).

With the loss, the Bengals fall to 5-11 all-time in the postseason, the worst win percentage (.313) in NFL history.

The Texans are now 6-0 this season in games decided by eight points or fewer (including the postseason). They’re the only team this season that did not lose a game by eight points or fewer.

What went right for the Texans?

Foster finished with a career-high 40 touches, recording 174 yards from scrimmage. He became the second running back this season to record at least 140 rushing yards and 30 receiving yards in a game (Jamaal Charles in Week 3). Foster recorded 41 percent of Houston’s offense, his third-highest rate this season, and caught all of his season-high eight targets through the air.

The Texans sent at least five pass-rushers on 40 percent (14-of-35) of Andy Dalton’s drop-backs, compared to only 21 percent (10-of-47) in last year’s postseason matchup. The Texans were much more successful pressuring Dalton with extra rushers this time, putting him under duress or sacking him on six of 14 drop-backs, Dalton’s second-highest rate this season.

What went wrong for the Bengals?

Worst Record in Road Playoff Games
NFL History

They were 0-for-9 on third downs. But that shouldn’t be a surprise, as the Bengals ranked 27th in third-down percentage (34.1) during the regular season.

Bengals receivers were held to 38 yards after the catch Saturday. That’s the fewest yards after the catch for the Bengals in a game this season.