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2017 NFL Playoffs: How the Houston Texans reached the divisional round against the Patriots

A 9-7 record was enough for the Texans to win the AFC South and earn a playoff spot.

On Saturday, the Houston Texans played their first playoff game – a 27-14 home victory over the Oakland Raiders. It was the team’s most complete game of the season and simultaneously resulted in its most decisive victory of the year. Consequently, the Texans now have to travel to Foxboro to take on the AFC’s number one seeded New England Patriots.

Let’s take a look back at the Texans’ season to find out how they earned that spot in the divisional round and who they had to face so far this season:

Houston Texans 2016 season

Week Opponent Score Record Stadium
Week Opponent Score Record Stadium
1 Chicago Bears W 23-14 1-0 NRG Stadium
2 Kansas City Chiefs W 19-12 2-0 NRG Stadium
3 at New England Patriots L 0-27 2-1 Gillette Stadium
4 Tennessee Titans W 27-20 3-1 NRG Stadium
5 at Minnesota Vikings L 13-31 3-2 U.S. Bank Stadium
6 Indianapolis Colts W 26-23 (OT) 4-2 NRG Stadium
7 at Denver Broncos L 9-27 4-3 Sports Authority Field at Mile High
8 Detroit Lions W 20-13 5-3 NRG Stadium
9 Bye week
10 at Jacksonville Jaguars W 24-21 6-3 EverBank Field
11 at Oakland Raiders L 20-27 6-4 Estadio Azteca (Mexico City)
12 San Diego Chargers L 13-21 6-5 NRG Stadium
13 at Green Bay Packers L 13-21 6-6 Lambeau Field
14 at Indianapolis Colts W 22-17 7-6 Lucas Oil Stadium
15 Jacksonville Jaguars W 21-20 8-6 NRG Stadium
16 Cincinnati Bengals W 12-10 9-6 NRG Stadium
17 at Tennessee Titans L 17-24 9-7 Nissan Stadium
Wild Card Oakland Raiders W 27-14 NRG Stadium

Despite playing in arguably the weakest division in football, the AFC South, the Texans had to face a relatively tough schedule this season. Be it the defending world champions, the top two seeds in the AFC, or one of the most competitive divisions in the NFC, Houston had to play them all – with varying degrees of success.

As Rich Hill analyzed earlier today, the Texans have played some pretty successful football at Houston’s NRG Stadium, the site of this year’s Super Bowl. The team was able to beat two playoff teams – Kansas City and Detroit – at home in the first half of the season. Furthermore, it won all three of the home games against its AFC South rivals, thus laying the foundation for its second straight division title.

However, Bill O’Brien’s team looks like a different one on the road. Six of its seven losses took place away from Texas. And now, the team has to face the conference’s number one seed in a stadium that has not been kind to the franchise in the past: Houston is 0-4 in Foxboro’s Gillette Stadium with one of those losses coming earlier this season.

It was one of seven overall defeats the team suffered over the course of its season so far. Still, the Texans’ 9-7 record – with five of the wins coming in divisional matchups – was enough to earn them the AFC South title and a home playoff game against the Oakland Raiders. Houston won it rather easily and now has set itself up for a date with the Patriots.