T.J. Yates’ 300th and last passing yard on the day came on a touchdown pass to former Bengal Kevin Walter with just 2 seconds remaining, and the Texans escaped Cincinnati with a 20-19 win.
The victory won the AFC South for Houston and moved their record to 10-3. The loss for Cincinnati moves them to 7-6 and out of the final wild card spot.
In what Marvin Lewis called the biggest game of his NFL career, the Bengals could not close out the Texans with a 19-13 lead and the ball late in the 4th quarter.
After the Bengals failed to convert a 3rd down at midfield, Yates led the Texans on a 80-yard drive with no time-outs and 2:13 seconds remaining. A pass interference call on Adam Jones set up the Texans inside the 5 for the difference.
Neil Rackers’ extra point put the Texans up by one, and the Bengals attempt at a miracle on the ensuing kick-off failed without getting outside the 10 yard line.
The Bengals had their destiny in their own hands, but now they need help. They will now clearly need to win all 3 of their remaining games to have any hope of making the playoffs, and that means beating St. Louis on the road, then taking down the Cardinals and Ravens at home. Even with that, they’ll need help from the Jets, who handily beat Kansas City today.
The promise of a 6-2 start has faded as the team has dropped 4 of their last 5, all to AFC Playoff contending teams.