HOUSTON – They harassed him, they puzzled him, they intercepted him, and the Houston Texans’ defense dominated the Oakland Raiders and rookie quarterback Connor Cook.
Oakland snapped a 13-year streak without a postseason appearance, but the Raiders stumbled Saturday evening in their wild card round game against the Texans, 27-14..
Houston quarterback Brock Osweiler managed the game in his first start since being benched in the middle of a Week 15 victory. Osweiler was 14-for-25 for 168 yards and 1 touchdown on Saturday.
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With Jadeveon Clowney -- who had an interception to set up the first Texans' touchdown -- and Houston’s defense smothering Oakland, all the Texans needed from Osweiler was to avoid the big mistake, and that’s what the high-priced free agent acquisition did.
The Texans had switched to Tom Savage, but Savage was ruled out with a concussion suffered last week.
Cook, a rookie fourth-round pick, made his first career start in place of Derek Carr, who broke his leg Week 16. Cook could never settle into a rhythm and completed only 18 of 45 passes for 161 yards, 1 touchdown, and 3 interceptions.
Backup Matt McGloin was healthy enough to dress for the game, but did not play after suffering an injury to his left, non-throwing shoulder in the season finale.
If the No. 3 seed Steelers defeat the No. 6 Dolphins Sunday afternoon, Houston will travel to New England to face the top-seeded Patriots in the divisional round. If Miami wins, however, the Texans will head to Kansas City to battle the second-seeded Chiefs.