HOUSTON - J.J. Watt and Houston spoiled Andy Dalton's homecoming in the AFC Wild Card round at Reliant Stadium in front of 71,725.
Watt stepped in front of Dalton's throw, grabbed the football and turned it into a game-changing 29-yard interception return for a touchdown, lifting the Texans to their 31-10 victory over Cincinnati.
"It's unfortunate," Dalton, a Katy, Texas, native who finished with 257 yards and three interceptions, said. "I threw it outside and he jumped up and made a play. It was a great job on his part."
"I was really just trying to put my hands up and get in the way of the passing lane," Watt, a defensive end, said. "It happened to kind of stick. I realized I had the ball so I just ran to the end zone just trying not to fall down."
Houston running back Arian Foster racked up 153 yards rushing and scored two touchdowns, and Andre Johnson, who has waited patiently to taste the playoffs since being drafted, added an electrifying 40-yard touchdown grab to ice the game.
Texans quarterback T.J. Yates finished with 159 yards and a touchdown pass to Johnson.
"This is our greatest achievement," Bob McNair, a Texans owner, said. "It has to be the happiest moment and greatest accomplishment because of what we've had to deal with and being able to win with all the adversity."
Houston travels to Baltimore for its AFC Divisional Playoff on Sunday, Jan. 15 at 12 p.m., which is a rematch of a regular season game won by the Ravens.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun