When the Houston Texans routed the Cincinnati Bengals, 31-10, in an AFC Wildcard contest Saturday evening, T.J. Yates became the fifth rookie quarterback to win a playoff game, joining the Ravens’ Joe Flacco, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger, the New York Jets’ Mark Sanchez and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Shaun King.
When Houston visits M&T Bank Stadium Sunday, Yates will try to join an even more elite club as Flacco and Sanchez are the only rookie passers to win two postseason contests.
Flacco, who is the only starting quarterback in NFL history to lead his team to the playoffs in each of his first four campaigns, can empathize with the challenge that awaits Yates.
“I went down to Miami,” Flacco said, referring to the Ravens’ 27-9 victory over the Dolphins on Jan. 4, 2009. “We played those guys earlier in the year, kind of like Houston has played us earlier in the year. We had beaten them earlier in the year, and then we beat them again. It was just exciting to get a playoff win. We weren’t thinking about being on the road. It was just something we had to do. It was the position we were in, and we had to go get a win. I think there’s a lot to be made about playing at home [and] playing on the road, but the bottom line is when you’re out on the field, when you’re out there running plays and trying to execute them well, you’re not thinking, ‘Man, I’m not at home today. I don’t know if I’m going to be able to hit this pass as easy.’ It can probably help team’s mood a little bit, if anything. I think it’s something that’s more looked at after the fact, based on whether you won or lost. I’m sure the Texans are looking at it as, ‘Hey, this is what we have to do. This is the position we put ourselves in. If we have to go play Baltimore, in Baltimore, we’ll go do that.’ And we’re excited to have them here.”Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun