Brian Hoyer dismal as Chiefs embarrass Texans

HOUSTON -- The nightmare began early.

Knile Davis, a native of the Houston area, returned the Houston Texans' opening kickoff 106 yards for a touchdown. It was the first kickoff return for a touchdown the Texans have allowed since 2012.

The nightmare then became worse and the Texans lost 30-0.

Quarterback Brian Hoyer wilted against the Kansas City Chiefs, shining a light on the most glaring problem the Texans' franchise has had for most of its existence.

He was off target early and often. He threw four interceptions -- a career high -- and fumbled twice, losing one of them. Fans booed him heartily and often. There was even a brief chant for backup quarterback Brandon Weeden

Hoyer told us last week this rematch wasn't personal. Despite the fact that he was benched against the Chiefs in Week 1, he was simply looking at this as a game without any personal attachment. Texans coach Bill O'Brien had even said he made a mistake in benching Hoyer.

In the Texans' playoff game Saturday, O'Brien stuck with Hoyer until the bitter end. And it was bitter, as the Texans became the first team since 2005 to be shut out in the playoffs.

Game ball: The Texans' game ball goes to Alfred Blue. He had a 49-yard run that should have set up a touchdown, or at least a score. It was the longest run in Texans’ playoff history. Blue has been an important part of the Texans’ plan this season as they’ve tried to recover from the loss of Arian Foster. He suffered a groin injury before the season and a torn Achilles in Week 7.

What it means: The Texans season is over. Now comes an offseason in which they'll have to resolve the position that has plagued this organization since its inception: quarterback.

What were they thinking? With a first down at the Chiefs' 2-yard line during the first half, the Texans got a little too cute. They called a play with a direct snap to J.J. Watt. He lost a yard. The curious thing about the move was that the Texans' actual running backs had been running the ball well on the drive. Blue had a 49-yard run, and Jonathan Grimes was also instrumental in getting the Texans so close to the end zone. Sticking with one of them might have worked.

One reason to get excited: The Texans made strides this season in most areas except at the most important position on the field. DeAndre Hopkins became a star and made his first Pro Bowl despite all the quarterback turmoil.

One reason to panic: There is no reason to panic right now. The Texans have an offseason to find a quarterback, and absolutely need to commit to a young player who could feasibly be the future at the position. If they think Tom Savage can be that player, they need to commit to him.

Ouch: Kevin Johnson suffered an injury that took him out of the game in the third quarter. Johnson played with a broken wrist. Watt aggravated a groin injury he has been dealing with for a few months. The injury became too much for him to continue playing with after a late hit by Chiefs tackle Eric Fisher that was not called.