The Houston Texans enter the bye week at 6-1 and on top of the AFC. They have a virtual two game lead in the conference by virtue of the tiebreaker after demolishing the the 5-2 Baltimore Ravens, 43-13 in week 7. Every other AFC team has at least 3 losses, so Houston will enter the midpoint of the season in prime position in the race for the #1 seed in the conference.
Through seven weeks, this incredible start to the 2012 season has also been one of firsts and franchise records for the team and individual players as well. In the week 2 27-7 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Texans defense set several franchise records. They set team marks for fewest yards allowed-117, fewest yards allowed in the first half-43, and fewest passing yards allowed in the first half-(-4).
That same game brought another franchise record as RB Arian Foster became the Texans all-time leading rusher. The following week, Houston traveled to Denver to face the Denver Broncos. The 31-25 win in the Mile High city marked the first time that the Texans had defeated a team quarterbacked by Peyton Manning on the road. They had been 0-9 in Manning’s home stadiums when he was routinely torching them with the division rival Indianapolis Colts.
The week 3 win in Denver represented another first. It was the first time that the Texans had started a season 3-0. The previous best was two 2-0 starts, all since Gary Kubiak took over as head coach in 2006. The Texans started 2-0 in both 2010 and 2011.
The week 5 Monday Night match-up in the Meadowlands with the New York Jets brought the Texans a first for a national audience to witness. Houston’s 23-17 victory was the Texans first ever win in a prime-time, nationally televised road game. All of their previous Monday and Sunday night victories had taken place in the friendly confines of Reliant Stadium. It was also their first every victory against the J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets. They had previously been 0-5 against gang green.
Another prime-time game in week 6 gave the Texans their only bad first so far in 2012. Their first loss of the season, which occurred in a not so pretty fashion to the Green Bay Packers. The 42-22 loss had many national media “experts” claiming that Houston was exposed and questioning the Texans as legit contenders. Some even resorted to labeling them as “frauds” and “pretenders”. The Texans laughed at those silly notions, and put such idiotic talk to rest against Baltimore.
This past Sunday’s week 7 thrashing of the Ravens represented yet another first, which may have been the best one that the Texans have accomplished thus far this season. It was their first ever win against Baltimore, a team that they had been 0-6 against. A Baltimore team that beat them twice last year and ended their season by knocking them out in the playoffs. A team that boasts three former Texans who had their returns to Reliant Stadium ruined on Sunday and a team that they were tied with atop the AFC.
Following the bye week the Texans will play host to another old friend, Mario Williams and the Buffalo Bills. The conclusion of that contest will mark their official mid-point of the season. We’re not even halfway through the 2012 season yet, and the Texans have accomplished an impressive laundry list of firsts. If the firsts keep coming along at this rate in the season’s second half, then the Texans will be sitting pretty at season’s end, just as they are at this bye week. That will make for a memorable 10th anniversary season.