For the first 13 weeks of the NFL season, the favorite to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl was the Houston Texans. They sat 11-1 and were in prime position to have homefield advantage throughout the playoffs. The road to New Orleans seemed to go through them.
The offense was looking sharp with a solid balanced attack with their three headed monster of quarterback Matt Schaub, running back Arian Foster, and wide receiver Andre Johnson. Mix that with one of the top defenses in the league with MVP candidate J.J. Watt and this team was scary good.
Then, the last month happened.
After a 24-10 road divisional victory over the Tennessee Titans on December 2nd, the Texans have slipped lower and lower and now have backed their way into the postseason. That’s never a good thing to do with a team having Super Bowl dreams.
The Texans are 1-3 in the last four games after that 11-1 start. The question has to come up if it’s time to hit the panic button. I think it is.
The three losses are all against playoff teams. In fact, all four losses on the season are against playoff teams. That makes them 2-4 against playoff caliber teams this season. It’s going to be a struggle for this team to reach the Super Bowl I believe now.
When the situation arises when their backs are against the wall and it’s a must win, they’re 0-3. Every game is that situation in the postseason. They have problems on both sides of the ball and it’s too late to correct them. These are things you want to come up early in the year and have time to fix. It’s never a good situation for them to come up the last month before the playoffs especially against playoff caliber teams.
The Texans are going to have a dogfight with the Cincinnati Bengals next weekend. I think they can survive, but all momentum and hopes are lost. Even with a win they have to go back to Foxboro and take on a hungry Patriots team. If it was a home game in Reliant Stadium I’d have no doubt in my mind the Texans would prevail. But, that situation was wasted the last month and I don’t think it’s coming back.
This was supposed to be their year. Every team in the AFC South was in a rebuilding mode and many of the top teams were transitioning to new systems and trying to figure out where they were. The Texans were finally the veteran team and this was their time. Now, the window may have shut today in Indianapolis as the rebuilding efforts of that young team seems to be way ahead of schedule as they won 11 games with mainly rookies.
Imagine where the Colts are going to be at next year and beyond with all the experience they’re gaining this year. This may once again be the Colts’ division to lose going forward and the Texans with many free agents may have lost that Super Bowl hopes.