The AFC Divisional playoff game is down to the fourth and final quarter. The Houston Texans face an 18 point deficit as they trail 31-13 to the New England Patriots. The winner will host the Baltimore Ravens next Sunday in the AFC Championship Game.
The Texans have 15 minutes to comeback and win this game or their window at the Super Bowl will be completely shut. Everyone thought this would be their year to make the Super Bowl and hoist the Lombardi Trophy after winning the AFC South division last season and making it to the AFC Divisional round. They had a shot to win, but lost 20-13 to the same Ravens teams they would face next week if they win.
With everyone returning and another draft class, this was one last effort for a Super Bowl this season. They started off hot going 11-1, then all the expectations went up in smoke. They went 1-3 in the final month of the season and not only lost homefield advantage, but the first round bye and had to go to the road this round.
Everyone is Houston was more mad this season after going a franchise best 12-4 and winning the AFC South for the second consecutive year than they were in any other season. They need to win this game and make a miraculous comeback in order keep hopes alive for their franchise and city.
If they can’t get past the divisional round with the best their roster will ever be, how will they do it in the near future as teams are getting better?
You have to look at their division first. They may not win the division next year or the next several years after. The Indianapolis Colts dominated the division up until the last two years where the Texans capitalized, but the Colts are back and for real. They went 11-5 this year only one game back of the Texans in year one of a rebuilding effort. They have the most cap room in the NFL to upgrade their roster even more and add another draft class to a young very skilled team. It’s not far fetched to think the Colts can put together another miraculous run.
If they can’t win their own division they won’t host playoff games. Then look at teams like the other two in the division rebuilding, and other younger teams that are getting better and the Texans may be lucky to make the playoffs.
Houston has tons of free agents next year and won’t be able to sign many of them. Their franchise defender Mario Williams departed last year and many other stars on the defense and even offensive line will be gone. Matt Schaub is showing he can’t win in crunch time and Andre Johnson isn’t getting any younger. They have no other receiving threats other than him and may be close to a rebuild of their own.
That’s why this fourth quarter is imperative to comeback and win. The franchise is riding on it.