The Houston Texans officially secured their second consecutive NFL AFC South Division Title Sunday at Reliant Stadium in Houston with a 29-17 victory over the resurgent Indianapolis Colts. The win moves Houston to 12-2 on the season, and keeps them in the driver’s seat for home field advantage in the AFC all the way up to the Super Bowl. Thanks to some help from the San Francisco Forty Niners Sunday night with their victory over the New England Patriots, IF the Texans can defeat Palestine native Adrian Peterson and the Minnesota Vikings at Reliant this Sunday, they will lock up home field advantage in the AFC. With the loss, Indy drops to 9-5 on the year, but is still in the mix for a possible Wild Card spot in the AFC.
Though the win was big, there are some concerns for Houston, biggest of which was they made five trips inside the red zone in the game and came away with four field goals and only one touchdown to show for it. It is something that Coach Gary Kubiak will have the team focused on this week.
“It was disappointing because we could have really put some points on the board. We were one for five. The first time down there, we should make that play. We had a really good play that we should make. We had a third and 14, third and 15, which you put yourself in about as bad a position as you can put yourself in. The last one doesn’t bother me; I think we’re doing the right thing to win the football game. You only get so many opportunities in this business and boy; you have to take advantage of them. And we had been pretty good down there. As well as we ran the ball, we didn’t run the ball very good in the red zone yesterday. We had a sack in the red zone. It was disappointing coming out of the game.”
The offensive sluggishness couldn’t ruin the excitement of the day of closing up the division title though. Team Owner Bob McNair was excited with the win. “I’d like to get used to it, but I’m proud of our team and we still have a lot of work in front of us and a lot of things we need to correct, but it was a great game and we beat a fine team today. They were 9-4 and there’s a reason for that. You can relax for the rest of the day I guess and that’s about it. That’s what I told the team: ‘enjoy it today but tomorrow we’ve got work to do.’ We’ve got all of the teams coming together at this point in time, everybody is playing with all they’ve got and so much of it depends on the health of your team and hopefully we’re getting some of our players back and that will make a big difference, but the young guys have stepped up and I was really pleased (WR DeVier) Posey made a wonderful catch out there and you know we’ve got some guys like that that’ll stretch the field and help take pressure off of (WR) Andre. I just told them how proud I was of them because to win 12 games is no easy feat, but we’ve done it and we still have a lot of work to do but this team’s got a lot of character and they’re going to keep fighting and battling and I told them the whole city is proud of them and that’s the case and I couldn’t be more proud of them myself.”
Adrian Peterson is leading the NFL in rushing this season, and is on a pace to set a new NFL rushing title if he continues at the pace he is now performing at. That means the Texans are going to have their work cut out for them, and Kubiak knows that.
“This could be a two-and-a-half-hour game the way they run the ball, and hopefully, we can run the ball. He’s tremendous. They’re just lining up and pounding people right now. Nobody has probably ever done it better than he’s doing it right no over this stretch. What a difference, from a challenge standpoint, we have defensively. Going from being spread out, spread out and all of a sudden here they come downhill at you with one of the great backs in the game. We have a huge challenge there. Then offensively, I think we’re facing as good of a defensive front as we’ve played all year. This is a very physical, physical football team. You look at the times they’ve beaten this year. They have been beaten by some excellent football teams. I think they’re very well-built, especially for a young quarterback. It’s going to be an extremely physical challenge for us.”
He also knows how big a win Sunday would be for his team. “It would be huge for our city, but it’d huge for this team because playing at home in this league and having the benefit of your crowd and getting off on cadence and all those types of things, it’s a big, big factor in success in this league. The good thing about this business in this league, you work 16 weeks for that. We worked hard to get to the playoffs. We worked hard to win a division and now we got to continue that same effort to try to find a way to possibly be a one seed in this playoff hunt. Like I said, it’s a step and a time deal, but being at home is obviously a big benefit.”
It SHOULD be a great game, and HOPEFULLY, Houston can garner the victory and enjoy the benefit of all their playoff games at Reliant Stadium. After what the team and the fans went through the first nine seasons, they ALL deserve it!