After defeating the New England Patriots on Sunday Night Football, the Houston Texans must now be taken seriously in the AFC playoff landscape.
The AFC playoff picture is starting to get interesting.
The Baltimore Ravens are now in possession of home-field advantage for the time being in the AFC at 10-2. That’s because the only team with a better record then them entering Week 13 was the New England Patriots, the only team that had lost just one game in the AFC prior to this weekend. And then the Houston Texans happened.
Houston was able to put away the Patriots at NRG Stadium in Sunday Night Football. The Texans improved to 8-4 on the season and hold a one-game lead over the 7-5 Tennessee Titans in the AFC South race. With them having the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Kansas City Chiefs, Houston is now in possession of the No. 3 seed in the AFC entering Week 14.
Though they got blown out at Baltimore a few weeks ago, having the head-to-head tiebreakers over both New England and Kansas City will only help the Texans in terms of playoff position the rest of the way. Maybe Houston can get a first-round bye? That would be so huge for the Texans to be able to play in their first AFC Championship Game in franchise history.
But how do they do it? How did they do it on Sunday Night Football this week vs. the reigning Super Bowl Champions, a team that has had their number ever since former Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien arrived in Houston back in 2015? It’s pretty simple really. The Texans played great defense and had easily the most dynamic offense in the primetime football game.
No, Tom Brady and the New England offense doesn’t look to be anything close to special this season. If the Patriots are planning on heading back to the Super Bowl, they will need to win low-scoring games in bad weather. As for the Texans, playing outside in frigid conditions may not be their friend, but Houston has shown that they can win in many ways this season under O’Brien.
Of course, having two of the best offensive playmakers in football in quarterback Deshaun Watson and wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins certainly makes things easier for Texans football. They’ve usually had a good defense this past decade, but to have the ability to score quickly and in bunches makes them one of the most dangerous teams in the AFC going forward.