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Texans Down 'N Dirty: Grounded Reality Edition

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As a fanbase who almost never has a horse in the playoff race, this weekend of action is exactly what you look for-- entertainment.  The heavily favored Saints and three home teams losing was a stark reminder that once you get in the tournament, anything can happen.  The Texans have been a sexy pick to get into the postseason for the last three years but have come up short.  How realistic is it for next year?  Follow the jump for your daily links.

Everyone knows that for the Texans to become a playoff team, the defense has to improve drastically.  Dale Robertson wrote an extensive piece about defensive coordinator Wade Phillips and his track record of turning bad defenses around.  John McClain chimed in with an article stating that Wade is trying to assemble a defensive coaching staff (and water is wet).  Lastly, Stephanie Stradley has an outstanding post about the direction that the Texans are headed in defensively.

There's been a ton of speculation as to how current players will fit into Wade's defense.  Diehard Chris lays out which defensive players he thinks will be staying and who will be leaving.  Lance Zierlein does the same thing, but takes it a step further and projects how the remaining players will fit in the new scheme.

With all the attention on Wade Phillips, Rivers McCown wonders aloud why the hire was not made earlier.

Speaking of playoffs and defense, John Hallam breaks down the defenses from this weekend, particularly the 3-4 schemes.

The biggest news in the NFL outside of the playoff games this weekend was the revelation that Raiders cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha is now an unrestricted free agent.  Daniel Charles makes his case that Nnamdi should be priority number one for Rick Smith if the Texans are serious about making the playoffs next year, while Alan Burge wonders why Asomugha would even entertain Houston as a landing spot when every NFL team would be happy to have him.