For Week 11, Marshall Faulk wants to know:
Texans' Remaining Schedule
Neither of these two opponents is going anywhere this season, but they would both love to be spoilers if the Texans start making a run for the playoffs. It's critical that Houston prepare well for these AFC South battles and is careful not to take a division rival for granted. With the Texans sitting at 4-5 right now, it's quite possible that the final game against Jacksonville may very well be the win the Texans need to get to postseason action. Let's hope it doesn't come to that.
Both of these games could have significant playoff implications, as the AFC North is so tightly contested by all four teams. If the Texans are to have a shot at a playoff berth, they really need to defeat these two teams. Both games will be in front of Houston's home crowd at NRG Stadium, so the perfect weather conditions and home-field advantage should give the men in Deep Steel Blue the edge.
All of that being said, I think there are two other games still to be played that possibly matter even more to the Texans.
This next game against Cleveland might get your vote, because it comes at a time when Houston is coming out of the bye week and announced Ryan Mallett as the new starting quarterback. They are very likely going to be without Kareem Jackson and perhaps Arian Foster, but we may see Jadeveon Clowney, Brian Cushing and Darryl Morris back on the field to greatly bolster the defense. This game could be considered a statement game for how the Texans are going to set the tone to finish the regular season. When it's all said and done, the best they can be is 11-5 if they win out, and the worst case is 4-12 if they go without a win the rest of the way. Most likely they will land somewhere in between, and this game could be the opportunity to spark a winning streak going into the final stretch.
The division rival Colts have dominated Houston with a 21-4 record dating back to the inception of the Texans franchise, and the Texans have never beaten the Colts in Indianapolis. Notwithstanding any playoff discussions, pride might suggest that the remaining game that matters most for the Texans would be to notch a win against Indy at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 14th. Regardless of the final regular season record, Bill O'Brien would be the first Texans' head coach to lead the team to victory upon that cursed field.
That game might also have playoff implications for the Texans if they are winning through the next four games and vying for a wild card seed in the AFC. On the flip side, it could greatly affect Indy's postseason seed position, assuming that the Colts continue to play as well as they have thus far this season. Wouldn't it be great if the Colts started a late season slump of losses, and the Texans surged into a winning streak behind J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney, Arian Foster, Andre Johnson, DeAndre Hopkins, and Ryan Mallett? Winning in Indy would be glorious enough in its own right, but it would be simply amazing if that win crowned the Texans as division champions as well. Alright, back to reality.
Here is the full record of tilts between the Texans and Colts; a record I would very much like to see reversed under O'Brien going forward:
|10/9/2014||NRG Stadium (Houston, TX)||L||28||33|
|12/15/2013||Lucas Oil Stadium (Indianapolis, IN)||L||3||25|
|11/3/2013||Reliant Stadium (Houston, TX)||L||24||27|
|12/30/2012||Lucas Oil Stadium (Indianapolis, IN)||L||16||28|
|12/16/2012||Reliant Stadium (Houston, TX)||W||29||17|
|12/22/2011||Lucas Oil Stadium (Indianapolis, IN)||L||16||19|
|9/11/2011||Reliant Stadium (Houston, TX)||W||34||7|
|11/1/2010||Lucas Oil Stadium (Indianapolis, IN)||L||17||30|
|9/12/2010||Reliant Stadium (Houston, TX)||W||34||24|
|11/29/2009||Reliant Stadium (Houston, TX)||L||27||35|
|11/8/2009||Lucas Oil Stadium (Indianapolis, IN)||L||17||20|
|11/16/2008||Lucas Oil Stadium (Indianapolis, IN)||L||27||33|
|10/5/2008||Reliant Stadium (Houston, TX)||L||27||31|
|12/23/2007||RCA Dome (Indianapolis, IN)||L||15||38|
|9/23/2007||Reliant Stadium (Houston, TX)||L||24||30|
|12/24/2006||Reliant Stadium (Houston, TX)||W||27||24|
|9/17/2006||RCA Dome (Indianapolis, IN)||L||24||43|
|11/13/2005||RCA Dome (Indianapolis, IN)||L||17||31|
|10/23/2005||Reliant Stadium (Houston, TX)||L||20||38|
|12/12/2004||Reliant Stadium (Houston, TX)||L||14||23|
|11/14/2004||RCA Dome (Indianapolis, IN)||L||14||49|
|12/28/2003||Reliant Stadium (Houston, TX)||L||17||20|
|10/26/2003||RCA Dome (Indianapolis, IN)||L||21||30|
|12/1/2002||RCA Dome (Indianapolis, IN)||L||3||19|
|9/22/2002||Reliant Stadium (Houston, TX)||L||3||23|
So what say YOU, BRB? Which remaining Texans game do you think matters the most? Please vote and share your thoughts as we head into this final stretch of the regular season.