The Houston Texans finally lost a game after failing to do so for more than two months. By losing, the Texans have dropped down in various Power Rankings, as every team does after losing. This time Houston stumbled from a unanimous sixth to a unanimous seventh. This is what the professional football people have to say.
Top wish list item: Help from the Patriots’ and Chiefs’ opponents so they can secure a first-round bye. The Texans missed an opportunity to jump New England on Sunday, as Houston’s nine-game winning streak was snapped against the Colts. Even if the Texans win out, they cannot clinch a first-round bye unless the Patriots lose one more game than they do, or Kansas City loses three. Both the Patriots and Texans are 9-4, but because Houston lost in New England in Week 1, the Patriots hold the tiebreaker. Houston has never had a first-round bye or played in the AFC Championship Game. -- Sarah Barshop
The Texans’ winning ways were halted this past weekend, but the happy days aren’t done in Houston. If Week 14 taught the pro football world anything, it’s that the AFC superpowers are more than vulnerable. The Patriots fell to the mediocre Dolphins in Miami, while the Ravens had the Chiefson the ropes late in the fourth quarter -- at Arrowhead, no less. The disappointing aspects of the Texans’ loss were twofold: 1) They blew an opportunity to put the rest of the AFC South away, and 2) the offense regressed. If Houston is to have a shot at playoff success in mid-January, the running backs will have to do better than 2 yards per carry. And the third-down offense sucked.
USA TODAY: 7th (Down From 6th):
Just as we were starting to believe hype, maybe J.J. Watt and Co. were, too. Window to overtake Pats for first-round bye now virtually shut.
BLEACHER REPORT: 7th (Down From 6th):
Generally speaking, NFL teams like to get a first-round bye in the playoffs. But given how Week 14 went down in Houston and Miami, it appeared that both the Texans and New England Patriots had their hearts set on playing in the Wild Card round.
To be fair, the Texans weren’t going to win 13 straight after losing their first three games. But it was still a bit disheartening to see a Houston team that had played so well for so long put forth such a choppy effort at home.
Houston was outgained by over 120 yards, allowed a huge game to Andrew Luck and converted just five of 15 third downs. The Texans looked a lot more like their September selves than the team that peeled off nine straight wins over the last couple of months.
Houston remains in good shape to win at least 11 games and capture a division title.
But Week 14 knocked some of the shine off the notion of the Texans as a Super Bowl contender, though.
What do you think? Is seventh a fair spot for a 9-4 team?