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Battle Red Blog’s instant reaction to the Texans’ playoff-clinching win

Houston, we have liftoff... to the playoffs!

NFL: JAN 06 Texans at Colts Photo by Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

A day Houstonians will remember forever - the Houston Texans are the 2023 AFC South Champs. It’s a miraculous combination of grit, luck, talent, and leadership. When the final second ran off the clock in the Houston Texans’ matchup against the Indianapolis Colts, an entire city relished in the feat that has occurred - making the playoffs for the first time since 2013. They have won one less game than the last three years combined. They have legitimate candidates for Offensive Rookie of the Year, Defensive Rookie of the Year, and Coach of the Year. What else can you ask for?

That brings us to the Texans’ Groupthink: a rapid reaction from the end of the game from an exuberant cast of your favorite writers.

The Houston Texans are going to the playoffs. First time since 2019! What are your instant thoughts, reactions, and expectations for the Texans in the playoffs?

FizzyJoe:

What an amazing game, and a fitting finish for such a climatic season! With CJ Stroud, this offense is capable of anything. Even with all the injuries and against a strong defensive line, CJ Stroud still showed he could be a MVP-caliber quarterback tonight. The defense was nearly perfect the entire first half, fell apart against the run in the second half, and still had the luck to get away with it in the end! Every playoff team isn’t perfect, but all of them are lucky, and the Texans have that. Even with a comical amount of penalties against them, they still won this game, which I think proves they deserve to be here. I’m absolutely thrilled and can’t believe their in this position in the first place, but I know they deserve it

Vballretired:

I have no expectations. There’s a lot that still needs to be decided as we wait for Sunday to be here. We will be dogs against every team and I don’t care. Maybe they get Greenard, Woods, and Brown back. It doesn’t matter though. They won huge and close games all season. I can’t decide which win was the most satisfying and that’s the beautiful part. If Ryans doesn’t win coach of the year it’s rigged.

Kenneth L.:

I don’t believe it. My maligned relationship with the team, the ownership, and past decisions won’t let me comprehend what has occurred. I never expected the ship to righten this quickly. We are truly fortunate to have won this many games on the last play; we won’t get away with it next season against a first-place schedule. But who cares about next season - we are still playing this one!

Truly incredible. It’s a demonstrations of what leadership and effort can accomplish. All of the turmoil and ineptitude has been quelled in a matter of moments. We enter a new era in Houston with hope and optimism.

I could not have believed this roster would be capable of making a playoff run. What’s amazing is that we will host a playoff game in Houston. All I ask is that Houston rejoices this season for what it is: magical. Pure chaotic whirlwinds of hope and optimism funneled by unbridled joy and frank relief that football is back in Houston.

Soak it in like a 110-degree summer day in that hot Houston heat.

L4blitzer:

Two words come to mind after this win: House. Money. To be honest, I felt that the absolute best case for the squad was 7-9 wins. Welp, they exceeded that and then some. Clearly Stroud is the QB of the future, provided he continues the upward trajectory. Yet, I think some words need to be said about the defense. Yes, they got gashed badly on the ground and the Colts made some big plays. Yet, the team is executing bend but don’t break to a ‘T’. All season, this team has been up against it, and in past years, they would have cracked and lost those games. This year, not the case. 10 games came down to the final minutes. Houston went 7-3 in those games. Stroud and the leadership of Ryans will get the headlines, but don’t short-change the defense. As for what the playoffs bring…all bonus. Nobody expected them here, but with a QB like Stroud and a defense that can be really hard to score on, don’t sleep on them either.

Patrick.H

When the season began, I couldn’t believe I found myself saying the Texans could go 10-7. After the last three years, it was hard to imagine the Texans winning more than six games. But here we are. I can’t believe we’re here, at least a full year earlier than where I, or fearless leader Tim or anyone for that matter, thought the team would be. This team has warts, which is completely understandable since it’s their first year experiencing success under the new regime, but they also have that relentless quality that makes good teams great and great teams legendary. I don’t know what the postseason has in store for the Houston Texans, but at this point, it’s all house money and come next offseason, the Houston Texans are gonna be looking to spend in free agency to bolster this amazing, young, and affordable core of players.

Jeremy Brener

The Texans are going into the playoffs with zero expectations. They will be an underdog in every game they play in because they shouldn’t be here. It’s been 11 years since a rookie quarterback and head coach have made the playoffs and enjoyed the amount of success that C.J. Stroud and DeMeco Ryans have had.

That being said, this is exactly where the Texans want to be. They have nothing to lose, and that’s a dangerous team to play against in the playoffs. But even with the seven losses, you could make a case that the Texans are better than their record. They lost on last second field goals to the Falcons and Panthers. Flip those two results and if Matt Ammendola’s doink goes in against the Jags, maybe the Texans have 13 wins and are just outside the No. 1 seed.

The Texans may not win the Super Bowl, but they will go down swinging and whoever they play will have to earn it.