After overindulging in the first Texans’ loss since late September, you probably need to come up for fresh air and crumple up the brown bag you've been breathing into. The best way to take your mind off of the increasingly stressful AFC South race is to watch two other teams play in a game that could indirectly benefit the Texans.
The Kansas City Chiefs are the best team in the AFC even without Kareem Hunt and are inches away from locking in a first-round playoff bye after both the Texans and Patriots lost last week. The second best team in the AFC? The Los Angeles Chargers, who are 9-1 in their last 10 games and are playing complementary football that would make Bill O’Brien blush. Both teams have a lot to offer for a Thursday Night Football game.
The Chiefs look to be quite vulnerable heading into the game. Sammie Watkins is out with a foot injury, backup RB Spencer Ware is a game-time decision with shoulder and hamstring injuries, and left guard Cam Irving may miss the game with a knee injury.
For the Texans, a Los Angeles win would keep Kansas City from clinching a first-round bye for the playoffs. With the Texans in the third seed only by tie-breaker, any small victory for them could pay dividends in the future as the team tries to secure the franchise’s first playoff bye. The Chargers winning would also tie them in first for the division; making Kansas City the most terrifying potential wild-card team in recent memory.
Boy, I hope the Texans don’t have to play them in the playoffs.
Finally, just for the sake of information, here are the Texans’ scenarios to clinch the AFC South division title this weekend:
1) HOU win + IND loss or tie + TEN loss or tie OR
2) HOU tie + IND loss + TEN loss
Enjoy Thursday Night Football.