December 13, 2012
For everyone in the city of Houston and Houston Texans fans everywhere, let me be the voice of reasoning, as well as the calming influence. I know the Texans got destroyed on Monday night by the New England Patriots 42-14 and the result is very disappointing for a team who openly acknowledged this game with the Patriots was the biggest in franchise history. I also know the Texans looked like a team who let the pressure they put on themselves get to them and the Monday night stage was too much to handle(It’s one thing to play on Monday night against the New York Jets, but it’s another thing to take on the team that has been the power in the AFC for the last decade). With all of that said, it’s all about the big picture, and things still look bright for the Texans. First off, before we get to all of the stuff about playoff positioning, this is a team that has a lot of good character. Players such as quarterback Matt Schaub, running back Arian Foster, and wide receiver Andre Johnson will learn from the beat-down they suffered at the hands of the Patriots and will be better because of it(at least I believe so). Secondly, the Texans can clinch the AFC South with a win on Sunday against the second-place Indianapolis Colts, and the game is in Houston. Lastly, even though they were dominated by the Patriots, the Texans are still in control of their own destiny as far as home-field advantage goes in the AFC. Houston’s 11-2 record still has them a game ahead of the Patriots and Denver Broncos for home-field advantage, and I’m sure the Texans would much rather stay in the friendly confines of Reliant Stadium than have to travel to New England, Denver, or even Baltimore to play the Ravens. So yes, Monday was a humbling experience for the Texans and you would think the Texans weren’t tied with the Atlanta Falcons for the best record in the NFL, but the fact is they are tied for the best record and things still do look promising for this team. At the beginning of the season, I said that it would be the Texans and San Francisco 49ers meeting in the Super Bowl in February, and I still believe that’s what will happen. There are a lot of critics out there who believe the Texans just aren’t as good as their record indicates, but I believe this was just a bad night for a team that got away from the things that works for them. If there is one concern that sounds a alarm, it’s the fact the Texans’ defense has struggled against the elite quarterbacks in the league. Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers shredded Houston for six touchdowns in October, and Patriots QB Tom Brady threw another four TDs against them on Monday night. While that may be a concern, it’s something I believe defensive coordinator Wade Phillips will address and fix. Don’t worry Houston. things aren’t as bad as them seem. Your team is still a legitimate Super Bowl contender and they will be heard from before the season is over.
By Charles Taylor