The Houston Texans still haven’t clinched themselves an official playoff spot or division championship, but their success is still in their own hands.
It is simple for the Houston Texans to win the AFC South championship in Week 16 of the 2018 NFL regular season, all they have to do is defeat the Philadelphia Eagles on the road. If that happens, there will be not enough games left on the schedule for either the Tennessee Titans or the Indianapolis Colts to catch them in the standings.
The task of facing the Eagles won’t be an easy one, as the Eagles just defeated the Los Angeles Rams, 30-23 on Sunday Night Football, and the Rams are currently the No. 2 seed in the NFC with an 11-3 overall record.
As for the Texans, they still not only have a game with the Eagles left on their schedule for Week 16, but in the regular season finale they will be hosting the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 17, so there is still a lot on the line with two games to go.
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For those chasing the Texans in the standings for a possible division championship, in Week 16 the Titans will be hosting the Washington Redskins on Saturday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. ET in a game on the NFL Network. The Colts for Week 16 will be hosting the New York Giants on Sunday, Dec. 23.
In Week 17 the Titans will be hosting the Colts, so let’s just say to make things much easier on the Texans, a win by them this coming Sunday will be the easiest path to the playoffs.
As for how the Texans played this past Saturday in their 29-22 win over the New York Jets, well there were some cracks in the foundation for the franchise. Granted, a win is a win at this point of the season, but it was evident the Texans were not playing their best football either which could bring some issues along the way.
Deshaun Watson in the Week 15 win played tough, but there were still a couple issues with him and the offensive line. Watson passed for 294 yards on 22 completions with two touchdowns and no interceptions. The issue was Watson was also sacked six times and the team basically had no rushing game.
Houston really needs to get their offensive line playing with more purpose, and the rushing game was barley existent on Saturday, leaving a lot to to wanted and needed for this upcoming Week 16 game at Philadelphia.
As the 16th week of the NFL regular season begins, here is a look at some of the headlines for the first-place Texans following their 10th win of the season.
• Lorenzo Reyes of The USA Today said the Texans were one of the “winners” from Week 15 after they won over the Jets and the New England Patriots lost, pushing the Texans ahead in the AFC Playoff standings to the No. 2 seed. Reyes wrote:
"“But with Kansas City (11-3) having lost two of their last four games — and facing a tough matchup against the Seahawks — Houston (10-4) even still has a shot at the conference’s top seed.”"
That is looking too far ahead for me because , yes, the Texans are the No. 2 seed right now, but for Week 16 they are facing an Eagles team to who just defeated the No. 2 seed in the NFC, the Los Angeles Rams. With how the offense played against the Jets on Saturday, the only thing Houston should be focusing on is playing better in Week 16 against the Eagles than they did in Week 15 against the Jets.
• Speaking of the playoffs, John McClain of the Houston Chronicle wrote about with the Texans being the No. 2 seed in the AFC right now, if they win their final two games against the Eagles and Jaguars they will automatically clinch their first-ever playoff bye. McClain wrote:
"“If the Texans can win their last two games against Philadelphia and Jacksonville to finish 12-4, they’ll secure a first-round bye for the first time in team history.”"
McClain also stated “assuming if the Texans can take advantage of it.” That is the biggest factor of all for Houston in the next two weeks. They’ve won games a varying of ways this season, with mostly outcomes by seven or less points to secure wins.
But now with a lot on the line their overall play hasn’t been what it was and they will really have to hunker down and take advantage of the opportunity in font of them. As of entering Week 16 the Texans still not secured a playoff spot, even with being the No. 2 seed in the playoffs right now.
• NFL.com has a look at the current playoff picture, showing just where teams stand going into Week 16 of the regular season.
Basically not much is settled in the AFC with no team set in their current playoff spot, Plus, the only teams who have guaranteed a playoff spot thus far in the AFC are the Chargers and the Chiefs. The next two weeks will be exciting, but most likely Week 16 will really begin to clear up the AFC Playoff picture much more.
• Tweet of the Day
The past isn’t on the side of the Texans this Sunday, but there is always a first time for everything. If the Texans ever needed to have a win over the Eagles it would be this upcoming Sunday in Philadelphia. A win for the first time ever against the Eagles would be cause for celebration because the Texans would not only gain a win, but clinch the AFC South title too.
What an interesting weekend Week 16 will be for the Texans and the rest of the AFC as well.