We didn't think this would happen so fast, but after 10 weeks, and with a record of 5-4, the Houston Texans have officially entered the playoff race. It may seem like a fever dream, but the Texans defeated the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday 30-27 in stunning fashion, and the good guys are now 5-4.
It was a back-and-forth affair but the Texans' offense was too hard to contain and the defense made some timely big plays that caused the Bengals to be unable to match the Texans' score or score.
If the season were to end right now, the Texans would get in with the seventh and final playoff spot, edging out the Bengals and the Buffalo Bills.
Both teams who were expected to be much better than the Texans.
Not only are the Texans on top of the two of the AFC's best, but they are just a game out of overtaking the Jacksonville Jaguars for the division. They're only 6-3 on the season and have to face the Tenessee Titans next week, and then the rematch with the Texans.
It's very possible, especially with how much the Jaguars struggle to score points, that when the two squads meet, it'll be the last time they can claim ownership of the AFC South. After all, the Texans started this rebound, if you will, against the Jags in Week 3. After starting 0-2, the Texans defeated the Florida kitties handily and started the role that they've been on. They're 5-2 since Week 3, and they don't seem to be slowing down.
This is a better Texans team. A more confident Texans team and a team led by a budding star in C.J. Stroud. It's way too early to heap the huge monikers on him as so many want to do right now; things like the best rookie quarterback ever, or the best prospect the NFL has ever seen. We simply don't know that. But what is true is that he's improved leaps and bounds from Week 3 to Week 10.
With a defense that seems to be getting better, picking off Joe Burrow twice is a sign that this defense is getting significantly better as the season goes on. If the defense can match the offense, then we're talking about the Texans being not just in the playoffs, but hosting a playoff game to start the postseason.