How far will the Houston Texans travel in the AFC Playoff Bracket?

Houston Texans v Indianapolis Colts
Houston Texans v Indianapolis Colts / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

The Houston Texans have made history multiple times this season. They exceeded expectations throughout the year and continue to show the league why they deserve recognition as an upcoming franchise. A win against the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday night helped DeMeco Ryans accomplish something noteworthy. The 23-19 secured Houston’s spot in the AFC playoff picture for the first time since 2019. On Sunday, the Jacksonville Jaguars loss made the Texans the division champions.

What do we expect to see from the Houston Texans during the playoffs?

The Houston Texans had an historic regular season

An incredible campaign helped the Texans achieve their first playoff berth in five years. It is the first time a franchise has secured seeding in a post-season bracket with a rookie quarterback, Head Coach, and single caller in NFL history. DeMeco Ryan’ deserves flowers, but defers to acknowledge efforts made by X-Factors on the roster. C.J. Stroud is the most valuable player, and he proved it Saturday night.

A must-win scenario bombarded Houston before the playoffs officially began. A rivalry against the Indianapolis Colts was the last obstacle for Houston. Unfavorable odds did not hinder Stroud from fulfilling his destiny. He finished the game with 264 passing yards and completed 76% of his passes. The rookie also threw three touchdown passes - propelling Houston into the playoff picture.

An efficient outing from Stroud was not the only factor in the biggest win of the season. He had help from other X-Factors who have developed reputations this season. Nico Collins became a lifeline in the final minutes. The third-year receiver finished with nine receptions and earned 195 receiving yards. Devin Singletary contributed 63 yards on the ground and scored the final touchdown.

How far can the Houston Texans travel in the playoffs?

Results from a historic campaign will not help the Texans accomplish their goals in the post-season. Every team enters the next phase with an even record. Respect is earned, and teams must play with urgency. DeMeco Ryans’ unit will go the extra mile to achieve success. They were underdogs throughout the regular season and prevailed when people counted them out.

Sustaining momentum from the regular season gives Houston a boost of confidence in unfamiliar territory. They will find solace in knowing they are an elite team and nothing happens by chance. A wild card match-up against the Cleveland Browns will be the first test for an inexperienced group. They must focus on one game - starting Saturday afternoon.

Defeating the Browns is not impossible, but the Texans must remain focused. Kevin Stefanski’s unit ranks sixth in defense (84.4) and first in pass rush (91.3). The Texans experienced issues protecting the quarterback this season (64.0) and must find ways to keep their rookie clean. Stroud is an improviser and can extend plays with his legs. His mobility kept Houston alive in the final minutes last weekend.

The Houston Texans control their own destiny moving forward. They are a talented team with a high ceiling paired with the opportunity to win a Vince Lombardi trophy. Focusing on each game will help DeMeco Ryans succeed in his first post-season as a Head Coach. He can pull off the impossible with extra thought and effort.

All statistics courtesy of