Don’t look now, but the Houston Texans led by first-year DeMeco Ryans and rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud are considered a favorite to make the NFL playoffs this season after their 22-17 win over the Denver Broncos.
The Texans are now -290 to make the playoffs, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. They have better odds to make the playoffs over teams such as the Browns (-162), Colts (-170), and Steelers (-142). All four teams have the same record (7-5) and competing for the three wildcard spots in the AFC.
Heading into Sunday’s game against the Broncos, the Texans had a 53% chance of making the playoffs. With the win over Denver, Houston now has a 71% chance of making the playoffs, per ESPN's FPI.
The last time Houston won seven or more games in a season and made the playoffs was in 2019. The Texans finished 10-6 and lost to the Kansas City Chiefs in the divisional round. This year’s Texans squad hopes for a better ending than the 2019 squad.
In their final five games of the regular season, the Texans will play the Browns and three divisional games against the Titans and Colts. Not to mention, Houston will go on the road this week to play the Jets, who aren’t great offensively but have a solid defense loaded with playmakers.
The Texans will be looking for someone else to step up in the wide receiver unit for the rest of the season after they lost outstanding rookie receiver Tank Dell to a fractured fibula in Sunday’s win over the Broncos. Dell had 47 receptions for 709 yards and seven touchdowns.
Without Dell, the Texans lose a big piece of their offense. However, if Stroud continues to play at a high level and the defense creates turnovers, the Texans will give themselves a good shot to make the playoffs.
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