The regular season goes by in a blink of an eye. It feels like fans were anticipating the kick-off of the 2023 NFL season yesterday. After several months of action, franchises find themselves in the midst of the post-season hunt. Every game is important, and room for error is limited. DeMeco Ryans and the Houston Texans are fighting for an extended season. They must execute well for the rest of the season to earn a ticket to the next phase.
Do the Houston Texans have an honest chance at clinching the playoffs?
Houston Texans loss positioning in AFC Standings after Week 12
DeMeco Ryans and the Houston Texans are becoming the Cinderella story of the 2023 campaign. Nick Caserio and his front office used their off-season wisely, and it's paying off on the gridiron. They invested in C.J. Stroud (2) and Will Anderson Jr. (3) in the first round of the NFL draft. Efficient efforts from a talented rookie class have taken Houston to a new level. A three-game winning streak helped the Texans advance in the AFC standings right before the playoff hunt.
A poor divisional record is a blemish for any franchise seeking to extend their season. The Texans had a decent record against their rivals until they fell to the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 12. Matt Amendola's game-tying field goal attempt failed in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. The former XFL kicker is not the sole reason for the loss at home. Bobby Slowik's offense needed a jump start and failed to protect their rookie quarterback.
Do the Houston Texans have a legitimate chance of clinching the playoffs?
The road to the AFC championship will require determination and resilience. The Texans exceeded expectations this year, but can they take it to the next level? DeMeco Ryans' squad has a four percent chance of winning the AFC South entering Week 13. Their chances of winning a divisional title are slim, but they can still sneak into the bracket with a wildcard berth (18%).
There are six weeks left on the regular season schedule. A stretch of conference opponents will help the Texans extend the season. The Tennessee Titans and Indianapolis Colts are the biggest games of the year. Wins will help Houston establish themselves before the end of the season. Consecutive losses will shut the door on post-season dreams.
DeMeco Ryan has enough tools to lead the Houston Texans to a post-season berth. His rookie quarterback is playing outstanding and his defense shows glimpses of greatness. Preparing for unseen variables will help the first-year coach reach his goal. He must remain resilient as his team pursues excellence.
All statistics courtesy of pff.com