What do the Houston Texans need to accomplish for a spot in the AFC Playoff Bracket?

Cleveland Browns v Houston Texans
Cleveland Browns v Houston Texans / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

The Houston Texans find themselves at a crossroads at the end of the NFL season. They have a 37% chance to clinch a playoff berth entering Week 17 if they win the rest of the remaining games. DeMeco Ryans and his squad are facing a fair share of adversity. Devastating injuries put Houston against a wall as they fight for seeding in the AFC Conference bracket.

At first glance, the odds might seem unfavorable, but a deeper look into the remaining schedule provides a glimmer of hope. Mike Vrable and the Tennessee Titans will travel to NRG Stadium on New Year's Eve. A chance for redemption against the Indianapolis Colts will close out the season.

The 37% chance gives Houston something to work towards. They've experienced several weeks of subpar football and have little room for error. C.J. Stroud’s absence put the offense at a hault. Case Keenum and Davis Mills were enough to secure one win in the last two weeks. Houston ranks 14th in offensive grading (73.6) and must bounce back to save the season.

Examining the flaws within Slowik's group offense will reveal underlying issues on the opposite side of the ball. The Texans are struggling to sustain drives - equating to better field positioning for opposing teams. On average, Houston begins their drives on their own 29-yard line. They score 36% of their drives (15th) and 11.8% end in turnovers (18th). It becomes impossible for defenses to defend the scoreboard when opponents have short fields.

Looking ahead, the Texans' schedule presents a mix of challenges and opportunities. Consecutive wins hinge on triumphs against formidable adversaries, testing the team's heart. Overcoming these challenges will solidify their claim to a playoff spot and signal a resurgence that could make them a force in the postseason.

In the context of the NFL's unpredictable nature, a 37% chance is good news. The Texans, armed with determination and skill with the opportunity to defy the odds. The resilience demonstrated in overcoming early-season setbacks fuels the belief that this team has the capacity for a late-season surge.

As the Texans embark on this challenging journey, fans dance between hope and trepidation. A playoff berth would not only cap a tumultuous season with success but also serve as a testament to the unwavering spirit of a team that refuses to accept defeat. The 37% chance is not just a statistic; it symbolizes the narrow path to glory that the Houston Texans are poised to tread. They will have tie breakers against the Pittsburgh Steelers and Indianapolis Colts if they take care of business.