It was a scene to remember. So many Texans fans, dressed mostly in Battle Red, celebrating as their quarterback took three knees to kill the clock and send the team to its 11th win and a second straight trip to the playoffs.
The Texans beat the team that, once upon a time, left Houston and brought their fans with them who showed just how much they’re over it.
The day’s work was not easy. Division games seldom are. Tennessee put up a fight and actually outgained the Texans. But the defense, eager to bounce back after giving up almost 1,000 yards in the previous two games, forced a half dozen takeaways and three picks.
Playing without four starters, five when you include Brian Cushing, Houston relied on J.J. Watt and friends to dominate the line of scrimmage and make life easier on the back end. The three interceptions came off deflections. Whitney Mercilus had two sacks as Jake Locker was constantly under siege.
Afterwards, the fans saluted their team. There has been unprecedented fan travel this season. Texans supporters took over LP Field at the end of the game and downtown Nashville the night before.
The Texans have a suddenly brutal closing stretch. The Colts’ last second win over Detroit put them at 8-4. Minnesota is 6-6 and New England is New England.
Johnathan Joseph needs to get healthy in a hurry as the trip to Foxboro is next. A win will all but seal the deal for homefield advantage throughout the playoffs. A loss could leave the Colts still alive for the AFC South crown. Such is the fine line that separates good and great in the NFL.
Every win is crucial no matter how it is earned. The victory over the Titans was not a masterpiece but it was a commanding win in an unforgiving league. The season to remember has many chapters left.
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