Texans in surprising position at bye

Texans in surprising position at bye
October 23, 2013, 12:30 pm
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STL: Which QB gives Texans best chance to win?

(Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports)

Andre Johnson had to wait eight years to be a part of a winning NFL team. He had to wait two more to be a part of a division champion.

But after all the losing Johnson’s Texans did early in his career, the past two seasons were even sweeter. But that success is also helping to make this season that much more shocking.

“Well, it’s not good,” Johnson said about the team’s 2-5 record heading into the bye week. “It’s not what where we thought we would be at this point. Expectation levels were higher than they’ve ever been. We never thought we would be in this position at our bye week. We still have our division games ahead of us and every game is now very important. We have to try and go out and win all of them.”

When asked if the Texans are the biggest surprise in the NFL, Johnson said they probably were. After seven games, they’re three full games behind the Colts in the AFC South and the winless Jaguars are the only team between them and last place.

The 2013 season started with Super Bowl aspirations. Now, it’ll take a furious finish to sneak into the playoff picture. Even if the Texans win out, they’ll be 11-5. The worst record of a team to make the playoffs in the AFC last season was 10-6.

So, there’s a chance. But it won’t be easy.

“Yeah, it’s playoff football from here on out,” veteran safety Ed Reed said. “That’s what it is.”

The Texans didn’t beat the Chiefs on Sunday. Instead, they lost their fifth straight game. But they weren’t blown out. They lost by just one point and had a chance, with the ball in the final minutes of the game.

Johnson said he doesn’t believe in “moral victories” but the Texans did several things well against the Chiefs. If nothing else, they did things they can build on coming out of the bye week.

Offensive tackle Duane Brown said some of the positives against the Chiefs were “very encouraging.”

The bye week comes at a good time, according to many players. Several Texans are banged up and can use the extra week of recuperation. But other players, like Reed, would rather play this week to get the bad taste of another loss out of their mouths.

The players won’t be together again until next week. Many of them will fly home. Others will stay in town. Then, they’ll be back together, preparing for the most important game of the season, at home against the division-rival Colts.

“Yeah, I have no doubt that we can turn it around,” Johnson said. “But at the same time, if we don’t play the way we’re supposed to play, things aren’t going to change. We definitely have to change the things we’ve been doing over the last seven weeks in order to get it around."

Johnson was asked if the success of the last two seasons has made this season more difficult.

“I think when you have success and then you have big expectations and when you don’t fulfill those expectations, then … I wouldn’t say you hang your head or anything like that,” he answered. “You just gotta fix the problem.”

But time’s running out.

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