The Texans have a chance to secure a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs with a win Sunday at Indianapolis. Lose, and they could end up as low as the No. 3 seed in the AFC.
The team is well-aware of what is at stake, as the theme in the locker room has been that the Texans are looking at their matchup against the Colts like a playoff game.
“It’s no secret; we need to win the game Sunday,” Texans wide receiver
If the Texans (12-3) lose Sunday and the Denver Broncos (12-3) and New England Patriots (11-4) both win, the Texans will end up with the AFC’s third seed. That would mean they have to play an extra playoff game, a Wild Card matchup next weekend against Cincinnati.
“If you think about it, we win this game, we get a first-round bye, so you can essentially ‘win’ a playoff game if we win this week,” defensive end
Last week’s loss to the Minnesota Vikings was a missed opportunity to solidify home-field advantage and changed the outlook of a win against the Colts from being almost irrelevant to absolutely critical. A second chance at making the road to the Super Bowl go through Houston in the AFC is something Pro Bowl left tackle
“The disappointment around here is at an all-time high following that game,” Brown said. “But at this point, it’s behind us and we’re moving on and locked in with a sense of urgency and a focus like I’ve never seen.
“(It’s) definitely a playoff atmosphere. We’re treating it that way. It’s either win and have home-field advantage and a first-round bye or lose and (possibly) be playing first round of the playoffs. It’s a lot at stake here for us, and we’re definitely approaching it like a playoff game.”
“This is a team that is in the playoff themselves and we’re in their building,” Schaub said. “(With) all that we can gain from playing well and getting a win on the road, it’s definitely a playoff-type game.
“It’s right there in front of us. The most important thing for us is to play better football as a team, especially as an offense. What better way to do that than to go on the road against a team that we know real well? They know us real well and play well in their building. We’re looking forward to that.”