'First place Texans'.
It sounds strange to say it, and looks strange reading it.
But it's reality now that Houston and Indianapolis both have 3-5 records.
Those two squads are both below .500 but atop the AFC South, and the Texans have a lot of hope for better things to come in the second half of 2015.
"For us, it's about the division at the end of the day because that's the only way you can get into the playoffs," cornerback Johnathan Joseph said. "Right now we're sitting at the top but we have to continue to play better and play well also just to stay there."
A Texans win last Sunday over the Titans, coupled with a Monday night loss by the Colts in Charlotte, equalized the two teams' records. Indianapolis has taken the last two division crowns, and the Texans are after the title in 2015.
"We've got to take advantage of our opportunities," wide receiver Cecil Shorts, III said on Tuesday. "We sat in meetings today and went over some corrections and things we can work on, so we didn't play our best the first half of the season but to still be in this position, it's a blessing so we want to take advantage of it."
Shorts and the Texans won't play this Sunday, as they're off in Week 9. But a week from Monday they'll face the Bengals in Cincinnati. They've maintained that instead of looking at it as an 8-game season, they're breaking it into smaller increments.
"We have a chance to go out there in the second half of the season, look at it as a new season," defensive end J.J. Watt said. "A season of one-game seasons, like we've always talked about, and go out there and control what we can control and see what happens."
The players have Thursday through Sunday off, and will return to practice on Monday. The bye will get taken advantage of, according to quarterback Brian Hoyer.
"Get people healthy, get people going, and realize we have a whole new season coming ahead of us and really we just got to go out and keep getting better and execute and do our job," Hoyer said. "It's not about anyone else. It's about us."
The Colts host the undefeated Denver Broncos this Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The Houston Texans roster in photos. (Updated 8/2/2021)