This year, there were 15 teams in the NFL that finished between 7-9 and 9-7. That's almost half the league. The majority of those squads had a chance at the postseason with a couple of weeks to go.
The Texans' unofficial goal next year should be to at least flirt with a playoff berth with one or two weeks to go. One good push and you might be in. Look at Kansas City. One bad game and you're out. See Jacksonville, Tennessee, Cincinnati for starters.
The crazy thing is how close the Texans were to being one of those teams. The games that haunt us are the two Titans tilts, the Giants and most of all, Buffalo. But let's not sing the blues.
Every team in the league has sob stories about the ones that got away. The Bengals have the missed extra point game in Denver and the OT loss to Pittsburgh to lament. The Titans have the winable visit to Indy. And don't you think the Jags and Dolphins are kicking themselves over near misses with the Texans?
The fine line between winning and losing, playoffs and tee times is on display every Sunday in this league. The Parcellsian observation of "you are what your record says you are" has to be respected.
With that said, 6-10 is a very nice improvement from 2-14. At one point during the Cleveland game, my radio partner Andre Ware talked about the Browns getting good running behind a patchwork line. I jumped in with the fact that we had three starters out on the D-line and the O-line was working with extras for much of the season. With all the injuries and adversity the Texans have endured, this turned out to be a pretty good final win total.
The weekly David Carr report: If it were a slam dunk that Carr would be back, Gary Kubiak would probably have said so already. The Texans' brass has left plenty of wiggle room while they crunch numbers and evaluate game performance.
It's been a strange year for David. He had those games at the beginning of the year which got him a lofty QB rating and no wins through the first three contests. Then he closes out with nearly miserable numbers while the Texans win three of their last five.
I miss the games already. The offseason is so long with much analysis and anticipation. That's why I savor the games even with the team out of contention. Some football is better than the tundra of the offseason.
This blog has been fun and I'll keep writing as stuff comes up. You know it'll be busy.