The weather is cooler, Christmas and the New Year are approaching and the Texans are in control of their playoff future.
"That's what it's all about," head coach Bill O'Brien said. "So, however you get to that point, it's very important in this League to be playing meaningful games in December."
O'Brien and the Texans are 7-6 and atop the AFC South. The Jaguars are in town Sunday at NRG Stadium, and left tackle Duane Brown said the Texans are locked in on that challenge.
"We're here," Brown said. "It's been a long season and we've put ourselves in a position to be right where we want to be, but you got to follow through with it. No bigger game than this week against Jacksonville. It's going to be a tough battle."
Brown's played meaningful December games throughout his career, which began in 2008. For Lamar Miller, though, this experience is a little different.
"It's good," Miller said. "I feel like we – and everybody in this locker room feels like we control our own destiny, so every Sunday we just have to put it on the line, just play for each other and this organization and we should be good."
The running back is glad to be on a team with playoff hopes this late in the season. His first four years in the League as a Miami Dolphin saw him finish second in the AFC East at 7-9 in 2012, followed by a pair of 8-8 third place campaigns and last year's 6-10 fourth place season.
Check out the best shots from Wednesday's practice as the Texans prepare for the Jaguars.