The Houston Texans head into their Week 7 bye having won three of their last four games under Head Coach DeMeco Ryans. After Sunday's 20-13 victory against the New Orleans Saints, the Texans are just one game behind the 4-2 Jacksonville Jaguars with a 3-3 record.
"I like where our team is, you know, headed into the bye (at) 0.500," Ryans said Monday. "And we've done some things really well. Proud of the way the guys played yesterday, proud of the win. But there's also still a lot of things that we can clean up, a lot of things that we can improve on. But I'm still I'm encouraged with where we are as a team."
Through their first six games of the season, the Texans rank fifth in the AFC, averaging 347.3 yards per game and seventh with 22.5 points per game. Houston's defense is third in the NFL in turnover differential (+6) after forcing nine takeaways (four interceptions, five fumble recoveries) and turning the ball over just three times (one interception, two fumbles).
"The bye week is just a chance to decompress [and] see where we've been and who we are, any tendencies that may have popped up for us, and how I've been calling it," Ryans said. "I'll just take a look internally and see, schematically, are we being efficient or is it working? How would I envision it? Are there some things we need to tweak schematically? So, it's just a chance to take a breather, decompress, and really look internally to see where we can be better."
Ryans wants his players to decompress too. The Texans have several players who could benefit from the extra week off like WR Tank Dell. The rookie, who has been in the concussion protocol, is expected back for Week 8 at Carolina.
"I really want our players during a bye week to just get away," Ryans said. "Physically, just get away from it, mentally, let's get away from ball for a little bit. I think it's coming at the right time. We've had a lot of ups and downs over the past six weeks, so it's a good time for our players just to get away and come back refreshed and ready because we have a long, long haul ahead of us. So I just want our guys to be fresh and ready to go for that."
As for Ryans, he won't be traveling far. The 39-year-old father of three plans to be spending extra time with the family this week.
"I'll probably be in the car line a little bit longer, probably more this week doing drop-offs and pick-ups, but it's fun," Ryans said. "The one thing I say is, just as a father, [is that] you cherish those rides, those 30-minute rides in the car to school and away from school, just hearing about our babies and their days and how they're doing. So, I really try to take advantage of that."