Heading into the second half of the season with a 2-5 record, the Ed Reed knows that the level of play now required is similar to that of the postseason.
"It's playoff football from here on out," Reed said. "That's what it is."
Before the season even began, Reed's goal was be ready at the end heading into the postseason, when the team needed him most. That time may be now. Through his five games with Houston, Reed has 18 tackles and 12 solo. Reed, who left Sunday's game briefly with a hip pointer but returned, says health is no longer an issue but he wants to step up his game after the bye week.
"Individual play, I can go off of the last game, it wasn't all the way up to par that I would like. My grade scale tends to be a little bit higher, but that's fine by me," Reed said. "I'm still focused. I'm still able to do the things that I know I can do, that I've been doing. It's just a matter of getting opportunities and taking advantage of those opportunities. But at the same time, I can't be lackadaisical. So when it's time for me to make any play, whether it's a tackle, fumble recovery, anything that it might be. Definitely will see a change."
For Reed and most of the team, the bye week comes at a good time to recover and assess what improvements can be made moving forward.
"It's good to have a bye week where you can look at things that you have done up to this point, good and bad," Reed said Tuesday. "How do you correct it? How do you build on that? This is a season, it's a long season. It's where we are at now, 2-5 and we have a lot of great games coming up, a lot of division games. We only played one division game. Last team to win a Super Bowl was 10-6 going into the playoffs. There's still a lot of opportunity there and I know we are going to come back and work like we worked today."