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Kubiak, Texans stay positive


Running back Steve Slaton and the Texans say a playoff berth is still a possibility.

The Texans reconvened at Reliant Stadium on Monday, a day after their 35-27 home loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

Brown down?: Near the end of Sunday's loss to the Colts, left tackle Duane Brown injured his left knee during Kris Brown's onside kick. The MRI results came back today and head coach Gary Kubiak said the outlook for Brown is solid.

"The initial tests came back fine but I think he's going to be day-to-day through the week," Kubiak said. "He's pretty sore, has some swelling."

Kubiak said that he'll know more about Brown's status "by Wednesday."

Be prepared: A key play during a key series in the Texans' loss came in the fourth quarter. Cornerback Dunta Robinson hammered Joseph Addai at the 15-yard line after the Colts' running back caught a pass for a four-yard gain. While Robinson and his teammates celebrated the big hit, Peyton Manning and the Colts lined right back up and torched the out-of-position defense for a 31-yard completion to Austin Collie.

Indianapolis scored five plays later to take the lead for good at 21-20. Kubiak used the play to teach a lesson to his squad.

"I took an example of their team and our team at that point," Kubiak said. "We make a big play, we have a big hit, (and) we should be excited. But you've got to refocus. That's your job, to make those plays. So you've got to go back and make it again."

Kubiak said Collie's gain of 31 yards wasn't the lone incident of the Texans' failure to regroup on the afternoon, much less on that possession.

{QUOTE}"To me, we not only lost our focus for that next play, it happened for a couple plays in that drive," he said.

Home (un)sweet home: The Texans are now 2-4 at Reliant Stadium in 2009, with a pair of home games remaining. The club was 6-2 in Houston during both of the previous two seasons, and the inability to win at home is weighing on Kubiak.

"You need to win at home in this league," Kubiak said. "We need to be better than we've been at home. We've got two more left here, and we need to play better in those games and find a way to get over the top in that standpoint. Obviously, we haven't done it here this year here at Reliant."

Seattle comes to Houston in Week 14, and the Texans close out their season with a home contest versus the Patriots in Week 17.

Attitude adjustment: With five games remaining, and the Texans a game under .500, it's an uphill climb to make the playoffs - but certainly not an impossible climb.

Kubiak said that if there's anyone on the Texans falling into the "here-we-go-again" negative mindset, it's his job to eliminate that type of thinking.

"Unfortunately, in sports, if you're competing and playing a tough 16-game schedule and you go through rough patches, there may be a few guys that start to say stuff like that," Kubiak said. "What we have to do is weed through that. Weed through those people and have strong people and people that are positive."

Running back Steve Slaton, who gained 57 yards on 10 carries, said he's staying positive about the Texans' chances for a playoff berth.

"I still think so, anything is possible," Slaton said. "I think we're just a play away."

Defensive end Antonio Smith, who was part of an Arizona squad that stormed into the Super Bowl last season despite losing four of its final six regular season games, thinks the negativity on talk shows and the Internet can be a great motivator.

"I think that's the best tool for an underdog, is for everybody to be against them," Smith said on Monday. "If you know how to take it and know how to step up to adversity, I think that's the exact same way we felt when I was with the Cardinals going into that Super Bowl drive and nobody felt we could win.

"We didn't have anything to lose and we just played our best ball. Tried to prove the world wrong. It gave you this extra juice."

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