The Texans locked up the AFC South with a topsy-turvy 23-20 win on the road Saturday at Tampa Bay.
According to head coach Bill O'Brien, it was a victory that showed a lot about the team's mental makeup.
"We have a very resilient team who cares about each other, and we talked a lot about that last night," O'Brien said. "We talked about being together. We've got a lot of guys from a lot of different places. They've come together and played good team football. That was a big deal."
They took a 10-0 advantage early, were up by as much as 14 in the first half, but surrendered the lead late in the second quarter. After the intermission, they traded field goals with the Buccaneers before getting Ka'imi Fairbairn's 37-yarder that put them ahead for good.
The defense came up with five takeaways on a day the offense found the end zone just once. Safety Justin Reid, who picked off a pass, recovered a fumble and finished with four tackles, described what makes the 2019 Texans unique.
"What's special about this team is that we have playmakers all over the field," Reid said. "Offense, defense and special teams. A group that's cohesive. Everyone works hard, no ego. Everyone does what we need to do to win the games. Defense makes plays whenever offense needs it. Offense makes plays whenever our defense needs it."
Outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus tallied a pair of sacks and a tackle for loss in helping hold an explosive Tampa Bay offense to 20 points. He said the Texans are focused first on beating the Titans in Week 17, but acknowledged the importance of getting into the playoffs and being successful in January.
"It's a blessing for us to get here for as many times as we did," Mercilus said. "Now the only thing is, we've got to get past the divisional round."
The Texans host Tennessee next Sunday in the regular season finale. Kickoff is set for noon CT at NRG Stadium.
Houston Texans take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium for the fifteenth game of the 2019 NFL season.