The Texans are 3-0 for the first time in team history, and they're receiving an unprecedented amount of national attention.
Their highlights were the lead item on "SportsCenter" on Monday morning. They're widely being trumpted as the best team in the league. ESPN.com, NFL.com and the Associated Press all currently have the Texans at number one in their weekly power rankings.
"Rankings are about as useless as the piece of trash on the side of the street," Texans running back Arian Foster said on Wednesday. "Actually, the piece of trash is probably a little more useful because you can recycle it, depending on its content."
In other words, the Texans are not letting the hype go to their heads.
"Nothing," wide receiver Andre Johnson said when asked what it means to be atop the AP's Pro32 power rankings. "It's just three games. Thirteen more to play. But I can say that it shows how far we've come as an organization. I remember when we used to be the laughing stock of the league. It just says a lot about how far we've come."
It took the Texans eight seasons to finish with a winning record after joining the NFL in 2002. They reached the playoffs for the first time in 2011, their 10th season of existence.
Now, the Texans have gone from an afterthought and perennial cellar-dweller to the early favorite to win the AFC. Peter King of Sports Illustrated wrote Monday morning that the "the AFC South race could be over before the American League East race is." The American League East race (i.e., baseball season) ends on Oct. 3.
"It's a compliment, but at the same time, it's after three weeks," quarterback Matt Schaub said of the national attention. "We want to be that team that's there in February. We're not satisfied with that. It's Week 3, we're going on Week 4, and our job is to go out and find our fourth win."
It might sound cliché, and it might seem like lip service, but the Texans are focused on going '1-0' every week. It's the same mantra they adhered to last season, when they overcame an avalanche of injuries to key players to win the AFC South for the first time in franchise history and advance to the Divisional Round of the playoffs.
"They know how hard it is to get to where they're at today," Texans coach Gary Kubiak said Monday. "With what some of the guys in our locker room and this meeting room have been through over the past few years, they're a pretty humble group. They're having success because they're working hard and playing good football. Today was a great indicator to me. We get home (from Denver) at midnight, 12:30, 1:00 in the morning whatever it is, we got them right back in here this morning and they're all business in here trying to correct their mistakes. We had a great meeting. I like their focus, and that's about the leadership of this football team. They've got to continue to keep the hammer on themselves and keep pushing. We got a long way to go."