Less than one month ago, the Texans were struggling. With a 2-5 start that included two crushing, double-digit losses, the team needed to turn things around and do so quickly.
Injuries to Arian Foster and and the offensive line didn't help. The defense wasn't gelling and the quarterback situation was in flux. Bill O'Brien wanted complementary football in all three phases: offense, defense, and special teams but things just weren't clicking for the Texans.
Three consecutive wins later, the Texans improved to 5-5 on the season. After their 24-17 win over the Jets, the Texans remain tied for first in the AFC South with Indianapolis.
Texans owner Bob McNair is pleased with the team's turnaround.
"I think we're playing well," McNair said Sunday. "If we just keep playing with the energy we're playing with now, we're competitive with anybody. This is what we were expecting and I'm glad to see it happening."
Heading into the Monday night matchup as underdogs, the Texans defeated Cincinnati on the road in a 10-6 win. Then following a short week, Houston bounced back with creative play-calling and 364 net yards of offense with backup quarterback T.J. Yates under center.
"I thought it was terrific," McNair said of the win. "We beat a good ball club, really did the things we wanted to do and I think we only had three penalties, we protected the ball, I think we controlled it, ran it when we needed to so it was big. T.J. did a great job."
And, of course, DeAndre Hopkins.
McNair marveled at what the third-year wide receiver was able to do. With five receptions for 118 yards and two touchdowns, Hopkins became the third-youngest receiver in the NFL to have 200 catches and 3,000 yards receiving in his NFL career.
"He's unbelievable, you know?" McNair said. "He's so good with one hand there, I feel he is resting the other one. He is spectacular and T.J. (Yates) made some great throws to him."
McNair credited the coaching staff for a good game plan that worked well and caught the Jets off guard. According to McNair, the touchdown pass from Cecil Shorts III to Alfred Blue was "perfectly executed."
Meanwhile, the Texans defense held the Jets to just one field goal in the first half. It extended their streak of not allowing a touchdown to 12 consecutive quarters, which is the longest streak in the NFL in 2015 and the second-longest in team history. J.J. Watt led the defense with eight tackles, five for a loss, five quarterback hits, and two sacks.
"He is so stupendous that you almost take it for granted, unfortunately," McNair said, referring to Watt. "He is a difference maker. He is disruptive on every play."
The Texans will host the New Orleans Saints next Sunday at noon.