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Houston Texans

Texans pride

After all the pain and suffering at the hands of the Tennessee Titans, the Texans finally got to inflict some pain of their own in an epic 13-12 win that no one will forget for a long time.

There have been prettier wins and I would even argue that the Thursday nighter over Denver last year was bigger because the Texans still were alive for the playoffs. But none of that matters. This was about keeping the best run in team history alive and delivering home some satisfaction over the former Oilers while they were enjoying their best year.

The biggest thing about this run is a complete change of the culture of the Texans' franchise. Mike Keith, the voice of the Titans, told me that the Texans remind him of the Titans two years ago when they went 8-8 and were in the hunt until the final weekend. If that means a 10-6 finish and playoffs next year like the Titans did last year, I'll take it.

This was an ugly game. The Titans like it that way. There were turnovers, injuries, a rare Kris Brown 'gimme' miss and too many penalties. So what. Your team showed playoff heart and gutted out a win. The players are starting to get a confidence that winning teams need. Some call it swagger. Let's just call it a winning attitude.

Watching practice Friday, I was blown away by the spirit and focus. Houston is behaving like a team that wants to play deep into January. That can't happen this year, but the seeds planted now will result in fruitful seasons to come.

We could rave about the offense from now until next September, but major props have to be handed to a defense that has taken a ton of criticism and bounced back with a string of outstanding performances in this four-game winning streak.

Green Bay scored the only meaningful TDs in the last four games as Jacksonville's two scores were in garbage time.

We have two more chances to enjoy the Texans this season. What was once a train wreck of a campaign has turned

into a shining example of team chemistry, great coaching and all out professionalism. Question marks have turned to exclamation points. The offseason projection has morphed from head scratching consternation to edge-of-your-seat anticipation.

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