The Houston Texans didn't spend too much time enjoying their 27-13 win in Jacksonville, not more than the time it took to shower after the game. In fact, before the team even left EverBank Field, they were already focusing on their upcoming matchup with Indianapolis.
"Obviously, it's not where you picture yourself when you start the year, but I think where we are right now is two-games in a row," J.J. Watt said. "We're in a must-win situation as we go forward. We've done it twice and we need to continue to do it as we move forward and then you let the chips fall where they may. Right now, the only thing we know we can control is winning each week. We've done it two in a row and now we need to try to go on the road and try and get a big one this week."
With the win, Houston improved to 7-6 on the season but, more importantly, kept their playoff hopes alive for the final three games. The Texans are currently one of five AFC teams with the same record, but are ranked ahead of the other four, having the best conference record of 6-3.
"I've heard it said a million times, when you look at the December schedule, that's when you need to be playing your best football," head coach Bill O'Brien said after the game. "I'm not telling you that this is our best football, I'm just saying that we're fighting and we're playing pretty good complementary football and I'm very happy for the guys that they're playing meaningful games in December."
The Texans kept the Indianapolis Colts from clinching the AFC South division with their win over the Jaguars. Next week, Houston will face the Colts in Indianapolis for a chance to split the series this season and move within one game. If the Texans lose or tie next week, the Colts clinch the division. The Texans have never won a game in Indianapolis, neither at the RCA Dome nor at Lucas Oil Stadium.
"That's a big thing," O'Brien said of the Texans streak. "We've got to go up there and play a really, really good football game in order to win, we've got to have a great week of practice, and do extra, whatever it takes to prepare because they've got a great coach in Chuck Pagano, and a really, really good football team and it's a big challenge for us, but I know our guys are very excited about it."
After a 4-5 start to the season, the Texans have gained momentum following the bye winning three of their last four games. Since Fitzpatrick's return in Week 13 against Tennessee, the Texans haven't committed a turnover and have forced five (four interceptions and one fumble recovery) in two weeks.
"I'm extremely proud of the guys coming together and how big it is knowing what we have next week," Arian Foster said. "We have an opportunity and need some things to go our way. What we control, we took a step in the right direction."