One game remains.
The Texans host Tennessee on Sunday at noon inside NRG Stadium, and the Titans come to town in the driver's seat of the AFC playoff picture. Currently the top seed in the conference, one more victory would ensure the AFC South Champions of a bye next week and homefield advantage in the playoffs.
The Texans, meanwhile, are 4-12, but they're still gunning for improvement and a win over a division foe.
"We got a team in here that's fighting for a lot of stuff when they come in here," DB Eric Murray said. "They want to be the number one seed and get the bye. Just being able to go out there and play the best game that we can and really give them a challenge to kind of stop their hopes."
In the first go-round this season, the Texans came up with five takeaways en route to a 22-13 road win on November 21. Houston didn't turn the ball over and got a pair of running touchdowns from QB Tyrod Taylor. Head Coach David Culley explained what he sees in the Titans team versus the one he saw nearly two months ago.
"They have not changed from the last time that we played them," Culley said. "They're still doing the same things offensively and defensively. It's a very physical football team. Obviously, they like running the ball. When they're running the ball, and their quarterback is distributing, that's a very good football team."
RB D'Onta Foreman was limited to 25 yards on seven carries in the Week 11 tussle, but in three of the last five games, he's cracked the 100-yard mark. Yesterday in a 34-3 walloping of the Dolphins in Nashville, Foreman went off for a season-high 26 carries for 132 yards and a score.
Culley detailed what the Texans must do to pick up a win.
"The last game we played them, they turned it over five times," Culley said. "Obviously, they haven't done that lately. We've just got to be much, much better at doing what we need to do and be a little bit better offensively than we were the last time we played them."
The Texans went into the half yesterday at San Francisco with a 7-3 lead, but the 49ers reeled off 20 second-half points to triumph, 23-7. It snapped a two-game win streak for Houston, and OL Lane Taylor wants to see more of what happened in those victories in this final contest of the year.
"As a team, we just want to finish strong," Taylor said. "We've had a lot of ups and downs throughout the year, but I think overall, the team is in good spirits and we just want to finish the year strong."
DL Ross Blacklock was a rookie last season when the Texans stumbled to a dozen losses. He's noticed a difference in the spirit of this year's squad.
"We're still fighting," Blacklock said. "We're still trying to find ways to win, trying to find ways to play together and get better as a team. Each game counts. It doesn't matter what the record says or anything."
Houston has Tuesday off, and will practice Wednesday through Friday at the Houston Methodist Training Center.
Watch the Houston Texans take on the Tennessee Titans at NRG Stadium on January 9. Kickoff is at noon. Click here for tickets.
Check out the best photos from the Houston Texans Week 17 matchup with the San Francisco 49ers.