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Texans taking steps in right direction

For the better part of three days, they were the talk of the NFL. The Texans pushed Denver around in a Thursday night nationally televised win, and then watched and listened as the national media sang their praises. All of a sudden, there was credit for making the "right" pick in the 2006 draft. There was recognition for the job that Gary Kubiak and Rick Smith have done under tough circumstances. And there was a glimmer of hope that our team could play in the postseason.

Then there was a new feeling that showed you things are different now. A cloud of sadness came over me as the Texans got eliminated from the playoff race this past weekend. Of course, I knew it was a long shot. They needed a ton of help. But there was still a possibility. And to have that pulled away hurt.

Let's hope the guys finish strong. They deserve credit for playing hard when many teams would have focused on January vacation plans. It's too bad that they didn't win one or two more to this point. That could have made all the difference.

This goes to show you how important every single game and therefore every single snap is to a team. That's why they'll be out there conditioning in March and running plays in May. The reps are vital. Getting reserve players adjusted with offseason practice is so obviously beneficial to anyone who watches this team.

The near three-day national love fest after the win over Denver and the flurry of national attention after the 2-0 start will not be forgotten. These are mere moments of a 16-game campaign, but they show that small, yet significant, steps are being taken to bring this team to a new level.

The road to the playoffs in coming years will continue to be tough because the Texans happen to play in a killer division. Jacksonville is scary right now after a win in Pittsburgh. Tennessee got off to such a good start that they are still alive after beating Kansas City. And Indianapolis may be wounded, but they still win at an alarming rate.

There are still some positives to be achieved. There's the prospect of finishing with the best record ever and possibly a winning season. There's also the goal of beating Indy on the road for the first time. There's still a chance to have a Merry Football Christmas.


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