It's the PLAYOFFS!
This season has had it's own share of moments, highs and lows. It's hard not to think of them when we stop and process what it takes to get to a game like this. Even Bill O'Brien made light of that long flight back from Miami in October.
"My first thought was I couldn't wait to get a Coors Light in my hand," O'Brien said. "I'm kidding."
He's probably not the only one. It's a good life lesson that you really just never know what's around the corner. Keep a positive attitude even when everyone else thinks you just might be a little crazy. In the end, what looks crazy could become everyone's reality. Like, when you're in the PLAYOFFS.
I might add that if I keep saying that word PLAYOFFS, it's because no one dared even whisper the word inside the building, even when the Texans had a 99.7 percent chance of clinching. Not even then.
PLAYOFFS. PLAYOFFS. PLAYOFFS. Ok, I'm done.
It's been a short, fast-paced week with probably more excitement outside the building than in it.
For the players and coaches and everyone planning for this game, it's a work week. Business as usual. With a few exceptions...
Everywhere else in Houston…
The #TexansPlayoffs hashtag has pictures of people and "things" everywhere in Texans gear.
I'm not going to lie. It's been more than business as usual for some of us. My first season covering the team was 2013. This is the week for 20 other teams to clear out their lockers for the start of the offseason. Many coaches and players won't return.
But that's not us because we are preparing for the PLAYOFFS!
That means the entire ESPN truck setup in our lot. It makes those amazing primetime games look like a weak garage sale.
ESPN's John Gruden, Mike Tirico, and NFL Network's Tiffany Blackmon were among the many national media members observing Texans practice this week.
For Shane Lechler, it will be his first postseason appearance since he played in the Super Bowl 13 years ago.
For DeAndre Hopkins, it will be his first time to ever suit up for a playoff game.
For O'Brien, who always praises the fans and noise level at NRG Stadium, it will be the first time he sees what the Texans crowd is capable of in a playoff game.
I vividly remember both of those Wild Card playoff games in 2011 and 2012. The atmosphere before the game even started was at J.J. Watt pick-six level and remained that way until the very end. It's deafening, exhilarating, and just indescribable. To all the fans and players who've never experienced it here in Houston, have fun on Saturday. It's been a season of many firsts and hopefully, many more to come.
Did I mention it's the PLAYOFFS?
Texans players celebrated winning the AFC South Championship.