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VanderBlog: Texans face win-and-in showdown in Indy


Let's take a deep breath before we get into next week.

The Texans have locked up a winning season and we should take stock then get our minds right for a showdown with the all-time nemesis.

View the best photos from the Week 17 matchup between the Houston Texans and Tennessee Titans.

A complete game take-down of the Titans was just what the doctor ordered. C.J. Stroud returned and surgically found his receivers, most notably Nico Collins, for a 200+ yard day that served notice he's back and ready for important next-steps in January.

The running game clicked well enough. Brevin Jordan played a bunch at fullback with Andrew Beck sidelined late in a busy practice week. The defense swarmed and ate well. Houston had six sacks on the day to go along with the seven they had two weeks ago. Will Anderson Jr. tallied two and raised his season total to seven with one game to go, a Texans rookie record.

On 'Reppin' H-Town' day, local product Jerry Hughes notched his 70th career sack. It knocked the ball out. Sheldon Rankins scooped and scored to get the Texans a 17-0 first half lead for more than enough points they would need on the day.

This was utter domination on a day when Houston had to keep pace with the Colts and the Jags to keep the playoff dreams alive.

As it is, the Texans have their first winning season in four years as DeMeco Ryans instantly turns them back into a winner. It's amazing stuff. We hit January with the Texans locking up a winning campaign with a chance for more. The job that Ryans and Nick Caserio have done with coaching and next-man-up execution has been masterful.

Now let's get to the next assignment, shall we? The Colts are good. They beat the Texans in Week 2 and they are hitting stride with Jonathan Taylor and Gardner Minshew playing well.

The Horseshoe is always the toughest challenge for the Texans to overcome. DeMeco Ryans was part of the first two wins over this team and he's seeking to part of the latest. The Texans are 10-34 vs. the Colts and that record needs to start trending in the other direction immediately.

It's a classic win-and-in battle and we can't wait for it.

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