Even though this game features two teams that are submerged under .500, there are plenty of reasons to saddle up and watch the drama of what I've dubbed 'The Battle Red Bowl'.
The Texans love playing in their red unis. And historically they've played well in them. Last year's red jersey and blue pants combo, worn for the first time, initially looked odd to me. But I fully embraced it after they won, of course.
The Niners, a red-wearing team, will don white for this one. And there are plenty of 49er staff members who are well aware of the tradition of Battle Red Day, having worked here.
Let's get down the gridiron info now, please.
Yes, the Texans have a mathematical chance of making the postseason. But that chance requires so many different things to happen it's easier to just stick to enjoying yourself taking this one in, like a bowl game, and not worrying about the past and future.
After all, there are plays to be made, jobs to be earned and a precious win to be had. I hear too many media people with the 'what does it matter' attitude. Anyone who's ever played or coached can tell you that every game matters. Records are affected and there's evidence on tape to support or detract from player employment.
Tom Savage has improved since taking over the quarterback duties following Deshaun Watson's injury. After throwing for over 360 yards with a make-shift lineup last week, it's clear that this current version of Savage might have been able to get the Texans over the hump against Indy. Any who knows what kind of springboard that would have provided?
But let's stay on task, shall we? The Texans coaches are impressed with San Francisco's defensive talent. They've lost five games by three points or less. Both the Texans and the 49ers could easily have won two or three more games. But we are where we are.
The 49ers have the advantage of playing with their quarterback of the future. While the Texans version is on injured reserve. Bill O'Brien knows that San Francisco has not shown all they can do yet with Jimmy Garoppolo so they'll have to rely on last week's video and whatever he did in New England.
Houston is 3-3 at home and there's a great sense of pride in trying to create a winning record here despite this season's struggles. Two games remain to get that done. Last year, the Texans were 7-1, so they don't want to fall any further than they have.
Will Fuller V is back and the Texans tend to score more when he's in the lineup. Brian Cushing could provide a spark on defense and it'll be interesting to see how the coaches use him. Hakeem Olajuwon is the Homefield Advantage Captain.
Yes, the record is a far cry from what we all thought it would be. But here lies one of the final two shots to watch the Texans in action before the offseason begins.
The Houston Texans roster in photos. (Updated 12/29/2020)