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Vandermeer's View: Fan mailbag

It's football time in Houston! Actually, it's time to answer questions to see who gets a Royal Purple and Texans Prize Pack.

Let's go.

What are JJ's chances of actually getting MVP? Has there been a boost in team confidence since the win over Cleveland?

- Debbie

OK Debbie. That's two questions but we'll take them. JJ is probably the leader out on the course for defensive player of the year but still needs to close strong. MVP would require more stellar play on defense and probably another touchdown, or two, any way he could get them. And, oh yeah, a winning record, maybe even playoffs. Tom Brady would be the leader right now but there's still time for something magical to happen for number 99.

As far as confidence goes, we all know how energized the fan base is after the latest win. How the team responds Sunday against Cincinnati will provide the best answer to your question. Ryan Mallett's performance and the fact that the team had a great day on the ground without Arian, is a sign that the Texans have perhaps turned a corner offensively.

Is Mallett starting indefinitely or will O'Brien go back to Fitz?

- Mattie

O'Brien said that we would let Mallett 'play for a while' as he announced his decision. Well, after game one, it's clear that 'a while' could be a very long time. Mallett's command of the offense, including pre-snap efficiency and overall execution, gave him the look of an experienced veteran, not a first time starter. The bigger question is what happens in the off season when Mallett is slated to become a free agent. But we'll hold off on that for now.

Do the players view Sunday as a make or break game?

- Jason

I really think the players feel the only game that will 'break' you is one that eliminates a team from post season contention. And even with a win, they'll still have a ton of work to do to accomplish their goals. So, no.
But they know it's huge. To put a thorn in Cincinnati would be a big step toward building a winning streak at a time of year when you need to be at your best. If you look around the AFC, you need to start pulling against anyone with a similar record so the Texans get some help while putting together a run. But the players know it's all about what they do each day and to focus on the things only they can control. Believe it or not, they really do look at this thing one game at a time.

Debbie is our winner. Go Texans!

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