Vandermeer's View: One for the ages


Five years from now I'm really hoping I'm writing about a Texans organization that's making frequent postseason trips and winning championships. But I live in the moment. That dictates taking stock of only the third home playoff game in the history of this franchise. And it's enormously special.

The building is buzzing. ESPN has seemingly brought the entire population of Bristol with them to cover this outing. I stopped counting at six ESPN television trucks. Of course NFL Network is here and, besides our own shows on ABC-13, Local 2 and Fox Sports Southwest, it feels like every television station vehicle with a Texas license plate is in the lot.

As we fire up the Texans Radio network tomorrow I'll be thinking about the magnitude of the situation; a team that was all but forgotten on the national front in late October has stormed its way into the postseason party. And the players and coaches are not here to just make a token appearance for the AFC South.

To advance they are going to need to use what I call 'The Formula.' It's pretty simple really. Houston needs to be sound in kick coverage, take care of the ball and give its defense a chance to play on a 'long' field. If the Texans turn it over, like they did in the opener, or give up chunky returns on special teams, this could be a rough day.

In the first meeting, everything went wrong early. The Texans stopped the Chiefs on defense then threw a pick on their first play from scrimmage deep in their own end. After another stop, the Chiefs drove 83 yards for a score. As bad as 14-0 sounded, Houston drove 80 yards in eight plays to cut it to a one score game. But the Texans coughed it up again in their own end before the half and trailed 27-9 before pitching a second half shutout and falling 27-20.

This time there can be no costly errors to give the Chiefs point blank field position. The Texans are a different team now. The defense is the best in the league over the second half of the season. The offense still pieces things together each week but has produced a Pro Bowl receiver and a running back who has run for over 100 yards in two of the last three games.

Craig Biggio will lead the team out of the tunnel. To have a Houston icon as the Homefield Advantage Captain is a big deal. In the Texans' first playoff game, Bum Phillips had the honor and I thought the roof would come off the building. The majority of the roster is making its playoff debut.

The atmosphere will be nuclear. History will be made. The moment is almost here. Let's hope the magnificent ride continues.

Texans players celebrated winning the AFC South Championship.

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