Vandermeer's View: Takedown on the tundra


With their performance in the last three games the Texans have seen their record drop back to .500, into a tie for first for the division lead. It's now a four game season with the AFC South title on the line.

Long gone are the aspirations of a first round bye. If the Texans want to knock off the better teams in the AFC they'll have to do it in the post season. But first they have to get there and that's becoming more difficult by the week.

The latest setback was another game in which points were rare and the defense did plenty but needed a near-perfect game against an excellent quarterback. Aaron Rodgers was held in check until the Packers scored on two long drives in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach.

This one hurt plenty because it was another so-close-yet-so far outing. After holding Green Bay to seven first half points at snowy Lambeau Field, Houston went to work with a scoring drive capped by Brock Osweiler's nice throw and Ryan Griffin's terrific catch to turn a fourth-and-short into a touchdown that tied the game.

But the Texans couldn't maintain offensive momentum and eventually the Packers scored on drives of 98 and 89 yards to stake themselves a two score lead on a day where the weather challenged both offenses.

Houston remains inconsistent on offense. They had their moments today but the end result is 13 points and a lot of frustration. And they'll need more than that, in all likelihood, to upend the Colts in their building next week. Osweiler had a much better day than last week but he'll be the first to tell you that the passing game needs to get into the endzone a whole lot more often.

At some point the Texans will have to put it all together or they'll be watching the playoffs on television. As tough as things are there are still a lot of positives. They have zero division losses while everyone else has at least two. Despite the slide they still have the games in front of them that matter the most.

The question is...can the Texans rise to the occasion and seize the division? It's up for grabs as the Titans have moved into a tie for first while sitting on their couches watching the Red Zone channel. And the Colts can join the party if they win at the Jets on Monday night.

If you thought the Texans had to tune out the noise before, get ready. They'll need to hyper focus on what's still in front of them. They can still win the division and host a playoff game. They can still surprise everyone and get momentum heading into the post season. But they'll need to make a big leap and somehow find a winning formula quickly.

The Texans faced the Packers at Lambeau Field in Week 13.

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