Vandermeer's View: Thriving under pressure


The Texans have made the long climb back to .500 and with it are presented with opportunities that seemed farfetched when they dragged themselves back from Miami four weeks ago.

If Buffalo loses to New England in the Monday Night game, they'll be in a tie for a wild card spot. And, as we've all been tracking, they remain in a first place tie with the Colts for the division lead.

There still isn't any real margin for error here. Any loss they take the rest of the way must be matched by a 'helpful' loss to one or more of the teams they're battling with.

But let's live in the moment, shall we?

Sunday's win over the Jets was a magnificent example of what this team is capable of achieving when under tremendous adversity. The last two victories have been nothing short of amazing. These combined with the win over Baltimore last year are the biggest triumphs of the O'Brien era and they all have the theme of outstanding game planning and execution in the face of adversity as a common denominator.

Like last year when O'Brien and George Godsey came out throwing with Case Keenum against the Ravens after highly productive week of prep, they did the same with T.J. Yates on a short week. Not that there wasn't balance in the attack. As the game wore on, the running game clicked and the Texans had only their second outing of the season with over 100 rushing yards.

O'Brien previously mentioned to the media how the Texans have condensed the playbook. Well, they certainly kept some of the 'fun' selections in the mix such as wildcat plays and receivers throwing touchdown passes.

And the defense remains stout. Sure they had their 12 quarter touchdown free streak snapped but they made the big stops when it mattered and without them performing at this level we're not talking about three wins in a row.

The ability of this coaching staff to get this kind of performance out of all three phases of the team makes it even more perplexing how they could have ever been down to Miami and Atlanta by so much. But, that's not a mystery to be solved now. The fact is, the Texans are hitting a very positive grove, even earlier than they did last year, in the thick of a playoff race.

Check out some of the best action shots from Sunday's game against the Jets.

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