A win Sunday against the 3-12 Cleveland Browns and the Texans finish the 2004 season three wins better than they did in 2003.
A win Sunday and Houston will have won a franchise record three-straight games and all indications show the team has a good chance to continue it's recent defensive supremacy – 11 straight quarters without allowing a touchdown – against the statically challenged Browns.
Cleveland is under the direction of an interim head coach, Terry Robiskie, who is 1-6 in that role dating back to a three-game stint with the Washington Redskins in 2000.
The Browns are 0-4 since Butch Davis resigned Nov. 30 and have lost by a combined 81 points, the last loss coming to the Miami Dolphins, who are also looking at a top draft pick with a 4-11 record.
But don't rule out the healthy heart of a Browns team that because of injuries has only 18 players with a chance to play in all 16 games and only two – LT Ross Verba and SS Robert Griffith – scheduled to start every contest.
Their coach is a fighter and in many ways interviewing for a full-time gig starting next season, whether it be in the college ranks (LSU is looking) or with Cleveland.
"I don't' know whether or not I would be interested in coaching at LSU," Robiskie said earlier in the week. "I went to LSU. I graduated from LSU. I am an alumnus of LSU. I have a lot of respect for people at LSU, but if it came down to it, my heart's wish and desire is to be the head coach of the Cleveland Browns, not for today or tomorrow, but for years to come."
The Texans are returning home after a two-game road winning streak and a 21-0 shutout at Jacksonville, but are preparing as if the Browns are the first 3-12 team making it to the
Because to Cleveland, Sunday's game is just that.
LAST WEEK:The Browns were tied with the Dolphins Sunday night heading into the fourth quarter but lost 10-7 on a 51-yard field goal by Olindo Mare.
RB Lee Suggs broke a team record for carries (38) and rushed for 143 of the Browns 285 total yards against the Dolphins. QB Luke McCown, a rookie out of Louisiana Tech, threw two interceptions in the game and completed only nine passes.
Miami ran 71 plays but was kept out of the end zone for three quarters and thrown off balance by a ferocious Browns pass rush. Dolphins QB A.J. Feeley was sacked twice but pressured out of the pocket on countless other plays.
THE SERIES:The Texans lost 34-17 in Cleveland in 2002. Former Browns QB Tim Couch threw for 148 yards and a touchdown while Texans QB David Carr threw for 267 yards and a score.
Houston was down 24-17 entering the final quarter but the Browns scored 10 unanswered points to run away with the game.
TEXANS ON DEFENSE:The defense has got plenty of attention over the last three weeks and has arguably been one of the best units in the league during that time.
The Texans have not allowed a touchdown in 11 quarters, just one off the season high of 12 set by Philadelphia earlier in the season. Sunday's win at Jacksonville was the first shutout in team history and the Jaguars 126 total yards was the lowest allowed by the Texans franchise.
On the flip side, the Browns have one of the worst offenses in professional football.
Starting quarterback Jeff Garcia had a 3-7 record as a starter but was placed on injured reserve Dec. 13 with a knee injury. Backup Kelly Holcomb has also fought injuries leaving McCown calling the shots.