Following their 42-23 win over the Miami Dolphins on Thursday Night Football, the Houston Texans now have a record of 5-3. After a three-game losing streak to start the season, Houston has reeled off five straight wins, which now has them first in the AFC South.
Coach Bill O’Brien is happy with the current winning streak the team is on but wants to make sure the team stays focused on the remaining games on the schedule.
“I feel good for the team, these guys work hard, but its five games and were only eight games in, and nothing has been determined, as you all know it’s a what have you done for me lately league,” said O’Brien
A lot has changed for Houston since their 0-3 start to the season. The defense has improved and playing more like the elite defense they’ve been in the past few seasons. Running back Lamar Miller has gone over 100 yards in back to back games. Finally, quarterback Deshaun Watson has 11 total touchdowns to only four interceptions.
Besides the undefeated Los Angeles Rams, the Texans possess the highest winning streak in the NFL. Since Houston is on a winning streak, let’s look deeper into how long this streak could continue.
Only one team on the remaining schedule has a winning record
Many may see the Texans win streak as a fluke being that none of their victories have been against teams who currently have winning records. This should come as no surprise as Houston entered the season with the easiest strength of schedule in the league.
Moving forward the Texans schedule will continue to be in their favor. The Washington Redskins are the only team on Houston’s remaining schedule who has a winning record. Houston will most likely be favored in at least six of their remaining eight games. The two games Houston may be betting underdogs are on the road versus the NFC East-leading Redskins and on the road against the defending champion Philadelphia Eagles.
Besides, that Houston benefits from playing some of the worst teams in the AFC. In a three-game stretch, the Texans play the Cleveland Browns, New York Jets, and Indianapolis Colts. Those three teams have a combined record of 7-13-1. Also, come April those three teams will all have top ten draft picks.
Key Games to look out for
In week nine the Texans have to travel to Denver and play the Broncos. Denver is one of the most challenging places to play in the entire NFL, due to the impact of the altitude and elements. Furthermore, the last time Denver played at home this season it was snowing! The Broncos play much better at home and can not be taken lightly. However, the Texans should win because they get a mini-bye since they just played on Thursday night.
Another team that could ruin the Texans win streak are the Tennessee Titans. Including last season meeting, the Texans have lost their previous two meetings against the Titans. The Texans lost to the Titans in week two was embarrassing. Watson turned the ball over three times, while Titans backup Blaine Gabbert led Tennessee to victory. Also, Tennessee scored on a fake punt where Houston left the gunner wide open.
Here’s a look at Kevin Byard’s touchdown pass:
Kevin Byard…touchdown pass!? Pretty cool play here pic.twitter.com/UOtsTKxIOU
— Ian Wharton (@NFLFilmStudy) September 16, 2018
Houston will get their chance at redemption at home in week 12 when they host the Titans.
Finally, another divisional game for the Texans come in week 17 versus the Jacksonville Jaguars. Although Jacksonville is currently struggling, division games are always close and hard-fought. Also, depending on how both teams play moving forward that game could be for the AFC South division crown.
When will the streak end?
If I had to predict when this win streak will come to an end, it would be in week 14 versus the Colts. I foresee the Texans having a letdown game at home versus a divisional opponent. Not to mention, the Colts and Texans nearly tied in week four, if not for a bad fourth down call in overtime by Colts head coach Frank Reich. Andrew Luck could easily have another big day as he did in week four, where he had over 400 yards and four touchdowns.
This five-game winning streak has put the Texans in a great position for the rest of the season. Houston should finish with double digits wins, and secure a playoff berth when they win the AFC South.