Here is a loopy idea: The Houston Texans with home-field merit all over the AFC playoffs.

Yep, the crew that started the season Zero-Three simply may sneak previous the Chiefs and Patriots and declare that coveted spot.

The Texans have received 9 in a row. They have got finished so in all varieties of techniques, from robust protection to opportunistic offense to cast particular groups to excellent training.

On Sunday, they face Indianapolis (6-6) and will just about knock the Colts out of postseason rivalry with a win.

Indianapolis has received 3 of the previous 4 in opposition to the Texans in a chain during which the previous 8 video games had been made up our minds by means of seven or fewer issues.

Must Houston get by means of the Colts, the rest of the agenda has visits to the Jets and Eagles and a house finale in opposition to Jacksonville. Bearing in mind that two-month string of wins, why can not the Texans run the desk?

“It is a small accomplishment,” says defensive finish Jadeveon Clowney, who has justified being the end total select within the 2014 draft. “We nonetheless have not even received the department with successful 9 in a row, we haven’t any playoff spot, not anything presently locked up.

“So, it is a small accomplishment, however optimistically it’s going to result in larger issues for us. We are taking part in for a lot more than simply the department presently. We are looking to play for first, moment, 1/3 seed, whoever is forward people presently.”

That may be Kansas Town (10-2) and New England (additionally Nine-Three). Each have a extra checking out December.

“I believe it is whilst you begin to glance forward, otherwise you begin to get overly eager about accomplishments that, now not do not imply anything else, however successful 9 in a row, successful a department, you’re taking issues at some point at a time,” J.J. Watt provides.

“I believe that is the largest mentality I have taken clear of all of it is solely regulate what you’ll be able to regulate. Should you attempt to get started controlling issues that you’ll be able to’t regulate, then you’ll be able to get in hassle.

The weekend started with Thursday evening with Tennessee’s 30-Nine domestic victory over Jacksonville.

Derrick Henry sped and stiff-armed his strategy to a record-tying 99-yard landing run for Tennessee (7-6). Henry tied Tony Dorsett’s 99-yarder on Jan. Three, 1983, for Dallas in opposition to Minnesota for the longest TD run in NFL historical past. Henry set a franchise checklist with 238 yards on simply 16 carries, topping the former mark of 228 yards set by means of Chris Johnson in 2009 in opposition to sure, the Jaguars. Henry completed with a career-high 4 TDs, tying Lorenzo White and Corridor of Status working again Earl Campbell for many speeding TDs in one recreation in franchise historical past.

Jacksonville dropped to Four-Nine.

New Orleans (10-2) at Tampa Bay (Five-7)

The Saints take the NFC South with a win or a Carolina loss. They are desperate to get again at the subject after their worst efficiency of 2018, a Thursday evening loss at Dallas during which they had been beaten by means of the Cowboys’ protection.

Tampa Bay, which has won extra yards on offense than someone — sure, even New Orleans — received the primary assembly to open the season. Then the Saints received their subsequent 10 video games.

Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston has now not became over the ball since regaining the beginning process two weeks in the past. Prior to now 3 video games, one in aid, Winston has finished 61 of 84 (72.6 %) with six touchdowns and one interception for a 119.1 ranking.

Los Angeles Rams (11-1) at Chicago (Eight-Four)

The Rams already personal the NFC West name. They earn a first-round playoff bye by means of beating the Bears.

That is an intriguing matchup, LA’s second-ranked offense in opposition to Chicago’s No. Four protection. The Bears are moment stingiest in opposition to the run, and the Rams’ Todd Gurley leads the NFL in each yards speeding (1,175) and yards from scrimmage (1,649). Chicago’s protection leads the NFL with 21 interceptions and can check Jared Goff.

Chicago hopes to have common quarterback Mitchell Trubisky again from a shoulder harm that price him two video games. He will wish to stay up for Rams DT Aaron Donald, making a powerful remark for a moment directly NFL Defensive Participant of the 12 months award. He tops the NFL with 16½ sacks, has a minimum of two in 3 directly video games.

New England (Nine-Three) at Miami (6-6)

A Patriots win — that is one position they do not like, having misplaced 4 of the previous 5 at Miami — approach but any other AFC East crown, 10 in a row. Tom Brady has received 12 of his previous 13 begins throughout the department. He is additionally able to ascertain any other NFL checklist: Brady has 579 profession TD passes, together with postseason, tied with Peyton Manning for probably the most.

New England additionally has discovered a speeding protection, now not permitting a 100-yard gainer since Week Three.

Miami has been outgained by means of 1,168 yards and is on tempo to damage the 1967 crew checklist but is in wild-card rivalry. The Dolphins do rank 1/3 with 25 takeaways.

Baltimore (7-Five) at Kansas Town (10-2)

Cincinnati (Five-7) at Los Angeles Chargers (Nine-Three)

Pittsburgh (7-Four-1) at Oakland (2-10)

Two AFC department races concerned right here.

The Ravens have crept inside of a half-game of the Steelers within the North, however they have got an enormous problem at KC whilst Pittsburgh should not battle a lot at lowly Oakland.

Beating the high-powered Chiefs at Arrowhead requires a monstrous defensive appearing, and Baltimore has the top-ranked D. It additionally has a clock-killing run recreation with rookie Lamar Jackson at QB: The Ravens have had a minimum of 200 yards speeding in 3 directly weeks.

Nonetheless, Kansas Town is Five-Zero at domestic and leads the league in scoring at 37 issues a recreation. Patrick Mahomes has a league-leading 41 TD passes and 43 throws of 25-plus yards.

Kansas Town, which will get a playoff berth with a win, can not come up with the money for a stumble with the Chargers one recreation again; they meet subsequent Thursday evening. With Cincinnati in a rugged, injury-caused droop, LA may just romp Sunday.

The Chargers have a couple of sophisticated techniques of having a minimum of a wild card this week. Philip Rivers has thrown two or extra TDs in every of his first 12 video games, tied for the third-longest streak to start out a season in NFL historical past.

Rivers has 10 TDs and 6 INTs in six video games in opposition to the Bengals, who’ve received 4 directly conferences within the common season.

The Raiders have received the previous 3 domestic video games on this sequence since dropping in 1995 and the Steelers are Three-Eight all time in Oakland. Nonetheless, until they hand issues to the Raiders, they will have to win even with out standout RB James Conner (ankle).

Minnesota (6-Five-1) at Seattle (7-Five), Monday evening

Whoever emerges right here has an within observe to a wild-card berth, despite the fact that the Vikings nonetheless assume they are able to snatch the NFC North name.

Seattle is outstanding in top time: 24-Five-1 since 2010. Russell Wilson has 29 landing passes and 5 interceptions thru 12 video games. He has thrown a minimum of two touchdowns in 8 directly outings and has 16 touchdowns and two interceptions in Monday evening video games. Plus, the Seahawks are main the NFL averaging 148.Eight yards according to recreation speeding.

However Seattle has been inconsistent protecting the cross, and Kirk Cousins tops the league with 350 completions. Adam Thielen leads the NFL with 98 catches, is moment in yards with 1,166, and tied for 5th in TDs with 9. Thielen and Stefon Diggs are the one pair of teammates within the NFC with 80 or extra receptions.

Philadelphia (6-6) at Dallas (7-Five)

A Cowboys victory provides them regulate of the NFC East; they received at Philly previous this season. Dallas has received 4 directly and is derived off that spectacular victory in opposition to the Saints, adopted by means of a pleasant leisure.

Eagles TE Zach Ertz has already established a single-season franchise checklist with 93 receptions He is 18 clear of breaking Jason Witten’s NFL checklist for TEs.

New York Giants (Four-Eight) at Washington (6-6)

Be mindful Mark Sanchez? He is now the Redskins’ starter with each Alex Smith and Colt McCoy out with damaged legs. It is his first get started since 2015, and the Redskins are a banged-up bunch all over the place.

New York, which misplaced big name protection Landon Collins (shoulder) for the remainder of the season, has received 3 of 4 since its bye. RB Saquon Barkley and WR Odell Beckham Jr., are having giant years in spite of a leaky offensive line.

Atlanta (Four-Eight) at Inexperienced Bay (Four-7-1)

Maximum attention-grabbing storyline is Joe Philbin taking on as Packers trainer and calling performs for the primary time in his professional profession. Aaron Rodgers has thrown a franchise-record 336 makes an attempt with out an interception, trailing handiest Brady (358 in 2010-11) for the longest such stretch in league historical past.

Linebacker Deion Jones had a career-high 15 tackles and one sack final week, returning after lacking 10 video games whilst injured. However the Atlanta protection is 31st in opposition to 1/3 downs (51 %).

Denver (6-6) at San Francisco (2-10)

The Broncos have woke up with 3 consecutive victories. However they have got one highway win previously 30 seasons vs. the 49ers. They misplaced height wideout Emmanuel Sanders in apply this week with a torn Achilles tendon.

San Francisco’s 5 takeaways are the fewest thru 12 video games since a minimum of 1940. The former low used to be seven for Jacksonville in 2016.

Carolina (6-6) at Cleveland (Four-7-1)

A four-game slide has critically endangered the Panthers’ playoff probabilities. Their passing recreation has struggled and now Cam Newton has a sore proper shoulder. He used to be picked off 4 instances final week.

However they are averaging 140.Eight speeding yards according to recreation, handiest in the back of Seattle’s 148.Eight.

Trainer Ron Rivera fired D-line trainer Brady Hoke and assistant secondary/cornerbacks trainer Jeff Imamura.

Most sensible total draft select Baker Mayfield threw 3 interceptions within the first half of in a loss at Houston to hose down one of the enthusiasm in Cleveland. The Browns lead the AFC with 27 takeaways.

New York Jets (Three-Nine) at Buffalo (Four-Eight)

It seems like Sam Darnold is recovered from his strained proper foot, putting in place a matchup with fellow first-round variety Josh Allen amongst rookie QB possibilities.

Darnold has a Three-6 checklist and has thrown a league-high 14 interceptions. Allen has 391 yards passing, 3 TDs and two interceptions, and 234 yards speeding and a TD in his previous two video games since lacking 4 with a sprained proper throwing elbow.

Detroit (Four-Eight) at Arizona (Three-Nine)

The Lions have misplaced 8 directly at Arizona, their final win coming in 1993. Plus, Detroit is Zero-Three in opposition to the NFC West this season.

Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald wishes one catch to transport forward of Jerry Rice for probably the most receptions for one crew in NFL historical past. Fitzgerald wishes one TD catch to compare Antonio Gates for 6th at the profession checklist.

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