Houston hunting for confidence, win at Indy
Victory would have multiple rewards for Kubiak’s team.
HOUSTON — The Texans need a win this weekend at Indianapolis to earn a bye and home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.
They also want to build some momentum instead of limping into the postseason, a weird place to be for a team that is 12-3. Houston had a chance to secure home-field advantage with a win last week, only to post its worst offensive performance of the season in a 23-6 loss to the Vikings.
“It’s not important, it’s crucial, because in order for you to get to where you want to be, you have to be playing your best ball,” veteran linebacker Bradie James said. “And that’s what we’ve been working on this week. Guys have been frowning during the holiday time. So that means we should respond well.”
They now have to win at Indianapolis, where the Texans are 0-10. The Colts, who went 2-14 last season, are 10-5 this season and have already secured a playoff spot.
“This is like a playoff game for us,” quarterback Matt Schaub said. “This is a team that is in the playoff themselves and we’re in their building. With all that we can gain from playing well and getting a win on the road, it’s definitely a playoff-type game.”
Schaub and the offense should get a lift from the return of running back Arian Foster, who missed most of the second half of Sunday’s game because of an irregular heartbeat in a game where Houston rushed for a season-low 34 yards. He has practiced all week and coach Gary Kubiak said he will play Sunday.
He said since it had happened to him before, the medical staff knew exactly how to handle it on Sunday.
“Anytime something like that happens that’s unusual, so it concerns you,” Kubiak said. “At least it’s something that they had a little history with and they could deal with.”
This is Houston’s second game with the Colts in the last three weeks. Houston’s only win in the last three games was in a 29-17 victory over the Colts two weeks ago.
Kubiak said it’s a big week for his veterans to step up and help get the team headed back in the right direction. He doesn’t really have to say anything to those players because they know what needs to be done.
“There’s another level that you play the game at,” Kubiak said. “There’s another level of expectations. There’s another level of responsibility, and that’s why you see a lot of the same people in the playoffs all the time ... because they find ways to raise that level. To me that’s the next step for this organization.”