This year the Texans lost three of their final four games and face the Bengals in the first round of the playoffs.
The first Houston team was a playoff first-timer, and won points for making progress by winning a postseason game.
The second team had giant expectations and ranked as the beat team in the league to many when it was 11-1.
Can the Texans regain their balance in a playoff field where they beat two of the other top four seeds in the regular season?
Gary Kubiak is not putting a lot on momentum.
“I really think it matters how you play now,” he told Cincinnati reporters in a conference call. “I’ve been on teams with a ton of momentum, so to speak. I’ve been on a 13-3 team with a ton of momentum that got beat by an 8-8 team at home. I’ve been a part of that. I’ve been a part of a team that lost its last two (regular season) games and won a Super Bowl.
“It boils down to how you’re going to play this month and how you can get it rolling as a football team. We’ve had our moments where we’ve played pretty darn good. We’ve had our moments where we have struggled, like everybody else. The fact that we’re here this month and playing, we’re excited about that. We need to raise our level of play and we understand that.”
After the disappointing loss Sunday in Indianapolis, J.J. Watt said the Texans would still find a way to win the Super Bowl.
“The attitude around our building right now is great,” he told Cincinnati media. “Everyone is ready to go, everybody’s revved up and focused and ready to practice. You can just feel the energy. It’s playoff time. Everyone starts 0-0 in the playoffs and we’re ready to go make a run.”
I expect they’ll continue to say all the right things.
It’s how they react the first time things go badly on Saturday that I wonder about.