As the Texans get ready to face the Patriots on Monday Night Football, a player who has been in Houston for all but one year of the franchise’s existence has a fairly strong assessment of the meaning of the game.
“It’s big,” Andre Johnson said, via CSNHouston.com. “You know how big it is, biggest game in the history of this franchise. It’ll be a big test for us and we’ll be ready to go.”
Some would say that last year’s playoff debut, which took a decade to earn, is still bigger. But Johnson apparently thinks that this game is the biggest stepping stone to date on what could be a Super Bowl run.
“I think as long as we keep winning, every game is going to get bigger and bigger,” Johnson said. “When you’ve been somewhere you’ve never been before, everything gets bigger. It’ll be a big game for us. Everybody knows the significance of this game, so just get ready and we’ll be ready Monday night.”
The significance primarily comes from the impact of the outcome on the playoff seeding. A win puts the Texans within striking distance of the No. 1 seed, given that they’d have at least a two-game lead (plus the head-to-head tiebreaker) over the Ravens and Broncos and a three-game lead (plus the head-to-head tiebreaker).
Let’s consider that for a second. If the Texans beat the Pats, Houston will have beaten every other division leader in the AFC this year. If the rematches occur in Reliant Stadium, the Texans could indeed be heading to New Orleans in late January.
Working against the Texans is the fact that the Pats haven’t lost a home game in December since 2002. And it’s a big game for New England, since a win over Houston would put the Patriots withing a game of the Texans for the top seed in the AFC.