Last Saturday’s combination of a Texans win and a Titans loss ended the intrigue in the AFC South and left Houston as the division champion for the second straight year.
They will be the fourth seed in the AFC regardless of what happens when they face Tennessee in Week 17, but coach Bill O’Brien said that won’t impact their decisions about which players will fill out the lineup.
“We’re playing to win. We’re not even talking about that,” O’Brien said, via the Houston Chronicle. “We’ve got a chance to win 10 games. I don’t know how many double-digit win seasons the Texans have had, but I think that’s important. I think every win counts. I don’t really care. I think anytime you line up in this league, it’s out of respect for the National Football League, you play to win. We’re going to do our best to try to win.”
Beyond any desire for a 10-win season, playing the starters gives the Texans another chance to have quarterback Tom Savage work with the first team. Savage made his first start against the Bengals last Saturday and could use as much time as possible in the lineup in order to prepare for the Wild Card round.
While O’Brien is planning to approach the game as usual, it’s not clear if running back Lamar Miller will be part of the mix. Miller didn’t play against Cincinnati because of an ankle injury and O’Brien said he’s feeling better, but the bigger picture may still win out when it comes time to making out the lineup.