HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON) – The Houston Texans have won just twice in the home stadium of their AFC South rival Colts and both wins have come with Bill O’Brien as the Texans head coach.
The Texans, for the moment, are holding on sole possession of the AFC South with a 7-6 record after beating the Colts 22-17 at Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday. The Texans currently own the tiebreaker over Tennessee who has an identical 7-6 record.
The franchise’s futility against the Colts, who had been the standard-bearer in the division since the Texans entered the league in 2002, has been one of the largest clouds hanging over the franchise. However, despite the struggles O’Brien has had against some of the stronger teams in the league, his squad has found a way to consistently take care of the AFC South opponents, including the Colts.
“I do know that Indianapolis over the years has set a standard, especially in this division, with how they’ve played,” O’Brien said at his Monday press conference. “It’s gratifying to know that we’re able to go in there and compete with them.”
The Texans are now 13-3 in divisional play with O’Brien as their head coach, with a winning streak in the division extending to nine games after Sunday. While that success is admirable, it has come at a time when the division has never been weaker with the Titans, Colts, and Jaguars a combined 47-88 in the three seasons O’Brien has been in Houston.
“I don’t get into whatever the narrators, authors, journalists think about the AFC South,” O’Brien said to detractors to the difficulty of his intra-divisional games. “I think it’s a tough division. I think anyone who writes (that the AFC South is weak), again, you have to grasp how hard it is to win a game in this league. These divisional games are very difficult”
The Texans have two games left within the AFC South including Sunday at home against the 2-11 Jaguars and their season finale on New Years day against the Titans, which could ultimately decide the division championship.
O’Brien was asked Monday what his team message was regarding the final stretch run.
“Jacksonville. That’s it. Jacksonville,” O’Brien said definitively. “Everything that we’re doing when they come into the meeting on Wednesday will be about the Jacksonville Jaguars.”
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