So you think St. Louis Rams fans are impatient with the Rams' 2-3 start? Fans of the Houston Texans are downright apoplectic after their team, among a handful of teams with legitimate preseason Super Bowl aspirations out of the AFC, has started 2-3. The Texans are seeing their window of opportunity for an elusive NFL championship slowly closing.
The Texans squeaked out two come-from behind victories over San Diego and Tennessee to start the season. But since then, they've been blown out in Baltimore, gave a game away at home against Seattle, and last week drummed at San Francisco. If panic hasn't entered the Houston Texans locker room, it's waiting outside. A loss this weekend at home to the Rams would send the Texans faithful into a tailspin.
The Texans labored their first seven seasons after entering the league without a winning season. It was a full decade before they made the playoffs. A combination of expansion team slow growth and having to overcome Peyton Manning contributed to that long stretch of futility.
It appeared that the stars had aligned in 2011. Not only had the Texans finally built a team they thought could dethrone Manning and the Indianapolis Colts, but Manning did them the favor of sitting out 2011 and eventually departing the AFC South for Denver. If ever the Texans had a chance to reach the Super Bowl, it was now with the Colts and Titans rebuilding and Jacksonville being…well, Jacksonville.
The wheels actually started to wobble late in 2012. Despite entering week 16 at 12-2 and in the driver's seat for home field advantage throughout the playoffs, Houston dropped their final two regular season games at home against Minnesota and at Indianapolis. After knocking off Cincinnati in the wild card round, they made their second consecutive semi-final exit, losing at New England in what should have been a home game.
Now they trail the Colts by two games in the standings. Quarterback Matt Schaub looks lost, having set a dubious NFL record by tossing a pick six in four consecutive games. Star running back Arian Foster is starting to show the effects of being Gary Kubiak's workhorse over the past few seasons. Andre Johnson isn't getting any younger and injuries are chipping away at a once dominant defense.
Kubiak, who is only the second head coach in Texans' history, survived calls for his head early in his tenure when the Texans weren't progressing fast enough for their eager fans. If they don't win at home Sunday against the Rams, Kubiak's seat is going to get uncomfortably warm.
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