Houston Texan fans, the NFL playoffs have finally arrived.
Drink that down slowly. Let it sit on your tongue like a fine 20 year old whiskey. Bask in its warmth for a bit, because like a Sage Rosenfels 17 point 4th quarter lead, it can be gone in an instant.
It’s been a lengthy and largely disappointment filled road since the teams inaugural game on August 5th, 2002 against the New York Giants at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game in Canton, OH; 10 years, 3,442 days, and 160 regular season games (unfortunately 40 preseason games as well) to be exact.
It’s been even longer for the city of Houston itself, which was previously home to the longest playoff drought of any city. Sorry Buffalo its on you now. Not since Joe Montana led the Chiefs to a 28-20 victory into the Astrodome against Warren Moon’s 12-4 Oilers has this city seen a NFL playoff game.
You want some perspective on how long ago that was?
Bodacious, radical, and tubular were legitimate adjectives in the American vernacular, Tonya Harding was ordering goons to assault her figure skating opponents, and Ace of Base was cool; dominating the billboards with two number one hits including the single of the year. Gross. Lets forget 1994 America all together.
Now in the year of 2012, the Texans, a team that most people looked at like the red headed stepchild of Texas football are one of only twelve teams remaining in the hunt for the Lombardi trophy.
With all the negativity surrounding the last three weeks the facts remain the same: The Texans are the AFC South Champs, the 3rd seed in the playoffs, and theoretically have as good a shot as anyone to get to the Super Bowl in the wide-open AFC.
The pessimist will say we have no quarterback. We’ve lost three straight to inferior teams and limped into the playoffs. The thoroughbred receiver (Andre Johnson) has a bum leg and our defensive mastermind Wade Phillips is nursing an injury as well. Time to abandon ship! It’s all over. It was a nice run but time to pack it in.
Truthfully, there isn’t a single team in the AFC without a glaring weakness. Unfortunately the Texans Achilles heel happens to be at the quarterback position – which in the spirit of objectivity and transparency is like saying a boxer’s biggest weakness is his ability to take a punch.
Nevertheless if I’ve seen one thing about the NFL playoffs it’s that anything can happen. Get into the dance and you’ve got a shot. Am I right Mark Rypien, Jeff Hostetler, Trent Dilfer, Brad Johnson, and Doug Williams? Right.
Now onto a Cold Hard Football Facts led analysis of the game….