MONDAY HUDDLE: Are the Texans a playoff team?

Longhorns haven’t quite clinched Big 12 title game trip yet, Cowboys defensive back nears NFL record

Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) in action during an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov 19, 2023, in Houston. (AP Photo/Maria Lysaker) (Maria Lysaker, AP)

Huddle up! Here’s a look back at this weekend on the gridiron, with three key takeaways from the state’s football scene -- and a glimpse at what’s to come next week.

Expectations might be raising on the fly for Texans

It wasn’t a pretty performance by C.J. Stroud and the Texans on Sunday, but a win was a win after a 21-16 triumph over the lowly Arizona Cardinals.

But with three consecutive wins and four victories in their last five, the Texans have actually become a playoff contender in the AFC.

Houston is now tied for the sixth seed in the AFC race with Pittsburgh, something that seemed unheard of after an 0-2 start.

Now, the question for the next few weeks is whether the Texans can maintain that playoff spot. First up is a home game against red-hot Jacksonville, which will likely be wanting some revenge after the Texans won 37-17 earlier this year in Jacksonville.

The next two games after that is at home against an improving Denver team and at a New York Jets squad that does have a good defense.

Regardless, the fact that the Texans are about to play meaningful games in December is something few thought would happen at the beginning of the season.

On second look, Texas hasn’t clinched spot in Big 12 title game

Texas wasn’t exactly dominant on Saturday at Iowa State, but the Longhorns still stayed in the hunt for a College Football Playoff spot with a 26-16 win.

Several media outlets reported after the game that Texas had clinched a shot in the Big 12 title game, but after further review of various tiebreaker scenarios, it was determined the Longhorns haven’t done so yet.

We won’t bore you with all the details, but we’ll just make it simple and say that as long as the Longhorns take care of business and beat unranked Texas Tech at home on Saturday, they’ll for sure be in the Big 12 title game.

Cowboys defensive back makes history

Dallas Cowboys defensive back DaRon Bland has been anything but bland this year when it comes to interceptions.

In fact, Bland is on the verge of NFL history.

Against Carolina on Sunday, Bland returned his fourth interception for a touchdown in a lopsided Dallas win.

That tied an NFL record with three other players, those being Eric Allen, Jim Kearney and Ken Houston.

Bland now has seven games remaining on the season to try and get the record all to himself.

About the Author:

Keith is a member of Graham Media Group's Digital Content Team, which produces content for all the company's news websites.