NFL Power Rankings: Cardinals rise, Broncos fall in Week 15

17 of 33

Dec 13, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; New England Patriots defensive end Jabaal Sheard (93) sacks Houston Texans quarterback Brian Hoyer (7) and forces a fumble during the second half at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports


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Beating the Patriots was always going to be a tough ask for Brian Hoyer and the Houston Texans, but the most important thing for the Texans is they stay very much in the AFC South race. Despite their loss, the Colts were blown out by the Jaguars to ensure there is still a tie at the top.

Houston’s final three games of the season are all against division rivals. Win out, and the Texans are the AFC South champions for the first time since 2012. The key game is next week’s contest on the road to the Colts. The status of Andrew Luck will be monitored very closely. Without him, the Texans will be favorites.

A loss would put the Texans a game behind with two to play, and they would also concede the head-to-head tiebreaker. A win, and they could be well and truly on the way to a playoff berth.

The Texans have lost their past two games, and need to get back on track and get a run of form together like we saw last month, when they won four straight. One last push against the AFC South teams could send the Texans to the playoffs.

Next: No. 16