You have tried. You have told yourself you've been down the road before, and each time your hopes and dreams have been cruelly dashed.
But you can't help it -- you are, once again, letting yourself become optimistic about the Texans.
But this year things are really different, you say. They can't help but win the division and make the playoffs.
Somewhere, the sadistic football gods, those who gave you the Buffalo comeback against the Oilers and years of "this is the Texans' year," are smiling. So beware.
Five ways you can tell you are allowing yourself to actually believe in the Texans:
5. The Andre Johnson absence "They're winning without Andre Johnson," you say. "Just imagine how great they will be when he gets back!!"
Note: Andre Johnson has played for the Texans since 2003. In that time they have an overall record of 51-77.
4. Wade Phillips, genius coordinator if not head coach Last year, the Texans' defense was utterly disastrous, with players making bonehead mistakes, regularly being overmatched, constantly finding new ways to lose.
In a matter of a few off-season months, simply through the addition of some new player and the genius schemes and coaching style of Wade Phillips, they are ready to hold their own in the playoffs and let the offense win games, you tell yourself.
Just try not to think of how much of a genius you believed Phillips was in the hapless last months of his Cowboys stint. He was a head coach then, and that's very, very different.
3. No Peyton Manning No one wants to see Peyton Manning babbling nonsense words at the line of scrimmage in the playoffs, at least that one year out of 13 that he won the title. He's Mr. Clutch, Man!! And this year you don't have to face him! "It's like the Rockets not having to face Michael Jordan!!" you say.
Maybe. But we do think the AFC has some teams in it other than the Colts.
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2. Sure, Gary Kubiak still makes odd decisions, but now they're working! This is the Les Miles school of thought. Miles has done everything conceivable in terms of in-game coaching to mess things up for LSU, yet the Tigers somehow win despite that. Texans' optimists acknowledge that Gary Kubiak can still be infuriating when it comes to playcalling, time management and replay challenges, but now they're thinking the Texans can overcome it.
We don't know. Expect to be bitten in the ass at the worst possible time, people.
1. We're due! How many years has it been since Houston won any kind of pro football championship!! The law of averages says we have to win at some point, right?
Right. Just remember, Rice fields a team each year, too.