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Five Middle Class AFC Teams That Have Shot Past the Houston Texans

The Texans used to be light years ahead of the Buffalo Bills, and now Josh Allen has led the charge right past the Texans.
The Texans used to be light years ahead of the Buffalo Bills, and now Josh Allen has led the charge right past the Texans.
Photo by Eric Sauseda

As I was doing the postgame show, following the Houston Texans' disappointing 10-7 loss to the Cleveland Browns this past Sunday, my cohost Clint Stoerner and I were watching the Red Zone Channel while simultaneously hosting. Yes, we are quite the multitaskers, but that's not my point. As we watched RZC host Scott Hanson bounce from game to game, there was a common theme with most of the matchups.

The Bills were playing the Cardinals, and winning until the final play. The Raiders were trouncing the Denver Broncos. The Dolphins were hanging a big number on the Chargers. The common theme among these teams — the Bills, Raiders, and Dolphins — these were all AFC teams that were CLEARLY behind the Texans in the AFC pecking order before Bill O'Brien started to get his meathooks into the roster. Now, they, along with the Browns and Colts, are all teams that are 6-3 on the season (except the Bills, who are 7-3), that are clearly above the woeful 2-7 Texans in the AFC hierarchy.

Consider the following about the Texans, as pertains to these five particular teams. First, prior to Sunday's loss to the Browns, the Texans had beaten ALL five of them the last time they met. In the case of the Bills, they'd beaten them the last time they met in the regular season (2018) and playoffs (January of this year). Next, Deshaun Watson's career record against these five teams in the regular season was 7-2, coming into Sunday.

Overall, let's take a look at the Texans' franchise five-year snapshot compared to these five teams. Here are the Texans' numbers:

2020 RECORD: 2-7
2018-2019 RECORD: 21-11
2015-2019 RECORD: 43-37
PLAYOFF APPERANCES 2015-2019: 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019

Now here are those five teams' numbers, with one "added insult to injury" factor from each team:

CLEVELAND BROWNS
2020 RECORD:
 6-3
2018-2019 RECORD: 13-18-1
2015-2019 RECORD: 17-52-1
PLAYOFF APPERANCES 2015-2019: None
LAST OUTCOME vs TEXANS (prior to Sunday): Texans 29, Browns 13 (Week 13, 2018)
ADDED INSULT TO INJURY: Sunday's loss to the Browns was the first time the Texans have lost to the Browns since 2007. Ron Dayne was the Texans' leading rusher that day. RON DAYNE.

MIAMI DOLPHINS
2020 RECORD: 6-3
2018-2019 RECORD: 12-20
2015-2019 RECORD: 34-46
PLAYOFF APPERANCES 2015-2019: 2016
LAST OUTCOME vs TEXANS: Texans 42, Dolphins 23 (Week 8, 2018)
ADDED INSULT TO INJURY: While the Texans pile up losses, their first and second round picks, BOTH OWNED BY THE DOLPHINS, continue to climb the draft board.

LAS VEGAS RAIDERS
2020 RECORD: 6-3
2018-2019 RECORD: 11-21
2015-2019 RECORD: 36-44
PLAYOFF APPERANCES 2015-2019: 2016
LAST OUTCOME vs TEXANS: Texans 27, Raiders 24 (Week 8, 2019)
ADDED INSULT TO INJURY: The Raiders are 6-3 with a CARR at quarterback. Yes, they drafted the kind-of-good Carr for their quarterback.

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BUFFALO BILLS
2020 RECORD: 6-3
2018-2019 RECORD: 16-16
2015-2019 RECORD: 40-40
PLAYOFF APPERANCES 2015-2019: 2017, 2019
LAST OUTCOME vs TEXANS (regular season): Texans 20, Bills 13 (Week 6, 2018)
ADDED INSULT TO INJURY: The Bills emptied the draft pick chamber (including a first round) to trade for WR Stefon Diggs on the same day that the Cardinals fleeced the Texans for DeAndre Hopkins.

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
2020 RECORD: 6-3
2018-2019 RECORD: 17-15
2015-2019 RECORD: 37-43
PLAYOFF APPERANCES 2015-2019: 2018
LAST OUTCOME vs TEXANS: Texans 20, Colts 17 (Week 12, 2019)
ADDED INSULT TO INJURY: Isn't having these guys good again while in the same division as the Texans insult enough?

I guess the one silver lining in all of this is that these teams were all mediocre to outright bad fairly recently. Maybe the Texans can catch the same run of luck, and turn this disaster around sooner rather than later.

Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/SeanTPendergast and like him on Facebook at facebook.com/SeanTPendergast.

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