"Everybody's focused," coach Gary Kubiak said. "We've had a good week of practice."
The Texans are trying to close the season with a four-game winning streak. If they do, they'll finish 9-7, giving the franchise its first winning record. They were 8-8 the last two seasons.
Kubiak's job isn't in jeopardy. There have been reports around the country that he needed to make the playoffs to return for the fifth year of his contract, but that was never true. Owner Bob McNair wasn't going to make a change.
Patriots' coach Bill Belichick, the embodiment of secrecy, hasn't disclosed if he'll play his starters, and if he does, how long they'll stay in the game. The Texans have been preparing as if Tom Brady and the other regulars will be in the lineup.
"Even they aren't, they don't change their schemes or their plays or their game plan," middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans said.
If the Texans win, they'll finish second in the AFC South behind Indianapolis, despite having a 1-5 division record and five consecutive defeats. It would be their highest finish. They could close 8-8 for a third year in a row and still finish second depending on what Tennessee and Jacksonville do in their last game.
The bottom line is that there's a buzz in Houston about the Texans for the first time this late in the season.
Texans Excited About Their Opportunity
State of the Texans Top Stories
A.J. Bouye Coming Into His OwnPatience and work ethic are paying off for A.J. Bouye and it is showing on the field.
State of the Texans7:30 AM
Brock Osweiler Sets The Record StraightThe Denver Media has been waiting for close to 7 months to get to talk to Brock Osweiler and the Houston Texans quarterback set the record straight.
State of the Texans7:19 AM
Offensive Line Holding Their Own in 2016Texans Notebook: Texans offensive line, Brock Osweiler on learning from Peyton Manning and more.
State of the Texans6:52 AM
Notebook: Broncos Know Osweiler is NearThe Houston Texans made multiple moves to sort out their roster and the Denver Broncos are well aware Brock Osweiler is on his way.
State of the TexansYesterday at 6:58 AM