- Mike Wells, ESPN Staff Writer
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INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis Colts have their fair share of issues that need to be worked out over the final three weeks of the season. But they know they’ll have at least one playoff game.
The same can’t be said for the Houston Texans.
The Texans began the season as Super Bowl contenders in the AFC with Denver and New England. They won their first two games. Then things fell apart. They've lost 11 straight games, benched their starting quarterback and last week fired their head coach.
"It's obviously a nightmare," Texans interim coach Wade Phillips told Indianapolis reporters during his Wednesday conference call. "It's been so many games and so close, and just not being able to make the one or two plays. It's not like we're getting beat by 20 points every game, so it's been very frustrating."
The losing streak and frustration are there, but the Texans indeed aren't getting blown out on a weekly basis. Each of their last seven losses has been by seven points or less.
"It's been tough," veteran receiver Andre Johnson said. "At the same time, we just have to keep a positive attitude and just try to keep moving forward. We put ourselves in this situation."
You would think playing at home against a vulnerable team, one that has lost 11 straight games, would favor the Colts.
That’s not the case, though. Go back to the first meeting between the teams, in Houston in early November, if you need proof. Johnson had 190 yards receiving in the first half and the Texans led 21-3 at halftime before quarterback Andrew Luck threw three touchdown passes to T.Y. Hilton in a come-from-behind 27-24 victory.
“Wade’s been in this position before,” Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. “Throw the records out. You look at their last six ballgames that they’ve played, they’ve lost those six ballgames by a combined point total of 28 points. And so we’re preparing as if it’s whoever.”