Maybe it's people finally coming around on Andre Johnson as the league's best receiver (or at least good argument fodder against Larry Fitzgerald). Maybe it's fans of every other AFC playoff participant channeling Machiavelli. But at least within the confines of Week 17 and the wild-card race, the Houston Texans are more "America's Team" than that other team.

That SportsNation appears to be rooting for the Texans against the Patriots and against the playoff odds this weekend is a little surprising, considering the team hasn't exactly been highly regarded this season. As you can see, SportsNation ranked it last among the five main wild-card contenders (sorry, Dolphins and Jaguars) at just about every stop.

So what needs to happen for the Texans to claim their first playoff berth? Just beat the Patriots and get help with two wins from the Chiefs, Raiders and what's likely to be the Bengals' second string. Uh-oh. Assuming a win against the Patriots, here are the scenarios.

1. Jets lose or tie against Bengals AND Ravens lose or tie against Raiders
2. Jets lose or tie against Bengals AND Broncos lose or tie against Chiefs
3. Ravens lose or tie against Raiders AND Broncos lose or tie against Chiefs

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