At halftime it was looking pretty good for Texans Nation only being down 17-13 to the defending AFC champs. That was until the Brady Bunch took the second half opening kickoff, ramped up their high octane offense another notch and scored 14 unanswered third quarter points to bump the Patriot lead back up to 31-13.
The Texans rallied but a critical interception thrown by Matt Schaub was converted into the backbreaking early 4th quarter TD that put the Patriots up 38-21 and the Texans in a hole too deep to climb out of. To their credit the Texans fought and clawed their way back into the game and narrowed the deficit to 38-28.
They almost recovered the onside kick to give them another opportunity to put points on the board late in the 4th quarter but unfortunately ended their season where last year's did with a 41-28 loss in the Divisional round of the playoffs.
The Texans took major strides this year in becoming an elite team. They won the AFC South for the second straight year. They are sending eight players to the Pro Bowl. They won a franchise record 13 games and were the dominant team for most of the 2012 season until their late season slide cost them the number one seed and the opportunity to have their playoff run start in the divisional round at Reliant Stadium instead of having to play in the wild card round.
They are good enough to beat the teams they need to beat. It's the New Englands and Green Bays of the NFL world they're having trouble with right now that they need to step up and consistently beat in order to get to a Super Bowl. And don't look now, but Indy rebuilt and retooled their team ahead of schedule.
So now it's up to owner Bob McNair, GM Rick Scott, Head Coach Gary Kubiak and the rest of the Texans coaching staff and management to make the necessary changes to the team starting with the 27th pick in the upcoming NFL draft so they can do precisely that and remain a consistent NFL title contender.
The Texans need to handle their off season business and do what they need to do to get to the next level in their franchise development where NFL pundits are no longer dissing and dismissing the Texans, but praising them.