They entered their playoff game with an outlook as cloudy as the rainy overcast Houston weather that kept Reliant Stadium's roof closed and a fan base that had seen far too many of these NFL seasons that got our civic hopes up but ultimately crashed and burned for our local NFL franchise.
Well, the Texans have been saying all year they wanted to slay some demons and make new and wonderful NFL history for our city. They took the first step in their road to the Super Bowl in their deja vu rematch with a Cincinnati Bengals squad that had won seven straight and wanted to slay a demon of its own in terms of not having won a playoff game in 22 years.
In front of a record crowd of 71,738 that included former Oilers great Earl Campbell the Bulls on Parade showed up Saturday along with a Texans offense at its clock controlling best. They held the ball for nearly 39 minutes as Arian Foster rushed 32 times for 140 yards and a touchdown.
They are still having issues finishing drives with touchdowns as Shayne Graham's four field goals attests to. It didn't help that Matt Schaub threw a pick six in the second quarter for a brief 7-6 Bengal lead but followed it up with a drive that led to a Graham field goal that put them up at the break 9-7.
But with the Bulls on Parade forcing turnovers and not allowing the Bengals a single third down conversion, the Texans sent the Bengals packing again with a nerve wracking 19-13 win.
They now earn a return trip to Foxborough to play a rested New England Patriot squad that embarrassed them on national TV 42-14 last month to start their four game funk and that no one outside of Loop 610 thinks they can beat. In fact the early Vegas line has them as 9 point underdogs.
We'll see next Sunday.