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NFL playoff picture: Who to root for in Week 14 if you are a Houston Texans fan

The Texans have a chance to go from one of the worst teams in the NFL to a division champion in 2023. We go over their rooting interests for Week 14.

General view of NRG Stadium during a game between the Houston Texans and the Denver Broncos on December 03, 2023 in Houston, Texas. Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

The Houston Texans sit at 7-5 in the AFC playoff picture and are tied with the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC South division. Both the Texans and Colts are 1.0 game behind the Jacksonville Jaguars in the division, so things should come down to the wire. The Texans squeaked out a win over the Denver Broncos in Week 13 and look ahead to a matchup vs. the New York Jets on Sunday. Let’s go over the other games Texans fans should be monitoring this week for the playoff picture.

Jaguars vs. Browns

The only way the Texans can win the division is if the Jaguars and Colts falter down the stretch. Both teams have the tiebreaker over Houston, which will make things tough if the Texans want to win the division. But it isn’t out of the question given the Texans’ remaining schedule. Anyway, the Jaguars could have QB Trevor Lawrence this week despite a high-ankle sprain in Week 13. With a lot of injuries on each side, this is sort of a toss up. A Browns loss also doesn’t hurt the Texans too much. Cleveland is 7-5 and in the 5-seed in the AFC, just ahead of the Texans. A Houston win and Cleveland loss benefits the Texans’ overall playoff chances but not their odds to win the AFC South. The Browns are slight home favorites at -3 on the spread on DraftKings Sportsbook.

Colts vs. Bengals

As long as the Texans beat the Jets, they shouldn’t have much to worry about if the Bengals beat the Colts. The issue is if the Texans can’t win the division, Cincy is a direct competition for the AFC Wild Card at 6-6. Really, whoever wins/loses this game has a somewhat positive impact on the Texans. But ideally, the Colts lose and the Texans beat the Jets to jump Indy in the standings. The Bengals helped out the Texans last week with a win over the Jags. The Colts are slight underdogs on the road at +2 on DKSB.

Broncos vs. Chargers

The Broncos are outside of the AFC playoff picture in 9th place at 6-6 on the season. But the Steelers already lost to the Patriots on TNF this week, so we don’t need to mention that game. Denver losing means another team on the Texans’ tail that drops down in the standings a bit. You can argue the Chiefs-Bills game is also important for the Texans’ chances of making the playoffs. If the Chiefs and Chargers both win, that would be beneficial to Houston. The Chargers are slight home favorites at -2.5 on the spread vs. Denver.