Just one game behind the first place Colts and Jags (both 6-5), the Texans have the ability to put themselves atop the division--temporarily, at least--with a convincing win over Michael Vick and the high-flying 7-4 Eagles.
Tonight, at 8:20 on NFL Network, Michael Vick will test the Texans' 28th-ranked defense in front of NFL fans all over the country. This is Houston's chance to show the nation that they truly do deserve to be considered a playoff contender coming out of the South. Whether they will manage to beat out Indy for this division title is yet to be seen, considering they still have Baltimore, Denver and two more divisional matchups (TEN, JAC) left on their schedule.
Despite having the seventh-best offensive attack in the league (seventh in rushing, 15th in passing) and one of the game's best runners in Arian Foster, I really don't think Houston will manage to contain Vick.
Unfortunately for Houston, Philly is poised to put a beating on Houston. This is actually unfortunately for me as well--I had Houston making the playoffs for the first time in franchise history this offseason.
Vick puts the ball in the end zone four times tonight, three through the air and one on the ground. Philly wins the game 38-17. That's my prediction. Bold, I know, but hey someone's gotta do it.
Philadelphia 21, Houston 18
Not quite as big a margin as I was predicting, but same outcome nevertheless. Vick didn't have any rushing yards on five attempts (Houston did manage to contain him), but threw for 198 yards and tossed two TDs. LeSean McCoy ran all over Houston for 112 yards and a score.
Jeremy Maclin's 15-yard catch and run from Vick, which he put in the end zone, allowed Philly to extend its lead to 21-10 early in the fourth quarter. Foster ran the ball in from 13 yards out with four and a half minutes to play, but Philly's defense stopped Matt Schaub's late-game surge.
This loss may be the end to any playoff run Houston was hoping to make this season, putting to waste their solid 4-2 start this year.
Arian Foster: AP Photo/David J. Phillip