In all the hoopla that has been the 2011 National Football League season, there is one story that has been lost in translation. One team that isn’t getting the attention it deserves. That story or team is the Houston Texans.

All they’ve done is produce a top-10 offense, stand alone as the league’s best defense and generate a 10-3 mark, which places them in a four-way fight with Baltimore, New England and Pittsburgh for home-field advantage. What makes this season more remarkable is the ability to sail smoothly while top-tier players such as Arian Foster, Matt Schaub, Mario Williams and Andre Johnson suffer significant injuries.

Born in 2002, Houston made its reputation known early, pulling off a major upset in its debut against the Dallas Cowboys. Nine years later, the Texans are pretty much set to win their first division title. I can’t say I know where they’ll end up ultimately, but to endure a number of injuries and still have a choke hold on your division and possibly the conference speaks on the resolve this team has. I don’t think the rest of the AFC will be excited to visit H-Town come playoff-time. Until then, here’s my Week 14 forecast:

Jaguars over Falcons– There’s something about night games and this new life as a result of interim coach Mel Tucker that makes me lean towards the upset.

Cowboys over Buccaneers– Dallas will get one win in December, won’t it?

Dolphins over Bills– What has happened or isn’t happening in Buffalo?

Seahawks over Bears– Who knew Skittles enhanced performance?

Texans over Panthers– Houston will continue to click on all cylinders and pull out a tough one against some feisty felines.

Titans over Colts– Will the 2008 Detroit Lions have company just three years after their shameful mark in history?

Packers over Chiefs– Todd Haley out, Romeo Cremmel, on at an interim note. That won’t be enough to save Kansas City from the inevitable.

Saints over Vikings–  This will be like a home game for the N.O.

Giants over Redskins– Washington finds ways to lose games, so a season sweep is very unlikely.

Bengals over Rams– There’s a tandem establishing itself in Cincinnati…Dalton to Green…#GetFamiliar!

Lions over Raiders– Too close to call!

Cardinals over Browns– Is John Skelton about to be what Kevin Kolb was supposed to be?

Broncos over Patriots– New England’s defense allowed a sub par offense a window of opportunity a week ago. In addition, I’m a believer of divine intervention. Critics will go bananas after this one!

Jets over Eagles– Thanks to recent revelation,  I have learned my lesson about the New York Jets…In December, BET ON GREEN!

Ravens over Chargers– In Takeo Spikes’ 14 year career, he’s never played in a playoff game. Playing with the Bolts was supposed to change that for him. Unfortunately, the more things change, the more things stay the same.

49ers over Steelers– Two of the league’s top five defenses will battle it out under the Monday Night lights. I foresee San Francisco’s defensive front running roughshod against Pittsburgh’s offensive line.

Last week, 13-3…need more numbers like those. Let’s do it again next week.

By Antoine Hoffman


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