Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers said it best when they warned and lamented that "You take it on faith, you take it to the heart, the waiting is the hardest part."
The fact is that the Houston Texans, NFL record holders for the longest period without a playoff appearance, have been asking you the fans year after year to take on faith and take it to the heart that they have finally put the pieces together to make a playoff run. But year after year they fail to deliver as players, coaches, and an organization. There have always been fantastic excuses masquerading as explanations as to why they always come up short.
But in their sixth year as General Manager and Head Coach, Rick Smith and Gary Kubiak will no longer have any viable modus operandi other than to go for broke, because their bank of good will for being "good guys" who "do things the right way" and fill their roster with "character guys" is dead-flat empty.
Respected defensive schemer Wade Phillips, changed assignments for star player Mario Williams, and the acquisition of help for the NFL's worst ever secondary in the form of Jonathan Joseph at cornerback and Danieal Manning at safety are going to have to finally be enough to balance out an offense that is good enough and deserves to be in the playoffs.
Additionally, if DeMeco Ryans can play to a level prior to last year's week #6 season-ending injury, if Brian Cushing can bounce back from his sophomore slump, and if J.J. Watt can deliver as a first-rate first round draft pick, there likely is indeed reason for optimism for the Houston Texans.
But right now, all we can do is wait...and that's the hardest part.