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Houston Texans’ path to No. 1 overall: How they can blow it in Week 18 at the Colts

The Houston Texans are free and clear to beat the Indianapolis Colts in Week 18 with no consequence to securing the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft.

Wrong.

Incidentally the tie with Indianapolis from Week 1 is what complicates matters for Houston as they finish their regular season Sunday afternoon at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Ties count as half-wins, half-losses in the NFL, which is why it was always a misnomer to say the Texans “didn’t win” in Week 1. They half-won. Houston’s winning percentage was never .000 at any point in 2022 — unlike the Las Vegas Raiders, for example.

The half-win can be helpful when undoing a tiebreaker that a team may have your club. It can provide a niggling feeling going into the last week of a dismal regular season where the No. 1 pick is on the horizon.

The only team remaining to steal the No. 1 overall pick from the Texans are the Chicago Bears. For the sake of argument, let’s say the Colts beat the Texans in Week 1. Houston would be 2-14 going into their rematch with Indianapolis. They could beat the Colts, finish 3-14, and who cares what happened in the Bears versus Minnesota Vikings tilt. Chicago’s win over the Texans in Week 3 is the “tiebreaker” that would give Houston the No. 1 overall pick because they would have a worse record, even though both clubs finished 3-14.

However, the half-win from Week 1 would give Houston a 3.5-14 record, if they won, to the Bears’ 3-13, presuming Chicago loses to a Minnesota team that is still very much fighting for the No. 1 seed in the NFC.

For the sake of giving general manager Nick Caserio the best assets to complete the rebuild, a loss to the Colts may be the best thing for the long-term. It would be highly unlikely that the Bears beat the Vikings in Week 18.

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Story originally appeared on Texans Wire