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Houston Texans, once favorites, fade into AFC playoffs

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Houston Texans officially need help.

Once the hottest team in the NFL, the Texans have dropped three of four game after Sunday's 28-16 loss to the Indianapolis Colts.



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The Texans (12-4) back into the playoffs and need assistance to secure a first-round bye in the AFC. They need the New England Patriots to lose or tie against the Miami Dolphins or the Denver Broncos to lose to the Kansas City Chiefs. Both seem unlikely.

The Texans are even less likely to get home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs. The Patriots would have to lose or tie and the Broncos would have to lose.

The Texans looked unstoppable during an 11-1 start, but that seems ages ago as Matt Schaub threw two more interceptions Sunday, and Arian Foster has suddenly become containable.

If you believe in momentum, the Texans have the opposite.

UPDATE: So much for Houston getting any help. The Broncos routed the Chiefs, and the Patriots followed suit against the Dolphins, making the Texans the No. 3 seed in the AFC playoffs -- which means they'll host the Cincinnati Bengals in next weekend's wild-card round.

Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.

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