There are moments when it feels like a dream season is slipping away.
Today's Article of the Day comes from Rivers McCown of the Football Outsiders who breaks down the Houston Texans' loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
McCown artfully traces the roots of the defensive collapse that has befallen the Texans over the past month.
Much of the struggle can be traced to an ineffective pass rush and a decline in play from Johnathan Joseph who hasn't been healthy in months.
The Texans defense has alternated between fantastic early in the season to suspect late. The end total has been a D that isn't as good as it was last year, but averages out on the fringes of the top-10 in points allowed.
Not all the struggles are isolated to one side of the ball, however.
Offensively, the right side of the Houston line continues to allow pressure and struggles to block for Arian Foster.
As Dale Robertson of the Houston Chronicle points out, the offense has been unable to generate big plays recently. The Texans are still plagued by the lack of a second viable receiver.
Overall, the Texans may still survive these weaknesses to advance to the Super Bowl, but that outcome is much less certain than it appeared four weeks ago.
I talk to Sports Talk Florida about who will make the playoffs.
Scott Kacsmar of Bleacher Report has his Week 17 Thinking Man's Guide.
Mike Tanier of Sports on Earth has the defining plays for each team this season.
Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com breaks down the AFC South in the Pro Bowl.
Aaron Schatz on ESPN.com has the Texans at Colts as an upset possibility.
Kuharsky wraps the division for 2012.
Jason Lisk of the Big Lead kills the myth of momentum.
Pete Prisco of CBS Sports says Matt Schaub needs to play better.
Brett Kollmann of Battle Red Blog breaks down film of the Texans-Vikings.
Tania Ganguli of the Houston Chronicle posts a fantastic notebook.
Kacsmar, writing for Colts Authority, looks at Andrew Luck's play in Week 16.
Phil B. Wilson of the Indianapolis Star has quotes from Dwight Freeney.
Kuharsky also shares his thoughts on Freeney.
Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star has some wildly off-target thoughts on resting starters.
Andrew Strickert of Total Titans has information on the Titans draft position.
John Glennon of the Tennessean profiles Kendall Wright's season.
Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean says Chris Johnson plans to play in the finale.
Ryan O'Halloran of the Florida Times-Union asks who the Jaguars quarterback will be.
Vito Stellino of the Florida Times-Union wonders if the defense can build on a good game against New England.
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