I mentioned in the opening about the light schedule the rest of the way, and it's hard not to bring it up again. Cincinnati and Atlanta are the only two teams left on it with a winning record, and of the seven games remaining, they face a rookie quarterback three times.
It could be four if Jake Locker supplants Matt Hasselbeck in Tennessee.
Andy Dalton is playing terrific for the first-place Bengals and they're tough at home, but he hasn't faced a pass rush like Houston's yet. In fact, he has yet to face Baltimore and Pittsburgh and he has both of them twice before the end of the season.
Cam Newton has exceeded everyone's expectations as a passer in his rookie year, but the team still has little to show for it. He still makes rookie mistakes and they're losing close games. Of all the rookie quarterbacks left on the schedule, this one concerns me the most.
As for Blaine Gabbert, we've already seen him once and he showed little to make me think that he's going to evolve into a guy who can pick this defense apart within two and a half weeks from now.
In the games where Houston doesn't face a rookie quarterback, you've got Josh Freeman, Matt Ryan, Curtis Painter and maybe Matt Hasselbeck. Other than Matt Ryan, none of those guys scare me. And that is more because of the receiving talent in Atlanta than a testament to Ryan.
In short, the worst of this season is behind them both in injuries and competition. Houston is venturing into uncharted territory with this whole expectations thing and most of the city is enjoying the ride. I'll be honest...it's refreshing.
Mike Kerns is a featured columnist for the Houston Texans at Bleacher Report. Feel free to follow him on Twitter at @Zepp1978 and catch his latest Texans podcast at State of The Texans.