Houston Texans Clinch AFC South for Second Straight Season with 23-20 Win Over Bucs

Houston Texans strong safety Jahleel Addae (37) celebrates with teammates after he intercepted a pass by Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston during the second half of an NFL football game Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken)

As several Houston Texans players walked into the locker room after beating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 23-20 on Saturday to clinch the AFC South, they began singing Queen’s “We are the Champions.”

“We are the champions, my friend. And we’ll keep on fighting to the end. We are the champions. We are the champions.”

Houston (10-5), which only needed one more win or a loss by the Tennessee Titans to win the division, forced four turnovers in the first half before taking the lead for good midway through the fourth quarter.

The Texans have won the division in four of the past five seasons and have finished with a winning record in all but one season — including at least 10 wins in back-to-back seasons — since coach Bill O’Brien took over in 2014.

“It’s a good accomplishment,” O’Brien said. “… I think it shows some level of consistency, but obviously, we’ve got a long way to go. But it was a great accomplishment.”

The Texans started the season 2-2 before winning six of eight games. After they were blown out 41-7 by the Baltimore Ravens coming off the bye in Week 11, they rebounded to beat the Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots in back-to-back weeks.

After the game, several players in the locker room wore shirts celebrating the division title that read, “THE SOUTH IS NOT ENOUGH.” And while quarterback Deshaun Watson said he certainly will enjoy the win before getting back to work Monday and preparing to play the Titans, he was clear that “this is not the ultimate goal” for Houston this season.

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SOURCE: ESPN, Sarah Barshop