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Texans rookie QB C.J. Stroud on win-and-in game vs. Colts: 'The time is now'

The Houston Texans are a year ahead of where most predicted entering the season, with a playoff berth on the line Saturday night in Indianapolis.

Houston went all in on the 2023 NFL Draft, selecting C.J. Stroud No. 2 overall and trading up to add edge rusher Will Anderson No. 3 overall. Couple those studs with a Coach of the Year-type season from DeMeco Ryans, young players like Derrick Stingley Jr., Nico Collins and others making massive strides, and the Texans are on the rise.

But Houston isn't satisfied with being ahead of schedule in their rebuild. They want that postseason bid. 

"The time is now," Stroud said, via the team's official website. "It's not next year. It's not the year after that. It's right now. We have the opportunity to control our own destiny. I'm excited to do that."

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The winner of Saturday night's Texans-Colts tilt is assured of a playoff spot -- either an AFC South title with a Jacksonville loss on Sunday or a wild-card berth.

Regardless of the outcome, what's happening in Houston is a resounding success -- no ands, ifs, or buts about it.

Of course, rightfully, that's not what they're focusing on in the locker room.

"As our guys said, we didn't come this far just to get this far," Ryans said. "We have a lot to still play for that's ahead of us."

We've seen teams "ahead of schedule" in a rebuild crumble in years after making an unexpected postseason bid -- see: 2023 New York Giants. But with Stroud and a host of young players sporting key roles and Ryans' leadership, it feels like the Texans will have staying power for seasons to come.

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