The Houston Texans have had the AFC South locked up since Week 14. But now the Texans also have the AFC's No. 3 seed in the bag, leaving them with nothing to play for in Week 17.
Houston's 10-5 record is more than good enough to give the Texans their first ticket to the NFL playoffs in franchise history, and well beyond the record that the AFC West champions, whether they ends up being the Denver Broncos or Oakland Raiders, will have.
But it isn't good enough to give the Texans a chance to edge the Pittsburgh Steelers or Baltimore Ravens for the second spot in the AFC. The Texans would, at 11-5, lose out to an 11-5 Ravens team that won the AFC North because of a head-to-head loss, and could not best an 11-5 Steelers team, because the Steelers cannot win the AFC North at 11-5.
And so, if the Texans have a back-up quarterback behind T.J. Yates, it might be prudent to play him in Week 17.