HOUSTON — Texans coach Lovie Smith isn’t worried about potential wins affecting Houston’s draft slot. He is only focused on winning games.
“Everything is short-term. We have a short-term opponent, and we’re going to do everything we can to beat that opponent. Kind of simple as that,” Smith said. “It’s what players do. One play at a time. It’s one game at a time, and you do the best you can do in that game. And that’s what we do here. That answers any other questions about any other direction you wanna go . It’s kind of simple as that. I think things work out the way they should in the end.”
The Texans currently have the worst record in the NFL (2-12-1) and are slated to earn the No. 1 pick in the 2023 draft. But if they win either of their next two games, against the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Indianapolis Colts, they could slip out of the top position.
The Chicago Bears are 3-13, with the second-worst record and are slated for the No. 2 picks. The Bears travel to play the Detroit Lions in Week 17 and finish their season at home against the Vikings. If the Texans and Bears end up with the same number of wins, the Bears would earn the No. 1 pick. The Seattle Seahawks, who have the 4-11 Denver Broncos’ 2023 first-round pick as a result of the Russell Wilson trade, also have a shot at the No. 1 pick, along with the Arizona Cardinals (4-11) and Colts (4-10-1).
So, it’s possible the Week 18 loser of the Texans and Colts matchup could earn the No. 1 pick. Nevertheless, Smith isn’t concerned about draft ramifications.
“If you compete, you compete to win, right? You just kind of start with that,” Smith said. “Then, for our program, I’ve talked about it for a period of time, our last games are in the division. We want to eventually take over the division.”
The Texans have played better in the past three weeks. They battled the Dallas Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs and Tennessee Titans to the last play of the game. They won the Titans game; they lost against the Chiefs in overtime; and the Cowboys scored the winning touchdown with under a minute to go in the fourth quarter.