Momentum has become someone of a cliched response to a generic question that translates a teams chances from the regular season to the postseason. Factually it's being weighed heavily for Saturday's postseason between the Houston Texans, who have lost three of the past four and the Cincinnati Bengals, having won seven of the past eight.
Joe Fortenbaugh with the National Football Post breaks down the idea of momentum translating into postseason success using the Houston Texans as an example:
The 2011 New York Giants and 2010 Green Bay Packers showed the world that a first-round bye is far from being a prerequisite for winning the Super Bowl. In fact, that same Packers team—along with the 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers—hoisted the Vince Lombardi Trophy after commencing the postseason as the No. 6 seed. But the Giants, Packers and Steelers all shared a common trait that Houston is currently lacking. It’s one of the main reasons why those three organizations found postseason success and could prove to be a big factor in why the Texans come up short.
The key factor we are talking about is momentum.
Of the 30 NFL teams to appear in the last 15 Super Bowls, only three concluded the regular season on a two-game losing streak like the Houston Texans. But here’s the catch: Those three teams (Philadelphia in 2005 and both Indianapolis and New Orleans in 2010) earned a first-round bye and played at home during the second week of the postseason. Houston doesn’t have this luxury. And if recent history holds true this season, the Texans will be on the golf course in January instead of preparing for a trip to New Orleans.