Seriously. They weren't.
Forget about the 12-4 record. Nine of those wins were against teams with losing seasons.
Forget about winning the AFC South for the second year in a row. The division was weak, the late surge from the Indianapolis Colts notwithstanding.
Truly good NFL teams do not get taken to overtime by opponents as awful as the Jacksonville Jaguars and Detroit Lions.
Truly good NFL teams do not have offenses that only manage to score three touchdowns in sixteen quarters, as the Texans did over the four games preceding last weekend's loss.
Truly good NFL teams do not fail to clinch a first-round bye and home-field advantage when they are given two consecutive opportunities to do so.
The difference between the Texans and a truly good NFL team could be seen last Sunday afternoon, as the New England Patriots thrashed the "Bulls on Parade" in a 41-28 romp. This came only a few weeks after the Texans' first trip to New England ended in a 42-14 beatdown. Even though both franchises had identical 12-4 regular season records, the Texans proved that they did not belong on the same field as the Patriots.
It's what happens when truly good meets not that good.
It might have been a disappointing end to a season that for a time seemed to hold such promise. But nobody should be particularly surprised. The 2012 Texans were simply not a Superbowl contender.
Because just weren't that good.