Gary Kubiak can tell his Houston Texans are maturing both as a franchise and as a championship contender with a simple glance around his locker room.
This time, they acted like they've been in the playoffs before.
Yes, the Texans are excited by clinching a second straight postseason berth and setting a franchise record for wins in a season by beating the Tennessee Titans 24-10 on Sunday.
"We're very happy, I can tell you that," Kubiak said. "But I think they expected to get there, and they got there today. There's a lot more to work on. We've got to continue to push our group."
Rookie linebacker Whitney Mercilus recovered a fumble and had two sacks as the Texans (11-1) remain tied with Atlanta for the best record in the NFL with their sixth straight win. After needing overtime the past two games, the Texans forced six turnovers they turned into 10 points and had six sacks of Jake Locker when the Texans weren't batting down a handful of other passes.
Houston is 6-0 on the road this season, the only unbeaten team away from home.
Texans quarterback Matt Schaub, injured when Houston clinched its first postseason berth a year ago against Cincinnati, called this a great feeling.
"It's good to know we're in," Schaub said. "It's a great feeling to know that we've reached that goal, but we've got a lot more to accomplish."
The Texans also swept Tennessee (4-8), the team they replaced in Houston, for only the second time. Schaub threw for 207 yards and two touchdowns, and Arian Foster ran for a TD.
The Titans debuted new offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains, but they didn't help him much as receivers repeatedly dropped balls in losing their second straight.
"To work so hard to turn things around and go out and have a performance like that is very frustrating," Titans running back Chris Johnson said.
Tennessee scored on a 34-yard pass from Locker to Kenny Britt late in the third quarter to pull within 24-10. The Titans had plenty of chances, including third-and-3 at the Houston 7 early in the fourth quarter before Locker was sacked and fumbled on fourth down.