HOUSTON -- Hundreds of fans braved the cold early Monday to welcome the Houston Texans home.

The team's buses rolled back into Reliant Stadium around 1:30 a.m.

Players waved as they drove past the loyal fans who turned out despite the 41-28 loss to New England that ended their season and their Super Bowl hopes. Some players, including Duane Brown, even stopped to sign autographs and chat.

More than 500 hopeful fans packed into the Texans Grille Sunday to cheer on the team against the Patriots. Some lined up at 7 a.m. to guarantee they'd get the best seats.

Hopes were as high as a pile of the restaurant s nachos, especially after an amazing opening kick-off return. There was a party going on!

Texans fans left disappointed but many of them expressed pride in the team's playoff run.

Next season, they ll be back. It s been a long year. It s been a good year. They went further than most teams did, so I give it to em, you know? said Gerald Cole.

We did (expletive) phenomenal. I m sorry. Excuse my language, said a woman who identified herself as Mama Eve. We did fabulous. You know what J.J. Watt, Arian Foster, Schaub, Johnson, you guys brought it. You brought us here. We re here cheering you guys on!

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