NFL - AFC SOUTH
2021-2022 TEAM LEADERS
The youngest team in the National Football League, the Houston Texans, came into existence in 2002. The Houston Oilers made their move to Tennessee in 1997, leaving the city without professional football for the first time since the Oilers were created in 1960, along with the rest of the AFL. At the time Bob McNair was attempting to bring an expansion NHL team to Houston, but was running into roadblocks. Recognizing that there was now a bigger absence in the Houston sports landscape than professional hockey, he immediately turned his sights to football and returning the NFL to Houston. Committees and corporations were formed, a new domed stadium was proposed, and when Cleveland got its expansion franchise to begin play in 1999, things took a turn up for Houston. The “new” Browns made the league lopsided at 31 teams. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that the NFL would soon correct that and get the NFL back to an even number. And there was little doubt that Houston was one of top choices. Although at the time Los Angeles was without a team, and the ownership group in Houston knew that the league coveted the L.A. television market. In the end it came down to which city could build a stadium fastest. L.A. had made virtually no progress on the stadium front, while Houston was ready to go. So the league made its announcement on October 6, 1999, by a unanimous vote of the league’s owners, the NFL’s 32nd franchise would be the Houston Texans.
Championships by the Houston Texans
Professional football has a long history in Houston, and in 1960 and 1961 the Houston Oilers won the first two AFL Championships. But those titles belong with the team now playing in Nashville, the Tennessee Titans, and have nothing to do with the current NFL residents in Houston. As the youngest team in the NFL it stands to reason that the Texans would have the smallest trophy case. And that is indeed the case. Not only have the Texans never won the AFC and advanced to the Super Bowl, they’ve never made it past the Divisional Round of the playoffs. Their best chance at a Championship Game appearance came following the 2019 season, when in the Divisional Round at Kansas City, Houston jumped out to a 24-0 lead on the top-seeded Chiefs. However, the Chiefs rattled off six consecutive touchdowns, retook the lead by halftime, and won the game 51-31. Houston has not made the playoffs since.
Key Stats by the Houston Texans
The Texans are just one of four current NFL teams that have never appeared in a Super Bowl. The Browns, Lions, and Jaguars are the other three. The Texans have won the AFC South six times – 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2018, and 2019. The Texans have only made the playoffs as a division champion. They have never qualified for the postseason as a wild card team. The first player in franchise history was tackle Tony Boselli, selected first overall in the 2002 expansion draft. The first rookie draft pick in Houston Texans history was quarterback David Carr out of Fresno State. There were 27 Pro Bowlers selected in the 2002 draft. Despite picking first overall, none of them came from the Texans’ 13 picks.
Top Players in Houston Texans History
It wasn’t until 2017 that the Texans added their first player to the Texans Ring of Honor. Deservedly that designation was awarded to wide receiver Andre Johnson. Johnson was the third overall pick in the 2003 draft and ended up retiring as the 11th receiver all-time in both receptions and receiving yards. As a Texan he played in seven Pro Bowls and was named to five All-Pro teams, including First-Team All-Pro on three different occasions. Johnson is eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2022. Another Texan great destined for the Hall of Fame when he eventually retires is J.J. Watt. The three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year has been a First-Team All-Pro five times in his career. He twice led the NFL in sacks, and became a true hero in the Houston community for his charitable works in 2017 following Hurricane Harvey. The best running back in franchise history is Arian Foster, an undrafted free agent who didn’t make the roster out of training camp his first season. But once he did, he was one of the best in the NFL, rushing for an NFL-high 1,616 yards and 16 touchdowns in his second NFL season. Foster went on to rush for 1,000 yards in three straight seasons with the Texans and still holds nearly every rushing record in franchise history. When it comes to the best wide receiver in franchise history, there is Andre Johnson, and there is DeAndre Hopkins. In his seven seasons with the Texans, Hopkins only missed two total games, while breaking the 1,000-yard mark in five of those seasons. He also caught 54 touchdowns during his Texans career, only trailing Johnson’s 77 for most touchdowns in franchise history.
Top Coaches in Houston Texans History
The winningest coach in franchise history is Gary Kubiak, with 63 wins in eight seasons. He twice won the AFC South in Houston and won the first two playoff games in franchise history. Prior to his tenure in Houston, Kubiak won four Super Bowls as a coach in the NFL. Three times he was an assistant coach for a Super Bowl winning team – first as the offensive coordinator with the 49ers, and twice as the offensive coordinator in Denver. He also won Super Bowl 50 as the Broncos head coach. Even with Kubiak’s success, he did not finish his time in Houston above .500. The only coach in franchise history to do that is Bill O’Brien, who won 54 of his 106 games as the Texans head coach, including a pair of postseason wins. In O’Brien’s seven seasons as the head coach in Houston he won the AFC South four times.