|Established October 6, 1999
First season: 2002
Play in and headquartered in NRG Stadium
|Fight song||"Football Time in Houston"|
|Owner(s)||Bob McNair (95%)
Harris County, Texas government (5%)
|General manager||Rick Smith|
|Head coach||Bill O'Brien|
|League championships (0)
|Conference championships (0)|
Division championships (4)
|Playoff appearances (4)|
The Houston Texans are a professional American football team based in Houston, Texas. The team competes in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the American Football Conference (AFC) South division. The Texans first played in 2002 as an expansion team, making them the youngest franchise in the NFL currently. The Texans replaced Houston's previous franchise, the Houston Oilers, which moved to Nashville, Tennessee and are now the Tennessee Titans. The team's majority owner is Bob McNair. While the team mainly struggled in the 2000s, they clinched its first playoff berth during the 2011 season as AFC South division champions. The Texans have gone on to win more AFC South championships in 2012, 2015, and 2016. To date, the Texans are the only NFL franchise to have never played in a conference championship game.
In 1997, Houston entrepreneur Bob McNair had a failed bid to bring a National Hockey League (NHL) expansion team to the city, and Bud Adams relocated the city's NFL team, the Houston Oilers, to Nashville where they were renamed the Tennessee Titans. In 1996, a year earlier, the Cleveland Browns had controversially relocated to become the Baltimore Ravens. As part of the settlement between the NFL, the city of Cleveland, Ohio, and the team owned by Art Modell, the league promised to return football to Cleveland within the following three years.
In order to even out the franchisees at 32, the league also contemplated adding another expansion franchise. As Houston was one of the favorites for the extra franchise along with Toronto and Los Angeles (which had lost the Rams and the Raiders in 1995), McNair then decided to join the football project and founded Houston NFL Holdings with partner Steve Patterson. In association with Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, they would push for a domed stadium as part of the bid to lure the NFL back to Houston. On October 6, 1999 the NFL awarded the 32nd team to Houston, at the cost of $700 million.
The Houston Texans joined the league at the 2002 NFL season, playing at the newly founded Reliant Stadium. While the team struggled in early seasons, results began to improve once native Houstonian Gary Kubiak became the head coach in 2006. The Texans finished with a .500 season (8-8) in both 2007 and 2008, and nearly qualified for the 2009–10 NFL playoffs with a 9–7 result in 2009. In 2010, the team started the season on a 4–2 record going into a Week 7 bye week, but promptly collapsed 2–8 in the second part of the season, finishing 6–10. The following season, former Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips was hired as the defensive coordinator of the Texans, and the improved defense led to the Texans finishing 10–6, winning their first AFC South title. The Texans then beat wild card Cincinnati Bengals 31–10 in the first round of the 2011–12 NFL playoffs, before a 20–13 defeat by the Ravens in the semifinals.
The Texans surged as the team to beat in the AFC South in 2012, holding an 11–1 record by week 14. However, they lost three of their last four games to finish 12–4; beating the rival Indianapolis Colts in that four-game stretch allowed them to clinch their 2nd AFC South title. The Texans beat the Bengals again in the wild-card round, but they lost in the second round to the New England Patriots. The Texans started 2–0 in 2013 but went into a tailspin and lost every game afterwards. Kubiak was fired as head coach after being swept by the rival Jacksonville Jaguars, who themselves started 0–8. Wade Phillips filled in as head coach, but the Texans' poor form did not change, and they finished 2–14, tying, with 2005, their worst record in franchise history. The 14-game losing streak is also the worst in franchise history.
The Texans entered the 2014 season with a 14-game losing streak. Former Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien became the Texans' new head coach, and the third in franchise history, during the offseason. In 2014, the Texans won three of their first four games, defeating the Redskins in the season opener, the Raiders, and the Bills, losing to the New York Giants. They lost three of their next four games, losing to the Dallas Cowboys, the Indianapolis Colts, and the Pittsburgh Steelers, respectively. The Texans went on to finish 9–7 in the 2014 season and barely missed the playoffs.
In the 2015 season, they were featured on HBO, on the show "Hard Knocks". That year, the Texans started with a 2–5 record. Quarterback Ryan Mallett was released amidst controversy regarding his benching in favor of Brian Hoyer during a loss against the Indianapolis Colts. After a poor start, the Texans finished with a 9–7 record and won their third AFC South title. However, they were shut out by the Kansas City Chiefs in the Wild Card round 30–0, ending their championship hopes for the year.
On March 9, 2016, the Texans signed former Denver Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler to a 4-year, $72 million deal. Despite Osweiler's lucrative deal, he struggled significantly during the entire season. After throwing two interceptions in Week 15 against the Jaguars, coach Bill O'Brien benched the offseason acquisition in favor of backup quarterback Tom Savage. Savage led a comeback effort against the Jaguars, and was named the starter for the remainder of the season. The Texans clinched their fourth AFC South division title in six years in Savage's first career start against the Bengals in Week 16. They defeated the wildcard Oakland Raiders 27–14 in the opening round of the playoffs with Osweiler as the starting quarterback due to Savage being out with a concussion. Osweiler started in the Divisional Playoffs game against the New England Patriots, throwing three interceptions in the second half. The Texans lost 34–16.
On March 2, 2000, Houston NFL 2002 announced that the team name search had been narrowed down to five choices: Apollos, Bobcats, Stallions, Texans, and Wildcatters. The list of names was determined after several months of research conducted jointly by Houston NFL 2002 and NFL Properties. An online survey regarding the name generated more than 65,000 responses in just seven days.
On September 6, 2000, the NFL's 32nd franchise was officially christened the Houston Texans before thousands at a downtown rally in Houston. McNair explained that the name and logo "embody the pride, strength, independence and achievement that make the people of Houston and our area special." The name had previously been the name of a defunct World Football League franchise, which moved to Louisiana to become the Shreveport Steamer, and the Dallas Texans of the NFL which only played in the 1954 season and the nickname Texans was also used by the precursor of the present-day Kansas City Chiefs, the Dallas Texans of the AFL. The nickname "Texans" was more recently used by the now-defunct Canadian Football League franchise in San Antonio. Owner Bob McNair did have to make a deal with Chiefs' owner Lamar Hunt to use the Texans nickname for his new team.
Along with the team name, McNair also unveiled the team logo, an abstract depiction of a bull's head, split in such a way to resemble the flag of Texas and the state of Texas, including a lone star to stand for the eye, the five points of which representing pride, courage, strength, tradition and independence. McNair described the colors as "Deep Steel Blue", "Battle Red" and "Liberty White". A year later the Texans unveiled their uniforms during another downtown rally.
The Texans' helmet is dark blue with the Texans bull logo. The helmet was initially white when the team name and logo were unveiled, but was later changed to dark blue. The uniform design consists of red trim and either dark blue or white jerseys. The team typically wears white pants with its blue jerseys and blue pants with its white jerseys. Starting with the 2006 season, the Texans wear all-white for their home opener, and the team began to wear an all-blue combination for home games vs. the Indianapolis Colts. In 2003, the Texans introduced an alternative red jersey with blue trim; they wear this jersey at one home game each year, usually against a division rival. In 2007 the Texans introduced red pants for the first time, pairing them with the red jerseys for an all-red look (this uniform combination was not well-received and has since been retired). In October 2008 the Texans paired blue socks (instead of the traditional red) with their blue pants and white jerseys. In 2016 the Houston Texans use a uni combo against the jags, pairing the battle red jersey with the blue pants
In 2002 the team wore a patch commemorating their inaugural season. Also, they celebrated 10 years as a franchise by wearing an anniversary patch throughout 2012.
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The Texans are the youngest franchise in the NFL, having only been competing in the NFL since 2002. For most of that time, they were considered perennial bottom-dwellers in the AFC South. For that reason, they have not had the history or the reputation on which to build classic rivalries like the ones that often exist between older franchises.
The Tennessee Titans, who were formerly the Houston Oilers before their relocation in the 1990s, are viewed by many Houston fans as the Texans' chief rival.
The Jacksonville Jaguars and the Indianapolis Colts, whom the Texans had never defeated in Indianapolis until the 2015 season, are Texans rivals in the AFC South. More recently, Houston has increased bitterness with the Indianapolis Colts due to their young Houston-native quarterback Andrew Luck having been drafted by the Colts in 2012 and the franchises first ever sweep of the Colts against Luck in 2016.
The Texans also have an intrastate rivalry with the Dallas Cowboys, with whom they contest the so-called Governor's Cup every year (either in the preseason or the regular season) for bragging rights in the state of Texas.
The Texans have also developed a somewhat close rivalry with the Cincinnati Bengals, starting in 2011, when young Bengals quarterback and Houston-area native Andy Dalton led the Bengals to the playoffs only to be stopped short by the Texans two years in a row. (In 2011, the Texans had clinched their playoff spot, the first ever for the franchise, with a regular-season victory in Cincinnati. In 2016, they clinched the division with a regular-season victory in Houston.) The two teams have competitive bitter matchups in the regular season too, including the 3-5 Texans' upset road victory over the until-then undefeated Bengals on Monday Night Football on November 16, 2015. After the game, star defensive end JJ Watt stated in a post-game interview that the Texans defense made the "Red Rifle" (nickname given to Dalton for his signature red hair) look like a "Red Ryder BB Gun."
As of the end of the 2016 season, the Texans' overall regular season win-loss record is 106–134 (.442). The Texans notched the 100th regular season win in their history when they defeated the Tennessee Titans on October 2, 2016. The Texans posted their best-ever season record in 2012, finishing at 12–4. The team's worst-ever seasons on record are 2–14, in both 2005 and 2013. Most recently, the Texans finished 9–7 in 2016, winning the AFC South for the fourth time in franchise history and second season in a row.
The Texans are 3–4 (.429) all-time in playoff games. All four of the Texans' playoff berths were as a result of winning the AFC South division championship. The Texans have a 3-1 record all-time in Wild Card Round games but have lost all three games they have played in the Divisional Round. In 2016 this trend continued as the Texans defeated the Oakland Raiders 27-14 in a Wild Card game at home, but then were eliminated by the New England Patriots 34-16 in the Divisional Round the following weekend.
As members of the AFC South, the Texans play 6 of their 16 regular season games against other AFC South teams. As of the end of the 2016 season, the Texans have a cumulative record of 40-50 (.444) against their three divisional rivals: 19–11 versus the Jacksonville Jaguars; 14–16 versus the Tennessee Titans; and 7–23 versus the Indianapolis Colts. The Texans have fared slightly better against the rest of the AFC, posting a regular season record of 41-49 (.456) against AFC teams from divisions other than the South, with a 14–16 record against AFC East teams, 14–16 against AFC North teams, and 13–17 against AFC West teams. The Texans are 25–35 (.417) against NFC teams, tallying a 4–12 record against NFC East teams, 8–8 against NFC North teams, 9-7 against NFC South teams, and 4–8 against NFC West teams.
As of the end of the 2016 season, there is one team against which the Texans have never lost: the Chicago Bears (4–0). There are also two teams which the Texans have never beaten: the Minnesota Vikings (0–4) and Philadelphia Eagles (0–4). According to the NFL's scheduling formula, the Texans' next regular-season game against the Eagles will be in 2018, and their next regular season games against the Bears and Vikings will occur in 2020.
Houston Texans roster
|= Pro Bowler|
* Asterisk indicates a player who was selected to the Pro Bowl only as a member of another team.
|2002||1st overall||David Carr||QB||Fresno State|
|2003||3rd overall||Andre Johnson||WR||Miami (FL)|
|2004||10th overall||Dunta Robinson||CB||South Carolina|
|2004||27th overall (from Tennessee)||Jason Babin*||DE||Western Michigan|
|2005||16th overall (from New Orleans)||Travis Johnson||DT||Florida State|
|2006||1st overall||Mario Williams||DE||North Carolina State|
|2007||10th overall (from Atlanta)||Amobi Okoye||DT||Louisville|
|2008||26th overall (from Baltimore)||Duane Brown||OT||Virginia Tech|
|2009||15th overall||Brian Cushing||LB||Southern California|
|2010||20th overall||Kareem Jackson||CB||Alabama|
|2011||11th overall||J.J. Watt||DE||Wisconsin|
|2012||26th overall||Whitney Mercilus||DE||Illinois|
|2013||27th overall||DeAndre Hopkins||WR||Clemson|
|2014||1st overall||Jadeveon Clowney||DE||South Carolina|
|2015||16th overall||Kevin Johnson||CB||Wake Forest|
|2016||21st overall (from Washington)||Will Fuller||WR||Notre Dame|
|Dom Capers||January 21, 2001–January 2, 2006||4||18||46||0||0|
|Gary Kubiak||January 26, 2006–December 6, 2013||8||61||64||0||2|
|Wade Phillips||December 6, 2013–January 1, 2014||Interim||0||4||0||0|
|Bill O'Brien||January 2, 2014–Present||3||26||20||0||2|
Houston Texans staff
As of 2007[update], the Texans' flagship radio stations were KILT SportsRadio 610AM and KILT 100.3FM. The AM station has an all-sports format, while the FM station plays contemporary country music. Both are owned by CBS Radio. Marc Vandermeer is the play-by-play announcer. Heisman Trophy winner Andre Ware provides color commentary, and SportsRadio 610 host Rich Lord serves as the sideline reporter. Preseason games are telecast by KTRK, an ABC owned and operated station. Joel Meyers calls the preseason games on TV, with former Oilers running back Spencer Tillman providing color commentary. Regular season games are aired over CBS affiliate KHOU, FOX affiliate KRIV if the Texans host an NFC team, and NBC affiliate KPRC for Sunday night games.
Spanish-language radio broadcasts of the team's games are aired on KGOL ESPN Deportes 1180AM. Enrique Vásquez is the play-by-play announcer. José Jojo Padrón provides color commentary, and Fernando Hernández serves as sideline reporter.
|Big Spring||KBYG-AM||1400 AM|
|College Station||KZNE-AM||1150 AM|
|Corpus Christi||KSIX-AM||1230 AM|
|Marble Falls||KBEY-FM||103.9 FM|
|New Braunfels||KGNB-AM||1420 AM|
|San Angelo||KKSA-AM||1260 AM|
|San Antonio||KZDC-AM||1250 AM|
|San Marcos||KGNB-AM||1420 AM|
|Wichita Falls||KSEY-AM||1230 AM|
The theme song of the Texans is "It's Football Time In Houston" by Clay Walker. The Texans tried to introduce a new fight song in 2003 written by Chad Kroeger from Nickelback, but quickly returned to the original after a negative reception by fans. The song was donated by Walker to the city of Houston.
The Texans' defensive squad takes the field to the sound of "Bulls on Parade" by Rage Against the Machine. The Texans started using the song after former linebacker Connor Barwin coined the nickname in a tweet in 2011.
On January 5, 2012, local Houston rap artists Slim Thug, Paul Wall and ZRo released a song titled "HOUSTON" supporting the Houston Texans. The YouTube video has amassed over a million views becoming unofficially the Texans' most popular theme song.
Community outreach by the Houston Texans is primarily operated by the Houston Texans Foundation, who works with multiple community partners. The Houston Texans organization is also a supporter of the character education program, Heart of a Champion.
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