Team Logo (dean bertoncelj / Shutterstock.com)
The Houston Texans are the most recent team to join the NFL being named an expansion team in 2002. Based in Houston, Texas and playing at the NRG Stadium, they play in the American Football Conference South Division. The franchise was created when local entrepreneur, Bob McNair, and athletic director, Steve Patterson, teamed up to form Houston NFL Holdings. This was in response to the fact that Houston had lost its previous NFL franchise in 1997 when owner Bud Adams relocated the Houston Oilers to Nashville, Tennessee where they are now known as the Tennessee Titans.
Despite being such a young franchise, the Houston Texans have seen a considerable degree of success in their short history, winning the AFC South Division in 2011, 2012, and 2015 playing an exciting style of football.
- Full Name: The Houston Texans
- Conference: American Football Conference
- Division: South
- Location: Houston, Texas
- Stadium Name: NRG Stadium
- Year Established: 2002
- Owner: Bob McNair (95%), Harris County, Texas government (5%)
- Head Coach: Bill O’Brien
- Manager: Rick Smith
- Nickname: The Texans
- Mascot: Toro
- Team Colours: Deep Steel Blue, Battle Red, Liberty White
Inside the NRG Stadium (eschipul / Flickr.com)
The city of Houston’s original NFL franchise was known as the Houston Oilers and played in Houston, Texas between 1960 and 1996. Their most successful decades were the 1960s and the 1990s, winning two AFL Championships in 1960 and 1961 and six division championships, the AFL East in 1960, 1961, 1962 and 1967 and the AFC Central in 1991 and 1993.
However, in 1996 the owner of the Houston Oilers decided to relocate the Oilers to Nashville, Tennessee (becoming the Tennessee Titans). This left Houston without an NFL franchise, which prompted Bob McNair – a Houston based entrepreneur – to team up with Steven Patterson, former athletic director and President of the Portland Trail Blazers National Basketball Association franchise. Forming Houston NFL Holdings together, they were awarded an expansion franchise against stiff competition from Toronto and Los Angeles in 1999 at the cost of $700 million.
The Houston Texan’s first season was in 2002 playing at the newly built Reliant Stadium (later to be rented the NRG Stadium). As would be expected for a newly founded NFL franchise, they struggled for a few seasons. However, following the decision to appoint Gary Kubiak, a native Texan as head coach, results began to improve. Great seasons in 2007 and 2008 were followed by very nearly qualifying for the playoffs in the 2009 season.
2011 saw the Texans win their first AFC South title thanks to the help of defensive coach, Wade Phillips, boosting the team’s defence. However, despite beating the Cincinnati Bengals in the first round of the playoffs, they were defeated by the Baltimore Ravens by 20 – 13 in the semi-finals.
Their first AFC South championship was followed immediately by another, despite a dramatic loss of form late in the season. Once again beating the Cincinnati Bengals in the first round of the playoffs, they were then beaten by the New England Patriots.
2013 was a poor season for the Texans and, in response, 2014 saw the appointment of Bill O’Brien as head coach. Barely missing the playoffs in this season, 2015 saw the Houston Texans win their third AFC South title although they were soundly beaten in the Wild Card round by the Kansas City Chiefs 30-0.
Super Bowl Appearances
The Houston Texans have never appeared at a Super Bowl to date.
NRG Stadium (WhisperToMe / Wikipedia.org)
The Houston Texans play at the NRG Stadium, which was formerly known as the Reliant Stadium until 2013. The stadium was built for Houston’s new NFL franchise the Houston Texans and was the first ever stadium in NFL history to have a retractable roof when it opened in 2012. The NRG Stadium is part of a wider collection of venues that are collectively known as NRG Park. This includes the Astrodome and is subject to a 32-year naming rights deal worth in excess of $300 million.
The total capacity of the stadium is listed as 71,795 although the record attendance at the stadium is over 80,000 when George Strait, known as the ‘King of Country’ played there in 2013 as part of his ‘The Cowboy Rides Again’ tour. The NRG Stadium is not just home to the Texans, it also hosts the Texas Bowl and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. It has also hosted several USA international soccer matches, as well as Wrestlemania XXV in 2009. In 2004, it had the honour of hosting Super Bowl XXXVIII.
The stadium has been in continuous use for the entire period of its history apart from a short period in 2008 after the stadium was damaged by Hurricane Ike on the night of September 12-13. Although there was some water and wind damage, as well as some debris being deposited in the stadium, there was no major structural damage, which means that repairs should be completed reasonably quickly allowing the stadium to be reopened on October 5 that year when the Texans hosted a game versus the Indianapolis Colts.
J. J. Watt (2011 – current)
Considered by many to be the best defensive player in the NFL, some even consider him the best player in the NFL. A defensive end, Watt received the AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award three times in his first five seasons. In 2014, he became the first ever player in the NFL’s history to record two 20+ sack seasons in a career. Still active and dominant as a player, many more records are almost certainly to head his way.
Mario Williams (2006 – 2011)
Known as Super Mario, Mario Williams is one of the most dynamic and exciting players to play for the Texans. Arguably the most prolific pass-rusher the NFL has ever seen, he remains a favourite amongst many Houston Texan fans.
Arian Foster (2009 – 2015)
A running back, Arian Foster signed to the Houston Texans as an undrafted free agent in 2009. Holding the Texans records for both rushing yards and rushing touchdowns, he was known for his Namaste bow, which he performed after every touchdown. A dynamic and exciting player, he is one of the most popular players ever to play for the Houston Texans.
Did You Know?
- The Houston Texans stadium (The NRG Stadium) was the first ever stadium in the NFL to feature a retractable roof.
- The Houston Texans are only the second ever team to win their first ever game in the NFL, beating their big rival the Dallas Cowboys 19-10 in 2002.
- The Houston Texans hold the record for the fewest yards by a winning team. In 2002, they beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 24-6 despite having only 47 yards compared to the Steelers 422.
- Los Angeles were originally granted the franchise but, unfortunately, couldn’t get everything in place in an agreed timescale, ultimately, leading to the Houston Texans being awarded the franchise instead.