Houston Texans

For the 1970s WFL team once called "Houston Texans", see Shreveport Steamer.
Houston Texans
Current season
Established October 6, 1999 (1999-10-06)[1]
First season: 2002
Play in and headquartered in NRG Stadium
Houston, Texas
League/conference affiliations

National Football League (2002present)

Current uniform
Team colors

Deep Steel Blue, Battle Red, Liberty White[2][3]

Fight song "Football Time in Houston"
Mascot Toro
Owner(s) Bob McNair (95%)
Harris County, Texas government (5%)
Chairman Bob McNair
CEO Bob McNair
President Jamey Rootes
General manager Rick Smith
Head coach Bill O'Brien
Team history
  • Houston Texans (2002present)
League championships (0)
Conference championships (0)

Division championships (3)

Playoff appearances (3)
Home fields
Former name(s):
Reliant Stadium (2002–2013)

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 after Houston's previous franchise, the Houston Oilers, moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where they are now the Tennessee Titans.[4] 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.[5] The Texans repeated as AFC South champions in 2012 and 2015.

Franchise history

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 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.[1]

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.[6] The Texans then beat wild card Cincinnati Bengals 31–10 in the first round of the 2011–12 NFL playoffs,[7] before a 20–13 defeat by the Ravens in the semifinals.[8]

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.[9] 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.[10][11] 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.[12] 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.[13]

Team identity


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.[14] 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."[15] 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 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.[6]

Logos and uniforms

Houston Texans Nike Uniforms, 2015

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".[15] 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 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.

Mascots and cheerleaders

The team's official mascot is Toro.[16] The team also has a cheerleading squad simply named the Houston Texans Cheerleaders.[17]


The Texans are the youngest franchise in the NFL, having only been competing in the League 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.

However, there are a few franchises for whom Texans fans hold special animosity. The Tennessee Titans, 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. 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.

More recently, Houston has increased bitterness with the Indianapolis Colts due to longtime star Texans receiver Andre Johnson leaving for the Colts after the 2014 season. The Texans have also developed a somewhat close rivalry with the Cincinnati Bengals, starting in 2011 and 2012, 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.) 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.


Win–loss record

As of Week 4 of the 2016 season, the Texans' overall regular season win-loss record is 100–128 (.439). The Texans notched the 100th regular season win in their history when they defeated the Tennessee Titans on October 2, 2016. They are 2–3 (.400) all-time in playoff games. 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 2015, winning the AFC South for the third time in franchise history.

All three of the Texans' playoff berths were as a result of winning the AFC South division championship. The Texans participated in the playoffs for the first time at the end of the 2011 season, after having clinched the AFC South division title and qualifying as the AFC's third seed. In the Wild Card round, the Texans hosted a playoff game for the first time, defeating the Cincinnati Bengals 31–10. However, the following weekend the Texans were defeated 20–13 by the Baltimore Ravens on the road in the Divisional round. In 2012, the Texans won the AFC South division championship and were seeded third once again. They again defeated the Cincinnati Bengals at home in the Wild-Card round; this time by a score of 19–13. However, the following weekend the Texans were defeated 41–28 by the New England Patriots on the road in the Divisional round. The Texans would return to the playoffs in 2015, but their stay would be short lived as the team was overwhelmed by the Kansas City Chiefs 30-0.

Notable records vs opponents

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 2015 season, the Texans have a cumulative record of 35–49 (.417) against their three divisional rivals: 17–11 versus the Jacksonville Jaguars; 13–15 versus the Tennessee Titans; and 5–23 versus the Indianapolis Colts (including losses in all but one of 14 games played there). The Texans have fared better against the rest of the AFC, posting a regular season record of 39–45 (.464) against AFC teams from divisions other than the South, with a 14–15 record against AFC East teams, 13–16 against AFC North teams, and 12–14 against AFC West teams. The Texans are 23–33 (.411) against NFC teams, tallying a 4–12 record against NFC East teams, 6–6 against NFC North teams, 9-7 against NFC South teams, and 4–8 against NFC West teams.[18]

As of Week 9 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 versus the Eagles will be in 2018, and versus the Bears and Vikings in 2020.

NFL playoffs record

Players of note

Current roster

Houston Texans roster

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen


Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists

Practice squad

Rookies in italics
Roster updated December 5, 2016
Depth ChartTransactions

53 Active, 13 Inactive, 11 Practice Squad

AFC rostersNFC rosters

NFL Draft history

Further information: Houston Texans draft history

First-round draft picks by year

= Pro Bowler

* Asterisk indicates a player who was selected to the Pro Bowl only as a member of another team.

Year Pick Player Position College
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

Awards and honors

Coaches of note

Head coaches

Name From To Seasons Record Division titles
Dom Capers January 21, 2001 January 2, 2006 4 18460 0
Gary Kubiak January 26, 2006 December 6, 2013 8 61640 2
Wade Phillips December 6, 2013 January 1, 2014 Interim 040 0
Bill O'Brien January 2, 2014 Present 2 20150 1

Offensive coordinators

Defensive coordinators

Current staff

Houston Texans staff
Front Office
  • Founder/Chairman/CEO – Bob McNair
  • Vice Chairman – D. Cal McNair
  • Executive Vice President/General Manager – Rick Smith
  • President – Jamey Rootes
  • Vice President of Football Administration – Chris Olsen
  • Vice President of Football Operations – Doug West
  • Senior Personnel Advisor – Bobby Grier
  • Director of Player Personnel – Brian Gaine
  • Director of College Scouting – Jon Carr
  • Director of Football Research – Jim Bernhardt
  • Assistant Director of Pro Personnel – Larry Wright
Head Coaches
Offensive Coaches
Defensive Coaches
Special Teams Coaches
Strength and Conditioning
  • Head Strength and Conditioning – Craig Fitzgerald
  • Assistant Strength and Conditioning – Sean Hayes
  • Assistant Strength and Conditioning – Brian Bell

Coaching Staff
More NFL staffs

AFC East
NFC East


Radio and television

As of 2007, 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.

Radio affiliates

Map of radio affiliates.

Texans Radio Affiliates

City Call sign Frequency
Alpine KVLF-AM 1240 AM
Amarillo KIXZ 940 AM
Athens KLVQ-AM 1410 AM
Austin KVET-AM 1300 AM
Beaumont KIKR-AM 1450 AM
Beaumont KBED-AM 1510 AM
Big Spring KBYG-AM 1400 AM
Brenham KWHI-AM 1280 AM
Bryan KZNE-AM 1150 AM
Carthage KGAS-AM 1590 AM
College Station KZNE-AM 1150 AM
Corpus Christi KSIX-AM 1230 AM
Henderson KWRD-AM 1470 AM
Houston KILT-AM 610 AM
Houston KILT-FM 100.3 FM
Levelland KLVT-AM 1230 AM
Liberty KSHN-FM 99.9 FM
Livingston KETX-FM 92.3 FM
Lubbock KJDL-FM 105.3 FM
Lufkin KSML-AM 1260 AM
Marble Falls KBEY-FM 103.9 FM
Marshall KMHT-AM 1450 AM
Marshall KMHT-FM 103.9 FM
McAllen KBUC-FM 102.1 FM
Nacogdoches KSML-AM 1260 AM
New Braunfels KGNB-AM 1420 AM
Orange KOGT-AM 1600 AM
San Angelo KKSA-AM 1260 AM
San Antonio KZDC-AM 1250 AM
San Marcos KGNB-AM 1420 AM
Tyler KLVQ-AM 1410 AM
Wichita Falls KSEY-AM 1230 AM

Theme music

The theme song of the Texans is "It's Football Time In Houston" by Clay Walker.[19] 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.[20]

The Texans' defensive squad takes the field to the sound of "Bulls on Parade" by Rage Against the Machine.[21] The Texans started using the song after former linebacker Connor Barwin coined the nickname in a tweet in 2011.[22]

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.

"Hats Off to the Bull" by the hard rock band Chevelle has become another popular theme song of the entire team. It is frequently played at home games.

Work in the community

Community outreach by the Houston Texans is primarily operated by the Houston Texans Foundation, who works with multiple community partners.[23] The Houston Texans organization is also a supporter of the character education program, Heart of a Champion.[24]

Notes and references

  1. 1 2 "Texans Team History". Houston Texans. Retrieved January 8, 2016.
  2. "Houston Texans Team Capsule" (PDF). 2016 Official National Football League Record and Fact Book. National Football League. July 15, 2016. Retrieved August 4, 2016.
  3. "Fingertip Information" (PDF). 2002 Houston Texans Media Guide. Houston Texans. 2002. Retrieved April 8, 2016.
  4. McClain, John (August 19, 2016). "How the Oilers left Houston and set the stage for the Texans". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved September 2, 2016.
  5. McClain, John (December 11, 2011). "AFC South champion Texans reach playoffs for first time in dramatic fashion". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved March 30, 2016.
  6. 1 2 Powers, John (December 10, 2012). "Texans have climbed to the top of NFL". The Boston Globe. Retrieved September 2, 2016.
  7. "Foster powers Texans to win over Bengals". Reuters Canada. January 7, 2012. Retrieved January 7, 2012.
  8. Kolko, Dan (January 15, 2012). "Ravens slip past Texans 20–13, advance to AFC Championship". MASN Sports. Mid-Atlantic Sports Network. Retrieved January 15, 2012.
  9. "NFL Gamebook: HOU @ NE" (PDF). NFL. 2013-01-13. Retrieved 2013-01-13.
  10. "Texans hire Bill O'Brien as head coach". Houston Texans. January 3, 2014. Retrieved September 2, 2016.
  11. Mathews, Nick (January 3, 2014). "Bill O'Brien officially introduced as Texans new coach". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved September 2, 2016.
  12. Chiari, Mike (October 27, 2015). "Ryan Mallett Released by Texans". Bleacher Report. Retrieved September 2, 2016.
  13. Rosenthal, Gregg (March 9, 2016). "Brock Osweiler agrees in principle to $72M Texans deal". National Football League. Retrieved September 2, 2016.
  14. "Franchise nicknames". Pro Football Hall of Fame. January 1, 2005. Retrieved September 2, 2016.
  15. 1 2 "McNair unveils name, logo for Houston". National Football League. September 6, 2000. Archived from the original on November 9, 2000. Retrieved September 2, 2016.
  16. "TORO bio" (PDF). Houston Texans. Retrieved September 2, 2016.
  17. "Texans Cheerleaders". HoustonTexans.com. Retrieved 2012-09-03.
  18. http://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/htx/head-to-head.htm
  19. "Texans May Go Back to Clay Walker Song". Associated Press. 14 August 2003. Retrieved 1 March 2010.
  20. "20 Questions with Clay Walker (Part 2)". CMT. Retrieved 2 March 2010.
  21. Balke, Jeff (December 5, 2011). "Bulls on Parade: Ten Songs for Ten Texans Players and One for the Team". Houston Press. Retrieved September 2, 2016.
  22. Scurfield, Nick (December 4, 2011). "Bulls on Parade: A nickname is born". Houston Texans. Archived from the original on December 8, 2011. Retrieved September 2, 2016.
  23. "HoustonTexans.com – Houston Texans Foundation".
  24. "Our Partners". Heart of a Champion. Retrieved 8 January 2012.
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