On the heels of an overall successful 2011 campaign, the Houston Texans enter 2012 with unprecedented expectations in the franchise’s tenth year of existence. Overall, I’d say the Texans have tipped the scale slightly toward disappointing, but not terribly so. Sure, in a parity-friendly league like the NFL, one would rightfully expect their team to make at least a couple of runs during a ten year period (even the Bengals accomplished that!). But there are plenty of positives to look back on and an abundance of excitement to behold for the future.
In 2002, the Texans were defined by the drafting of quarterback David Carr as the face of the franchise as well as the 19-10 victory over the Dallas Cowboys in their inaugural game. After that, it was mostly downhill as expected, except for the drafting of stellar wide receiver Andre Johnson. The Texans would show progress over the next couple of seasons before eventually falling flat on their faces in 2005, finishing a measly 2-15. The hiring of Gary Kubiak and Rick Smith ushered in a new era a wave of defensive draft picks and the Texans began climbing again, even threatening a playoff birth in 2009 before gravely disappointing fans in 2010, thanks to a ridiculously shabby secondary. However, 2011 presented a Texans team with the winning resolve unseen in the previous nine seasons as the franchise overcame devastating injuries to win their first ever division title and playoff game.
The lack of playoff appearances certainly have been disappointing, and 2005 and 2010 were certainly seasons to forget, but some great things about this franchise during its first ten years of existence include committed ownership and stability as well as world class facilities and fans. The franchise has put together some very nice drafts in recent years and has overwhelmingly shown class both in victory and defeat. Now, heading into the second decade of existence, it appears that the Texans have a strong character foundation lain and will continue their winning ways. With a defense that punishes and offense featuring super stars Johnson and Arian Foster, the future looks bright.
In looking back and forward, what do you consider the low and high points of the Houston Texans franchise, and what are your expectations for the second decade?