Every Houston Texans starting QB in team history: Full list

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The NFL expanded in 2002, adding its 32nd team, which was, of course, the Houston Texans. Since joining the league in 2002, the Texans have won seven division titles and five playoff games. While they haven't gotten to the AFC Championship yet, they've had some good teams led by prolific quarterbacks.

Let's go back in time and look at every starting quarterback in Houston Texans history.

Every Houston Texans starting QB in team history


Regular Season Starts

Postseason Starts

Matt Schaub



David Carr



Deshaun Watson



Davis Mills



C.J. Stroud



Brock Osweiler



Case Keenum



Ryan Fitzpatrick



Sage Rosenfels



T.J. Yates



Brian Hoyer



Tom Savage



Ryan Mallett



Tyrod Taylor



Tony Banks



Dave Ragone



Kyle Allen



Matt Leinart



Brandon Weeden



A.J. McCarron



Jeff Driskel



David Carr (75 starts over 5 seasons)

The first quarterback in Texans history was David Carr who the team took with the first overall pick in the 2002 NFL Draft. Carr's time in Houston can mostly be summed up in one word: Sacks. The poor guy did not have a good offensive line in front of him during his time with the Texans and was sacked a whopping 76 times as a rookie and 68 times during the 2005 season.

Following a disappointing 2006 season, the Texans went in a different direction at quarterback and moved on from Carr. By the time his Texans tenure had come to an end, he had been sacked an astonishing 249 times. It'd be hard for any quarterback to succeed with the little protection that Carr had during his time in Houston.

Following his Texans tenure, Carr spent time as a backup with the Panthers, Giants, and 49ers. He retired from the NFL in 2012.

Tony Banks (3 starts over 3 seasons)

Younger Texans fans might be asking "Who?" when reading the name Tony Banks. It's not surprising that they wouldn't remember him with the Texans considering he played just 14 games for the team and made three starts. All three starts came in 2003.

Unlike Carr, Banks' career ended in Houston. He was a second-round pick by the Rams in 1996 and played three seasons with them before winding up in Baltimore. Banks was on the 2000 Ravens squad that went on to win the Super Bowl behind their dominant defense.

By the time he landed in Houston, he was entering the backup years of his career. Banks said in a 2017 interview that he was asked by the Texans brass not to outshine Carr in training camp when he joined the join.

Dave Ragone (2 starts over 1 season)

The Texans spent a third-round pick on Dave Ragone in 2003 and he never saw much time under center. The Louisville quarterback started two games for the Texans in 2003 but that was all fans ever saw of him despite him spending the 2004 and 2005 seasons in Houston as well.

Ragone played for the Berlin Thunder of the NFL Europe league and won Offensive MVP in the league that season. He spent a brief time with some NFL practice squads but then turned to coaching when nothing came of those opportunities. As of this writing, he's serving as the quarterbacks coach for the Los Angeles Rams.

Matt Schaub (88 starts over 7 seasons)

Once it was clear that David Carr wasn't going to be the quarterback of the future for the Texans, the team needed to find someone who could be. They traded for Matt Schaub in the 2007 offseason and it panned out pretty well for them.

Schaub still leads the team in passing yards with 23,221 and he took the league by storm in 2009. That year saw Schaub throw for 4,770 yards, 29 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions. The Texans went 9-7 but fans felt confident that he could lead this team to an eventual playoff berth.

While the Texans did get to the playoffs for the first time in 2011, Schaub wasn't healthy enough to start for the team. He did, however, start two playoff games for the Texans in 2012 and threw for 605 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions in those two games.

Schaub's time with the Texans came to an end following a disappointing 2013 season where he threw a pick-six in four consecutive games, a record at the time. It was clear that Schaub was no longer the same guy and the organization moved on from him. He spent time with the Raiders, Ravens, and Falcons before hanging up the cleats after the 2020 season.

Sage Rosenfels (10 starts over 3 seasons)

The Texans signed Sage Rosenfels in 2006 as depth behind Carr. He didn't make any starts that year but appeared in four games. Rosenfels made his first start for the Texans in 2007 and made five starts, going 4-1 in those five starts.

In 2008, Rosenfels made another five starts for the Texans, including the season opener. He finished his Texans career with a 6-4 record while throwing for 3,380 yards, 24 touchdowns, and 23 interceptions. His last season as an active player in the NFL was in 2010 with the Giants.

Matt Leinart (1 start over 2 seasons)

Matt Leinart didn't pan out for the Cardinals, who spent a first-round pick on him in 2006 so by the time the 2010 offseason rolled around, he had been relegated to backup quarterback duty. He signed with the Texans to backup Matt Schaub and ended up starting one game in 2011.

Schaub was injured midway through the 2011 season, paving the way for Leinart to step in. Unfortunately, the Matt Leinart era of Texans football only lasted a half, as he injured his collarbone and obviously couldn't play after that.

Leinart spent the 2012 season with the Raiders but was out of the league in 2013. As of this writing, he's an analyst for Big Noon Kickoff on FOX.

T.J. Yates (10 starts over 5 seasons)

When Leinart went down with his collarbone injury in 2011, the next man up was T.J. Yates, who was a fifth-round rookie out of North Carolina. Yates went on to start five regular season games that year and was the starting quarterback for the Texans' first-ever playoff game and first-ever playoff win.

Yates didn't start another game for Houston until the 2015 season after he returned to the Texans for his second stint. The Texans had injuries to the quarterback position so Yates stepped in and went 2-0 as a starter.

In 2017, Yates returned to H-Town for a third stint after the Texans once again had injuries to the quarterback position. Unfortunately, the same luck wasn't on his side for the three games he started, as he failed to win a game during that time. Those were the last snaps he ever took as an NFL quarterback.

When it comes to players with the most interesting careers in Texans history, T.J. Yates has to be at the top of the list. He started the team's first-ever playoff game and after it felt like the two had moved on, he'd always find his way back to the organization.

Case Keenum (12 starts over 3 seasons)

Houston Cougars legend Case Keenum surprisingly went undrafted in 2012 but the Texans wisely scooped him up. He didn't play at all during the 2012 season, spending that year on the practice squad. In 2013, Keenum started eight games while Matt Schaub was out due to injury and failed to win any of them and the Texans won just two games that entire season.

Keenum made two starts for the Texans in 2014 but that was after he had been waived by them and spent a brief amount of time with the Rams. He was brought back later in the year when the Texans had injuries at the quarterback position and won the two games he started.

Keenum bounced around the league after that, serving a second stint with the Rams while also spending time with the Vikings, Broncos, Commanders, Browns, and Bills before returning to Houston for his third stint. Keenum backed up C.J. Stroud in 2023 and started two games, splitting those results.

Ryan Fitzpatrick (12 starts over 1 season)

The Texans were one of the many teams that Ryan Fitzpatrick suited up for during his lengthy NFL career. He joined the Texans in 2014 and started 12 games for them that season, finishing with a 6-6 record and throwing for 2,483 yards, 17 touchdowns, and eight picks.

When the season was in the books, the Texans ultimately decided not to stick with Fitzpatrick moving forward and traded him to the Jets. He went on to play in the NFL for seven more years and retired after the 2021 season.

Ryan Mallet (6 starts over 2 seasons)

Ryan Mallett spent the first two years of his NFL career backing up Tom Brady in New England. The Patriots traded Mallet to the Texans in 2014 and he was the backup to Ryan Fitzpatrick. Mallett ended up starting two games in 2014, throwing for 400 yards, two touchdowns, and two picks in the three total games he appeared in.

In 2015, Mallett lost out on the starting quarterback job but still saw playing time, starting four games that season and winning one of them. Mallett missed the team's charter flight to an away game late in the season and was released by Houston shortly after that game.

Mallett finished his NFL career with the Ravens where he played in 2015, 2016, and 2017 before he was out of the league. Sadly, Mallett passed away in 2023 at the age of 35.

Brian Hoyer (9 starts over 1 season)

Brian Hoyer joined the Texans in 2015 after spending time with the Patriots, Cardinals, and Browns. Hoyer beat out Ryan Mallett for the starting quarterback job and started nine regular-season games during his lone year in H-Town. He was benched after just one game but an injury to Mallett brought Hoyer back to the gridiron as the starter.

Hoyer started for the Texans in the Wild Card playoff game against the Chiefs but the Texans failed to score a single point. He was released shortly after the Texans' season came to an end and continued to serve as a backup over the next several seasons.

Brandon Weeden (1 start over 2 seasons)

Brandon Weeden is most famous for being 28 years old when he was drafted in the first round by the Browns in 2014. After not panning out for the Browns, Weeden tried to show that he could be an asset for the Cowboys and then later the Texans.

Weeden had two separate stints with the Texans, one coming in 2015 when he made one start, which Houston won. His second stint came in 2018 when he was signed to backup Deshaun Watson and appeared in just one game. That was the last year that he ever took an NFL snap.

Brock Osweiler (2016)

In 2016, the Texans signed Brock Osweiler to a massive (at the time) four-year deal worth $72 million, which was a shock to everyone around the NFL. Osweiler didn't have much starting experience, starting seven games for the Broncos in 2015 but the Texans believed he could lead them to the promised land.

Osweiler did not live up to the contract he signed. He was benched multiple times throughout the 2016 season but ended up starting 14 games and two playoff games during his one year in Houston. The Texans went on to trade Osweiler to the Browns in the offseason so that they could get his contract off the books. Osweiler never played a single snap for Cleveland.

Osweiler rejoined the Broncos in 2017 and started four games for them that year. He started five games for the Dolphins in 2018 and those were the final NFL snaps he'd take.

Tom Savage (9 starts over 4 seasons)

The Texans spent a fourth-round pick on Tom Savage in the 2014 NFL Draft and while he didn't start any games as a rookie, he did make his NFL debut that year, filling in briefly for Ryan Fitzpatrick when he injured his leg. Savage didn't start a game until 2016, his third year in the league, stepping onto the field after Brock Osweiler had been benched.

Savage appeared in three games in 2016, starting two, and didn't throw any touchdowns or interceptions in those three appearances. The next year saw him receive more playing time, as he appeared in eight games and made seven starts. He originally won the starting job over Deshaun Watson but was quickly benched in favor of Watson.

After Watson tore his ACL midway through the season, however, Savage was thrust back into the limelight and went 1-6 as a starter down the stretch. That was Savage's last active season in the NFL but he tried to make it with the Saints, 49ers, Bengals, and Lions, but never made their active rosters.

Deshaun Watson (53 starts over 4 seasons)

With their first-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, the Texans traded up to nab Clemson's Deshaun Watson. It looked like a genius move his rookie year, as he stepped into the role of a franchise quarterback nearly right away, throwing for 19 touchdowns to just eight interceptions in seven games and six starts.

Watson tore his ACL midway through his rookie year but Texans fans felt optimistic about the team's future with the Clemson star at the helm. In Year 2, Watson started all 16 games, threw for 4,162 yards, 26 touchdowns, and nine picks, and helped lead Houston to a division title. They lost in the Wild Card round to the Colts.

In 2019, Watson started 15 games and the Texans won the AFC South and a playoff game. They looked to be on their way to the AFC Championship Game after cruising to a 24-0 lead against the Chiefs in the divisional round but we don't need to rehash what happened next.

In 2020, Watson put together a career year, throwing for 4,823 yards, 33 touchdowns, and seven interceptions. Unfortunately, the Texans did not have a strong team around him and the squad won just four games.

Following his successful 2020 campaign, Watson demanded a trade from the Texans due to disagreements with the front office. Not long after, Watson was accused of sexual harrassment by dozens of women and did not end up playing in 2021 due to "non-injury reasons"/personal matters. He was traded to the Browns in 2022, signed to a ridiculously expensive contract, and has started 12 games for them in two seasons.

A.J. McCarron (1 start over 2 seasons)

A.J. McCarron signed with the Texans in 2019 as Deshaun Watson's backup. He'd mostly been a backup during his NFL career to that point, spending time backing up the likes of Andy Dalton in Cincinnati and Derek Carr in Oakland before he came to Houston.

McCarron made his only start as a Texan at the end of the 2019 season since the team decided to rest its starters. He was mostly uninspiring, throwing for 225 yards and a pick. The former Alabama quarterback remained on the team in 2020 but didn't start any games.

McCarron has since become a star in the league formerly known as the XFL, leading the league in passing yards in 2023. He also spent a brief stint with the Bengals during the 2023 season as well, joining them after Joe Burrow went down with an injury as depth.

Tyrod Taylor (6 starts over 1 season)

With Deshaun Watson's future with the team up in the air in 2021, the Texans signed Tyrod Taylor and he won the starting job. Unfortunately, Taylor was injured just two games into the season, paving the way for rookie Davis Mills to fill in.

Taylor was activated off IR in November and struggled in his first game back, throwing three picks and zero touchdowns. Taylor started four games after his return and while the Texans won one of those games, by his fourth game, head coach David Culley had seen enough, yanking him in favor of Mills for the rest of the season.

The two sides moved on following 2021 and Taylor spent the next two seasons with the Giants backing up Daniel Jones.

Davis Mills (25 starts over 3 seasons)

With a third-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft (and their first of that year's draft), the Texans selected Stanford's Davis Mills. Some people thought this might be the team's way of preparing for life after Deshaun Watson and that's sort of what the move ended up being.

Watson didn't play in 2021, which led Mills to appear in 13 games and start 11 games as a rookie. He played okay, throwing for more touchdowns (16) than interceptions (10) but the team won just two games with him under center.

In 2022, he won the starting job and started 15 games, throwing for 3,118 yards, 17 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions. The Texans won only three games that year and landed the second overall pick. We all know what happened next.

Kyle Allen (2 starts over 1 season)

Former Houston Cougars quarterback Kyle Allen joined the Texans in 2022 as quarterback depth after Deshaun Watson was traded. Allen became more well-known throughout the league in 2019 when he started 12 games for the Panthers that year.

After two years with Washington, Allen signed with the Texans to compete with Davis Mills, ultimately losing the starting job. He started two late-season games and struggled in those starts, which meant the starting job went back to Mills.

Allen finished his short Texans tenure with 416 passing yards, two touchdowns, and four picks. He signed with the Bills after he left Houston.

Jeff Driskel (2 starts over 2 seasons)

Jeff Driskel has bounced around the league since getting drafted in the sixth round in 2016. He's mostly been a backup quarterback or thrown into the spotlight if multiple quarterbacks end up going down, which is ultimately what happened to him during his time in Houston.

Driskel signed with the Texans in 2021 after backup stints with the Bengals, Lions, and Broncos, and appeared in one game for Houston that year. In 2022, he made two starts for the team and threw for just over 100 yards, one touchdown, and zero picks.

Driskel spent the 2023 season with the Browns.

C.J. Stroud (15 starts over 1 season)

With the second overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Houston Texans selected C.J. Stroud out of Ohio State. So far, it's looked like a great selection.

Stroud started 15 games as a rookie and helped lead the Texans to its first division title since 2019. Not only did the Texans win the division and make the playoffs for the first time in three years, but they won a playoff game. Stroud also went on to win Offensive Rookie of the Year after he threw for 4,108 yards, 23 touchdowns, and only five interceptions.

No one thought the Texans were going to be competitive in 2023 but Stroud came in and made them a contender right away. Now the team is considered to be a Super Bowl contender in the blink of an eye all because Stroud was there for the taking with the second overall pick.