As the youngest team in the NFL, the Texans have very little history to fall back on.
Ten years ago, not only had the team yet to make the playoffs, but the team had yet to even have a winning season. They would clinch that milestone officially on January 3, 2010. It was the official start of the Texans’ graduation from crawling to walking as a franchise.
The 2010s were historic for the Texans franchise for many reasons. Not only is majority of their entire existence in the 2010s, but the team was also one of the more successful teams in the NFL during this time.
The Texans held a winning record in seven of the 10 seasons in the past decade. They qualified for the NFL Playoffs in six of those seasons.
While we may be disappointed that the Texans have experienced playoff futility, there is no argument that they have been one of the more successful NFL franchises in the past decade.
Let’s take a look back on some of the best moments from the ten years:
Arian Foster Dominates Colts - 2010, Week 1
Arian Foster kicked off the 2010 season in style with a franchise record 231 rushing yards and three touchdowns to give the Texans just their second ever win against their rival Colts. It truly cemented Foster’s place in franchise lore as he would go on to win the rushing title that season with 1,616 yards.
T.J. Yates Leads Texans To First AFC South Championship - 2011, Week 14
After a disappointing 2010 season, the Texans rebounded in 2011 with the greatest start in franchise history at 9-3. However, the theme of quarterback injuries began in 2011 and Matt Schaub was lost for the season to a Lisfranc injury.
In just his second career start, rookie T.J. Yates rallied the team on the road to come from behind and win against the Bengals in Cincinnati to give the Texans their first AFC South title in franchise history.
J.J. Watt Picks Off Andy Dalton - 2011, Wild Card Weekend
Similar to Arian Foster’s coming out party against the Colts, this was the moment where we learned the Texans got a real keeper in J.J. Watt, the Texans’ first-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.
In the first playoff game in franchise history, rookie J.J. Watt intercepted Bengals QB Andy Dalton and ran it back to the house to give the Texans a 17-10 lead going into halftime. The play shifted the momentum into the Texans’ hands for good and netted them their first playoff win in franchise history.
Texans’ Debut On Thanksgiving - 2012, Week 13
Coming off of an overtime come-from-behind win against the Jaguars just three days before, the league-best 9-1 Texans traveled to Detroit to make their Thanksgiving debut. This game is mostly remembered for Justin Forsett’s touchdown run in the third quarter that shrunk the deficit from 10 to three, but the Texans were able to shine on an iconic stage for the first time in dramatic fashion.
Ryan Fitzpatrick Throws For Franchise Record 6 TDs - 2014, Week 13
After a washed 2013 that saw a franchise reset, the Texans rolled with journeyman bridge QB Ryan Fitzpatrick in 2014. After an average 4-5 start, the team opted to start Ryan Mallett to try and see if he could be the future (LOL). However, an injury to Mallett forced the Texans to move back to Fitzpatrick. His first start after being benched? How about a franchise record six touchdowns?
J.J. Watt’s Entire 2014 Season - 2014
You could create a Top 10 list of J.J. Watt moments that could fill the whole decade, but in order to show love elsewhere, I am condensing Watt’s entire 2014 season into one moment. Watt was everything you could ask for and then some in 2014. 20.5 sacks, five fumble recoveries, three offensive touchdowns. It was absolutely remarkable.
T.J. Yates (with a LOT of help from DeAndre Hopkins) Beats Bengals (Again) on Monday Night Football - 2015, Week 10
A lot of the Texans’ best moments of the decade come against the Bengals, and this one is no different. After starting 2015 with a 2-5 record, the Texans looked doomed and if they were playing out the season. A Week 10 matchup with the undefeated Bengals on the road for Monday Night Football looked like a sure loss, especially when Brian Hoyer was knocked out of the game with a concussion. But T.J. Yates’s music began to play, and he threw the only touchdown of the game to hero DeAndre Hopkins. The Texans would finish the season 9-7 and go on to win their third division title in five years.
Texans Draft Deshaun Watson - 2017 NFL Draft
After four years of a revolving door at QB, the Texans had enough and made a statement on the first night of the 2017 NFL Draft. Just weeks after dealing $72 million man [NAME REDACTED] to the Browns, the Texans traded with the Browns once again to move up to the #12 pick to take National Championship hero Deshaun Watson. This was the first time that the Texans made a bold splash on Draft Day, and it has set the Texans up with their franchise QB for the next decade.
Deshaun Watson Says Hello - 2017, Week 2
In Deshaun Watson’s first career start (after he was foolishly named the backup to Tom Savage in Week 1), Watson started the Texans’ second home on Thursday Night Football in Cincinnati. He made his presence known with a jaw-dropping 49-yard touchdown run to give the Texans the lead.
In that injury-shortened rookie year, Watson gave us so much razzle and dazzle; it was honestly one of the most fun times to be a Texans fan. This moment started it all.
DeAndre Hopkins’ Insane Spin-and-Run - 2018, Week 5
After a promising 2017 season from Deshaun Watson, 2018 did not start as such. The team began the season 0-3 and looked finished the calendar even rolled to October. However, after a bizarre win over the Colts the week before, the Texans were looking to start a winning streak on Sunday Night Football against the Cowboys. In a tied game in overtime, Deshaun Watson lobbed it to his top receiver and let him perform his magic. The Texans would go on to kick the winning field goal and win their next seven games to create the longest winning streak in franchise history.
The foundation was laid for the Texans in the 2010s. The team can build and create more success in the next decade. They have some history behind them now, but this is still a young franchise looking to write and create their own history.
Hopefully the next decade can bring that.