The 2002 Texans: A Team Worth Remembering

William BakerContributor IMay 13, 2009

PITTSBURGH - DECEMBER 8 : Jason Simmons #30 of the Houston Texans recovers a fumble against the Pittsburgh Steelers on December 8, 2002 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  The Texans beat the Steelers 24-6. (Photo by Tom Pidgeon/Getty Images)

Now I could talk about the one of Patriots team of the new millennium that was destined to win the Super Bowl with the talent they had or maybe the 2006 Pittsburgh Steelers that were the underdogs that shocked the world. But I don’t want to do that.

Instead I want to talk about one of my favorite NFL teams of all time: the 2002 Houston Texans. Surprised? Well just stay with me on this one now.

Sure they had a 4-12 record and lost five straight games before getting their second win of the season. But this was a team that would embark on its first full 16 game season of the NFL as a new team.

As a Houston native, losing the Oilers to Tennessee in 1997 was probably one of the most devastating I remember growing up hearing about. Yet there was talk of getting a new team in the city of Houston a few years later.
At first it was hard to believe, mainly it took a year before the inaugural season before we knew the name of the team that we would be eventually cheering for on Sundays.

Now fast forward to September 8,2002 when the inaugural season got under way. It was something that myself along with the city of Houston would not forget. Sitting in the newly built Reliant Stadium, myself along my dad and 69,000+ other Houstonians saw the Texans do the impossible: win their first game ever game as a new team.

The Texans faced the Dallas Cowboys at home and the first play of the game, a then rookie quarterback David Carr connected with tight end Billy Miller in just over a minute of playing time to score the team’s first points of the game.

Carr went on 10 for 22 attempts, throwing for 145 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Not bad for your first professional start in the NFL.  From there, I knew this is something that me and the rest of the city should take notice to.

The Texans went on to win that game 19-10 become only the second expansion team behind the 1961 Minnesota Vikings to win their first game in the NFL. It was a high moment for the city with their new team starting off 1-0; but like that saying goes: What goes up, must come down.

It wouldn’t be until week 8 on October 27 of that year when the Texans would win their second game ever against the Jacksonville Jaguars, 21-19, snapping a five game losing streak fans had to endure, yet it was significant win as its first road victory as a franchise.

Afterwards, the Texans would get victories against the New York Giants, their second and final home win that year at Reliant Stadium and against the Pittsburgh Steelers, before the arrival of Big Ben. The win against the Steelers would be the Texans final win as they went on to lose their last three games to finish last in the AFC South.

In its inaugural season, we cheered when our team looked like an old-pro defying the odds winning games and we dropped our heads in our hands and cursed out loud when they looked like an expansion team with no clue how to play the game. 

But regardless of how you saw that season, you had to agree on this: The fact that Houston had a professional football team again brought excitement back to the city. Now people would have something to look forward to on Sundays, a team of their own was playing in the NFL.

The whole team has moved on to other teams with exception of a few players, mainly Kris Brown, their kicker who still on the roster. That was a special roster that Houston would get to know and grow to love.

So yeah I can say that I was wherever watching the Patriots become a dynasty with their third Super Bowl or watching the Steelers walk all over the Seahawks in at the 2006 Super Bowl.

But I love to say more that I was in Reliant Stadium to watch the start of something great: the 2002 Houston Texans. And that was my favorite team to watch.