The Texans-Titans rivalry may not have the recent playoff drama of Pats-Colts. It may not have the historical implications of Browns-Steelers or Bears-Packers. But try telling fans of these teams the atmosphere of this afternoon's game is any less intense.
The Texans-Titans rivalry hasn't even existed for a full decade, and thus far has been fairly one-sided. The conflict between fan bases, however, goes back a bit further.
In 1997, Bud Adams dropped the city of Houston like a little kid who found a new playground. The swings in the old playground may not have been as shiny, but well-behaved kids know the importance of maintaining old relationships and supporting their community.
Bud Adams, however, was more like a spoiled brat. His actions would ultimately spawn the rivalry between Houston and Nashville.
In 2002, football fans in Houston—those who retained loyalty to their city, that is—were finally rewarded with a new team.
In the Texans' early years, they developed more of a rivalry with the Jaguars than the Titans, but then in 2006, Bud Adams stepped in again.
There is no need to recount the story of draft day in April 2006—as hindsight has proven the Texans correct—but on that day, Bud again stirred the emotions of Houstonians by drafting Vince Young.
After Young's famous overtime run later that season, the rivarly started to grow.
Then, in 2008, it grew even more fierce as Albert Haynesworth separated Matt Schaub's shoulder.
Last year, despite cheap shots from Cortland "Little Guy" Finnegan, the Texans dealt a big blow to the Titan's hopes of home-field advantage with a Monday night upset. The Titans would recover with a win against Pittsburgh, but the rivalry now had teeth—big, sharp, nasty teeth.
Now with both teams facing 0-1 deficits, this early-season matchup promises to further build the rivalry.
Hopefully the Texans can come away with a victory, but the game will undoubtedly live up to some high expectations.