Houston Texans: 17 Years Later, the Playoff Drought Continues

Rick BrokawCorrespondent IDecember 22, 2010

29 Sep 1996:  Quarterback Chris Chandler #12 of the Houston Oilers looks up field as he makes a cut to the sideline while running with the football to avoid the pursuing defenders from the Pittsburgh Steelers during a play in the Oilers 30-16 loss to the
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

Do you remember the year in which the Branch Davidian compound was raided in Waco, Texas? How about the year Eric Clapton's song "Tears in Heaven" won song of the year? What about the year that Dizzie Gillespie died? 

Football fans in Houston remember 1993 if for one reason only—it was the last time a professional football team from the city made it to the playoffs. It was the year in which the Oilers lost to Kansas City with a final score of 28-20.

Three years later the Houston Oilers moved to Tennessee where they became the Titans and Houston was left empty-handed. Then, along came Bob McNair, the football savior of Houston and, in 2002, the Space City welcomed home the Houston Texans. 

The expansion team beat their in-state rivals 19-10 in their inaugural game (only the second team in history to do so) and the city was jubilant. From there, however, the fans would be left wanting. 

From 2002 to January of 2006, Dom Capers, acting as head coach of the Texans, managed a meager 16-46 overall record. In 2004, the team managed a 7-9 record, which would stand as a best for a few years. McNair, seeing the writing on the wall, knew that he had to move on from the Capers era. In 2006 new head coach Gary Kubiak took over.

Kubiak, in his five years with the team, has managed a 36-42 (.462) overall record and has a season best record of 9-7. 

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But here we find ourselves, in 2010, and the team has managed to once again become a losing team. This year's record currently stands at 5-9 with two more games left to play. The best that the Texans can manage this year will be 7-9, still not good enough for a playoff spot, let alone a wild card. 

McNair is stuck between a rock and a hard place as he extended Kubiak's contract at the beginning of this year. However, fans of the team are crying "foul" and (according to the team's message board) are even threatening to return tickets for next years games. 

The drought continues for fans of professional football in Houston. Is the city cursed? Has the ghost of playoffs past come back to haunt the city on the Gulf? Nobody can be sure. But one thing the city of Houston is sure of is this: they want a playoff team and they want the owner to do something about it!