Chargers vs. Texans: Looking back on teams’ short history
By John Burress
Why a short history for the Houston Texans? They’ve only been around since 2002. In 1997, the Houston Oilers were given the green light to move to Nashville. Houston millionaires Bob McNair and Chuck Watson started working to get an NFL team in Houston after being denied an NHL hockey franchise. They were successful and the Texans were born.
The Texans’ first draft pick is Derek’s older brother, quarterback David Carr. I always pulled for him. He’s a kid out of Bakersfield who played at Fresno State. It always felt like the elder Carr wasn’t well protected by the Houston offensive line. They didn’t spend higher than a third-round pick on a lineman until 2008 for Duane Brown. By then, Carr was long gone. While the lack of o-line protection was part of the problem, so was a slower than average release. However, it was the line that was the big issue. In 2002, he was sacked 76 times, 76, still an NFL record.
However, in that 2002 season, he and the Texans had one of their finest moments. The NFL schedulers put together a good one for the Texans opener, the Dallas Cowboys. I remember watching that game and seeing a sign in the Houston stands saying “1-15 is O.K. as long as this is the 1”. Darned if the Texans didn’t win that first game, 19-10. They actually had a pretty good year at 4-12… the same as he Bolts last year, ugh.
Sep 22, 2016; Foxborough, MA, USA; Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) heads for the bench after a New England Patriots touchdown during the second half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
In 2011, they drafted J.J. Watt and their fortunes slowly started to turn around. In 2013, they beat the San Diego Chargers in the opener in San Diego. One of only two wins. That was also the last year the Chargers went to the playoffs, winning the last four in the regular season including a miracle against the Kansas City Chiefs in overtime to tie up a Wild Card spot. The Bolts would beat the Cincinnati Bengals in the playoffs before losing to the Denver Broncos in the divisional round.
Looking at this weekend, I’m torn. Of course I want the Chargers to win, but I’m also starting to look forward to next year’s draft. To be honest, the Bolts really need to win this one to have any kind of real shot at the playoffs. If they don’t, we might start looking toward the future which brings in the question of where the future will be. Some tough questions with no immediate answers.
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As for the series history between these two teams, that aforementioned game in 2013 was not only the last meeting between the Chargers and Texans, it was also the only time Houston has ever beaten San Diego. The Chargers lead the all-time series 4-1.
Looking at Sunday, I’m picking the Bolts by 5, but if they lose I might be pulling for the Chargers outwardly for the rest of the season but inwardly not too upset if they lose. Seems I’ve been in this position before.