Last year’s AFC South Champions, the Houston Texans, are once again locked in a battle for first place in their division. Having snapped a three-game losing streak in week 14 with a 22-17 road win against the Indianapolis Colts, the Texans find themselves with a record of 7-6. With a win over the Denver Broncos, the Titans also have a record of 7-6, creating a tie for first place.
Week 14 (Dec. 11) Highlights
- RB Lamar Miller rushed for 107 yards, scored the Texans only touchdown, and now has over 1,000 yards rushing for the season.
- Kicker Nick Novak added the remaining 16 points, kicking the PAT and five field goals (tying a career best), including one for 52 yards at the end of the first half.
- LB Brian Cushing took down Colts RB Frank Gore to become the all-time leading tackler in team history.
- DE Jadeveon Clowney strip- sacked Colts QB Andrew Luck and the fumble was recovered by Texans LB Whitney Mercilus, for a league-high-tying fourth fumble recovery.
- Forty-year old Shane Lechler, the six-time All-Pro punter has now played in 235 consecutive games, (total games played are 267) which is the longest active streak in the NFL. Lechler is also the league’s all-time leader in gross punting average (47.5 yards).
Texans 2016 Season Team Leaders
- QB Brock Osweiler: 2,656 passing yards
- RB Lamar Miller: 1,010 rushing yards
- WR DeAndre Hopkins: 701 receiving yards
- LB Whitney Mercilus: 5.5 sacks
- S Qunitin Demps: 3 interceptions
- ILB Benardrick McKinney: 114 tackles
One of the team’s leading defensive players, DE J.J. Watt, has been on injured reserve with a back injury since playing in a Game 3 loss to the Patriots. Watt is a three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, and was named to the first-team All-Pro team four times in his first five seasons.
Down to the Wire
Although the Texans have a 4-0 division record, there is still plenty of football left to play, and a win on New Year’s Day by the Titans will give them the division championship. Coached by Bill O’Brien, the Texans started the 2016 season strong and have now claimed victory over the Bears, Chiefs, Titans, Colts (twice) Lions and Jaguars. Losses have come courtesy of the Patriots, Vikings, Broncos, Raiders, Chargers and Packers.
As the playoff picture continues to come into focus,the next two weeks will see the Texans at home in a rematch with the Jaguars (2-11) and this season’s first game against the Bengals (5-7-1), before finishing the regulation season on the road with a rematch against the Titans (7-6).
Founded in 2002, the Texans are an expansion team, created after Houston’s previous franchise, the Houston Oilers moved to Nashville and became the Tennessee Titans. Division rivals are the Indianapolis Colts, Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Texans home base is NRG Stadium, a multi-purpose stadium built in 2002 boasting the NFL’s first retractable roof. Home to the Texans, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, the Texas Bowl, host of international soccer matches (including matches in the 2016 COPA America Centennial tournament), and various other events, the stadium has a capacity to seat 71,795.
After a slow start in the early 2000’s, by 2011 the team clinched its first playoff berth as AFC South division champions. In 2012 and 2015, the Texans again won their division. In addition to their division rivals, the Texans have an intrastate rivalry with the Dallas Cowboys, against whom the Texas Governor’s Cup is contested for in-state bragging rights. (The Texans have claimed victory in six of the 13 contests that have been held).
Texans Commemorative Coin
C. Forbes, Inc. is proud to have designed and produced a custom, commemorative Texans challenge coin for the second time. The latest coins were presented on December 8th, and feature the “We Are Texans” slogan, with a Texans helmet hoisted in Houston’s NRG Stadium. Prominent on the coin is the team’s mascot, Toro, an abstract depiction of a bull’s head, split in a way that resembles the Texas state flag, including a lone star for the eye, and 5 points representing pride, courage, strength, tradition, and independence.
Having hosted Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004, the 2017 Super Bowl LI will be played at NRG Stadium on February 5th. Can the Texans hope to be one of the contenders?
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