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The First 15 Seasons: Looking Back at 2002

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  • The First 15 Seasons: Looking Back at 2002


    What a boring time to be a big football fan. This time of year sucks. Times like these I usually break out some old tapes or load up something old on Youtube to get my fix. I figured while there is nothing going on we could look back at the little 15 year history our Texans have put together, starting with the inaugural season in 2002. Post any memories you have about any games, moments, players, or anything else for any new Texans fans that weren't around back then, or any Clemson fans that have recently jumped on our wagon. Every couple of days I'll start another thread for each of our first 15 seasons.

    One question I have about this season is what do you think would have happened if Houston took Julious Peppers instead of David Carr with the #1 pick? Where would David Carr have gone? How good would this defense have been those early years? Who would have been our starting QB? Do we still take Andre #1 in 2003 or go for one of those QB's in that draft? If so what happens to AJ's career? Ready... go!

  • #2
    Funny to think the Texans almost didn't even happen. The expansion team was supposed to go to LA but from what I remember the people behind the LA team put together a crappy plan that the NFL didn't like, Mcnair stole the franchise away with a huge offer if I remember correctly. I was browsing the Texans section of Reddit a few months ago and was surprised to see a thread there with fans talking about how they wanted to change the Texans unis and some people even saying they wished the other names like the Apollos or Roustabouts would have been taken over Texans. That's crazy to me, the Texans uniforms/color scheme and the name Texans is all perfect to me, I hope they never change those uni's.

    I wonder what the NFL would look like today if that LA group had put together a better plan and made it happen. We would probably still not have a football team in Houston unless maybe the Chargers or Rams moved here recently, which I doubt they would have. I see a lot of criticism from Houston fans and media for Bob Mcnair, some of it may be deserved but for me the guy will always get a lifetime pass for making the Texans happen. I don't think people realize how close we all were to sitting here with nothing for the past 15 years.

    I was a big Oilers fan in the early 90's, my family was from Houston, I was born there and was raised there for my early years of my childhood. I was sick in the hospital with asthma when the Oilers vs Bills 92 playoff game happened, so I was strapped into a hospital bed with IV and had no choice but to lay there and watch that entire game(usually would only watch parts of games before getting outside to actually play football when I was a kid). It was quite a game, one of the games that got me interested in football to begin with. I was all about those Oilers in 1993, would get up early in the mornings and read the newspapers and watch the Jack Pardee show, and I would write about them in my notebooks. My heart was broken when we lost to the Chiefs in that playoff game that year, still one of the most painful losses as a football fan even though I was only 9 years old back then, it was the only time I probably almost cried over a football game.

    Then they sucked in 1994(I loved Bucky Richardson though!) and my family moved away from Houston in 1995 so I never heard anything about them except for all the drama about them leaving town for Tennessee. Seems like I remember people talking about the Oilers leaving Houston as far back as 1994 though. Either way they were gone after the 1996 season. I hated the Tennessee Oilers, that was a terrible time, I started liking the Redskins after the Oilers left because screw the Cowboys. When the Redskins got terrible in 1998 I stopped watching football altogether, didn't get back into it until the 1999 playoffs(which were great). I hated the Titans and considered them sell outs for leaving Houston, while it seemed like everybody in the small northeastern Texas town I lived in at the time had jumped hard on their bandwagon in 1999, it was sickening. Never in my life have I ever seen so many bandwagon fans than I did back then for those Titans. Man I still hate that team.

    The rumblings for the Texans becoming a thing started to come about in 1999-2000, by 2001 we had a name and uniforms and a helmet, I was pumped. Then in Summer 2002 I moved back to Houston to live with some relatives. One of their friends had season tickets to the Texans and had to work on the days of the first 2 preseason games so they gave them to us so we could go. We got to the first game against Miami late. The people I was with were drinking that day and were wasted by the time we got there, we had to leave early because they got sick, I honestly can't even remember much about it because of all that. What I do remember is just such a great atmosphere with the people in that stadium, it was just something in the air in Houston back then, truly a magical time, people were so stoked and excited to have the NFL back. The second game though against Tampa Bay we got there early and had a blast, got to see them run out of the tunnel and everything and the crowd was jacked. I always had a thing for the Bucs of that era so it was cool getting to see them play live, Mike Alstott is one of my favorite players of all time, seeing him run the ball live in person and seeing Chucky walk up and down the sidelines was so cool, they ended up going on to win the Super Bowl that year too. I know at one point during that game the Texans defense had Tampa backed all the way up to their own goal line right where I was sitting and the crowd got so loud for them it was amazing. It was deafening. It was an awesome experience that made me a lifetime fan, it was just great to have a hometown team back in the NFL representing your city.
    Last edited by OG 2002; 2 weeks ago.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by OG 2002 View Post
      What a boring time to be a big football fan. This time of year sucks. Times like these I usually break out some old tapes or load up something old on Youtube to get my fix. I figured while there is nothing going on we could look back at the little 15 year history our Texans have put together, starting with the inaugural season in 2002. Post any memories you have about any games, moments, players, or anything else for any new Texans fans that weren't around back then, or any Clemson fans that have recently jumped on our wagon. Every couple of days I'll start another thread for each of our first 15 seasons.

      One question I have about this season is what do you think would have happened if Houston took Julious Peppers instead of David Carr with the #1 pick? Where would David Carr have gone? How good would this defense have been those early years? Who would have been our starting QB? Do we still take Andre #1 in 2003 or go for one of those QB's in that draft? If so what happens to AJ's career? Ready... go!
      And I bring you the 2002 Texans draft that could have been. We could of been a contender!

      1.)Julius Peppers
      33.)Will Witherspoon or Clinton Portis
      83.)Brian Westbrook
      99.)Alex Brown
      136.) Rocky Bernard
      153.)Aaron Campman
      173.)Justin Hartwig
      190.)Chester Taylor
      229.)James Harrison
      And Mr Irrelevant-Bart Scott

      We run the wishbone with Portis, Westbrook. and Taylor. Who needs a quarterback I say! lol

      Mostly what i remember is us losing on the last drive of almost every home game for years. Heck, away games too. Me griping about Petey Faggins for years that never played another down for anyone else after we finally cut him loose. The sickening feeling you had when Carr would curl up in a ball even though no one was even around him. And how every team he went to automatically became the worst oline in the league. There really wasn't a lot of good times in the last decade to be fondly remembering.

      I think the Pollard signing was the beginning of us finally having an identity which is still being developed as being a defense first team. Still not there yet but we have made strides. I remember the wave at the stadium when we beat the colts. lol That was fun. I remember the Elvis guy that sat in the bull pen. There just isn't a lot of great memories that this team has given us fans. But maybe we'll get there. My heart is still with the Oilers. Sure we got cheated out of our SB appearance with the Renfro catch, but they were exciting and competitive and always had a chance to win. This team just has not achieved any of that and brings fear to no team out there. When other teams see us on their schedule, they are licking their chops or simply chalking it up to an easy win. It would be nice to continue to win this division year after year and make some real noise int he playoffs and even more. But until we do, no one is afraid of the Texans. I can't wait to see Savage prove how good he is to all the doubters. No clue how he will do that with no oline.

      I am also excited about having Watson. I hope he pans out.

      My fondest memories of this team all boil around some of the amazing catches Andre has made throughout the years. Sorry, the video contains 2 highlights in a Titans jersey.

      The helmetless tackle by Braman,

      JJ Watt making a play

      Then there were moments like these
      The rosencopter melt down.


      Bring on the Superbowl victory. Some of us Houstonians have been waiting a very very long time. It's time.
      Last edited by Yosarian; 2 weeks ago.
      Want to learn everything about the Texans cap? There is no better site out there than this one. Thanks Troy. Amazing work buddy!
      TexansCap.com

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      • #4
        Texans just have humble beginnings. They've given me plenty of great memories, starting with the very first game. The Texans first game against Dallas in 2002 is still my favorite game in Texans history and one of my favorite NFL games of all time. The atmosphere in that stadium for that game was unreal. The crowd was electric as any crowd in NFL history.

        The full game for anyone who hasn't seen it: https://youtu.be/QX4_CMiSvdQ

        Hands down one of my favorite games in NFL history, that crowd! The looks on Jerry Jones face throughout the game are priceless!

        First touchdown in Texans history, great moment, almost like a scene out of a movie: https://youtu.be/QX4_CMiSvdQ?t=3m28s

        Game tied at 10-10 in the 4th quarter and Derek Carr's big bro makes Texans memories here, what a great moment this was: https://youtu.be/QX4_CMiSvdQ?t=1h36m54s

        ^That touchdown is my best memory of that game. I still remember when that happened all the people in the apartment complex I was in were cheering, you could hear them in the apartments next door and people stomping on the floor in the apartment up stairs.

        So we pulled ahead 17-10 and pinned Dallas deep with a punt with a little over 3 minutes left and then sealed it with a safety, aided by Gary Walker, who played for the Houston Oilers in their final years in 95-96(the only Texan that ever played for the Oilers): https://youtu.be/QX4_CMiSvdQ?t=1h59m43s

        Good times, hell of a way to start a new NFL team in Houston. David Carr is thought of as a huge bust but man there were a lot of great moments with him in those first 3 years. They definitely should have drafted his little bro.

        The last few seconds of that video are priceless, Emmitt Smith walking off the field defeated, and that look on Jerry Jones' face, man he was so mad.

        Excellent.This all still gives me goosebumps.

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        • #5
          Some of the most memorable games in the Texans early years were games that we lost. The game against Buffalo was one that I remember well from 2002, really great game. We were up 17-3 in the 2nd quarter but Buffalo came back and tied it 17-17 after the half. We went up 24-17 later on(Carr played really well that day) but Bledsoe won it for Buffalo with 2 touchdown passes late in the game to take it 31-24. That was one of Bledsoe's finest years, he played with a bit of a chip on his shoulder after being moved out of New England for Tom Brady, he was really on it that day against Houston.

          The win over Dallas in game 1 was great but the two games on the 2002 schedule that I had circled were the Tennessee Titans games. The first one in Tennessee was a close one, we were behind 10-17 and had the ball around midfield in the final minute but Carr threw an interception. The defense started to really come together around that point in the season, we beat playoff teams in the Steelers and Giants mostly because of the defense, the win over Pittsburgh was interesting because we beat them 24-6, all 3 touchdowns were scored by the defense, a fumble recovery for a TD by Kenny Wright and then 2 interceptions returned for touchdowns by Aaron Glenn, one for 65 yards and another for 70. David Carr went 3 of 10 for 33 passing yards and we still won 24-6 over a second round playoff team, we had a good defense back in those first years but the offense was so bad nobody could tell.

          So we got swept by the Titans and finished 4-12 in year one. Still the big win over Dallas and wins over the Giants and Steelers who were really good that year. I was really excited about this team, I thought David Carr would be an elite QB, dude took a beating that first year, set the record for most times sacked but still got up and started all 16 games(one of only maybe 4 QB's that did that year if I remember correctly).
          Last edited by OG 2002; 1 week ago.

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          • #6
            As far as the first draft goes I do think with 20/20 hindsight they should have taken Peppers, considering the fact that he played at such a high level for so long(he's still in the league is he not?). They were really not ready for a rookie quarterback. The expansion draft they had some great veterans on the defensive side but there was nobody on the offensive side except for Tony Boselli, which turned out to be a flop(did he ever even play a game?). They had no offensive line, no running backs or receivers. Should have just taken Peppers and have that defense together and then build the offense as they went along those first 3 years. Peppers, Sharper, Walker, Aaron Glenn, I think Peppers was the piece that pushed that D over into a serious threat those first 3 years. They would have been knocking on the door of the playoffs even with Tony Banks at QB.

            So if Peppers goes to Houston, I'm going to say maybe Carr ends up going to Detroit or Washington. David Carr playing in Washington is an interesting scenario to consider. He would have been playing for Steve Spurrier those first 2 years but by 2004 they've got Joe Gibbs and Joe Bugel back together with a pretty nice offensive line with Jon Jansen and Chris Samuels, plus Clinton Portis and Santana Moss eventually. And Chris Cooley was a great tight end. So I think Carr would have been in a far better scenario had Houston taken Peppers, unless maybe Detroit takes him over Harrington(which there was probably a really strong chance they would have). Other QB's that would have been there for Houston in the 2nd/3rd round were David Garrard and Josh Mccown. This would have had major effect on the 2003 draft though, maybe they would have finished with a worse record and had a chance to get Carson Palmer or maybe that defense pushes them to a better record and they draft later. Maybe McCown or Garrard plays really well and they take Andre Johnson still, or maybe they take Byron Leftwitch or Kyle Boller or Rex Grossman. If Texans don't take Andre in 2003 I think he probably goes to Arizona, they took WR in first and second rounds.

            Also something else I just thought of, if Carr goes to Washington and plays well then that free's up a really good veteran QB that was going to be on the market in 2004, Mark Brunell. I think Washington actually traded for him in 2004 so not sure if that would have happened for Houston(trading within the division with Jax) but he would have been a good guy to go for those years, he was ok in 2005-2006.
            Last edited by OG 2002; 1 week ago.

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            • #7

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              • #8
                Originally posted by OG 2002 View Post
                One question I have about this season is what do you think would have happened if Houston took Julious Peppers instead of David Carr with the #1 pick?
                Too much time has passed for me to go back and reshuffle now.

                And I wouldn't advocate for any move that could trickle down to us not drafting Andre Johnson, who I consider to be the GOAT WR.

                Originally posted by OG 2002 View Post
                Funny to think the Texans almost didn't even happen. The expansion team was supposed to go to LA but from what I remember the people behind the LA team put together a crappy plan that the NFL didn't like...
                Owners had voted and LA was actually granted the franchise over us. After months and many visits to LA for updates, Tagliabue called McNair/Patterson and told them they were still in the hunt. LA group eventually offered $500+ million and McNair blew them away putting $700 million on the table. Owners re-voted and we won.

                Originally posted by OG 2002 View Post
                Texans just have humble beginnings. They've given me plenty of great memories, starting with the very first game. The Texans first game against Dallas in 2002 is still my favorite game in Texans history and one of my favorite NFL games of all time. The atmosphere in that stadium for that game was unreal. The crowd was electric as any crowd in NFL history.

                The full game for anyone who hasn't seen it: https://youtu.be/QX4_CMiSvdQ
                Still the most excited I've been at a game. I was yelling trying to talk to people around our seats and nobody could hear anything. My ears rang for two days after that game.

                And Jerry Jones cried. What a beginning!
                In 2016 Brock Osweiler was rated last (32nd) among all QBs (>400 attempts) by ProFootballFocus and ranked 33rd/34 QBs (>200 attempts) by Football Outsiders.

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