Who Are The Houston Texans' Biggest Rivals?
The youngest franchise in the National Football league (NFL), the Houston Texans have only been around since 2002. Thus, they have not had as much time to develop historical rivalries as teams like the Green Bay Packers or the Chicago Bears. Nonetheless, they still have made some enemies in their short time in the league. They play in the AFC South division, and since they play those teams twice every year, those three teams have become their biggest rivals. Find more information on each of the rivalries below.
The first rival on this list is also the only one of the three who Houston has beaten more times than they have lost to them in their history. The Jacksonville Jaguars have played against the Texans 42 times since Houston came into the league in 2002. In those 42 meetings, Houston has come out on top in 28 of them compared to just 14 victories for Jacksonville.
Their first 17 matchups were virtually even, with Jacksonville winning nine and Houston winning eight. Since 2011, however, Houston has won a ridiculous 20 out of 25 meetings between the teams. This includes a stretch of nine wins in a row for the Texans that lasted from 2018 to 2022 and was just snapped on January 1st, 2023. Clearly, while Houston has not had much success since they came into the league, they have enjoyed their meetings with the Jaguars.
The next opponent for the Texans on this list is also the only one of three who they have met in the postseason. Like Houston and Jacksonville, the Indianapolis Colts have played against Houston 42 times in the regular season in addition to one postseason matchup in 2019. This series has not been a fun one for Texans fans over the years, as the Colts have defeated Houston 32 times in 43 matchups, compared to just ten wins for Houston and one tie in 2022.
The domination started from the beginning, as they managed just two field goals combined in their first two meetings with the Colts. The Texans lost their first nine matchups with them, as well as 15 of the initial 16. This was often a matchup of a young franchise in Houston going up against a perennial Super Bowl contender in the Colts, so the domination is not a surprise.
The teams did meet one time in the postseason in 2019. That year, in the Wild Card Round, the Texans fell behind to the Colts 21-0 at halftime and ended up losing 21-7. This season, while both teams struggled, the Texans did manage something they had only done one other time in their franchise history (2016): they did not lose either matchup with Indianapolis. They tied their first matchup, and then Houston won the second meeting by one point. Houston fans are certainly hoping this is a sign of things to come in the future.
The final rival for Houston is the Tennessee Titans, the team that they have been the most evenly matched with over the years. The two teams have 42 regular season matchups throughout their history. The Titans hold a slight edge in the series with 23 wins against just 19 losses. Similar to the Colts matchups, it did not start off great for Houston early on. They lost the first four meetings and 11 of the first 13 games between the two franchises. Since then, however, they have turned it around and won 17 of the last 29 meetings, including a stretch of eight out of nine wins from 2012 to 2016.
The two teams split their two regular-season meetings in 2022, further adding to the even nature of the series in recent seasons. Both franchises struggled, with both teams missing the playoffs and Houston having just three wins and the Titans having just seven. Each of their fan bases will be looking for bounce-back seasons in 2023.
Who is the biggest rival of the Houston Texans?
When factoring both evenness of the series and geography, the Texans’ greatest rival is likely the Tennessee Titans. Due to the relatively young age of the Texans franchise and their lack of postseason success, it is difficult to select a number-one rival for the Texans. However, the Titans are the closest foe to the Texans of their three divisional rivals in terms of distance. Tennessee holds a slight edge in the overall series matchup between the teams, with 23 wins to the Texans’ 19 wins.