The Houston Texans Mt. Rushmore

After a slow start, the Texans franchise is starting to find its footing in the NFL.

If the Houston Texans were a person, they’d probably be getting their temporary driver’s license right now and probably entering their freshman year of high school. The Texans played their first season in 2002. In the last 15 seasons they’ve won 3 AFC South Division titles and made the playoffs 3 times. 

While the city of Houston has an accomplished pro football history, the newest Houston franchise doesn’t. Like most teenagers, they haven’t done much, because their future is still ahead of them. But there have been a few men who have helped steered the team in the right direction, and should be acknowledge as so.

Here is the Houston Texans Mount Rushmore.

CRITERIA:
  • No owners, unless they were also coaches, and their place on this list is based on their contributions as coach. No General Managers or Personnel executives. Just those who directly affected the games on Sunday. I will make a separate list for those contributors soon.
  • Key contributors to the team’s history and success, not just fan favorites or box office draws.
  • Can you tell the franchise’s story without them? If no, they’re on the list.

Andre Johnson (2003-2014) is the team’s all-time career leader in games started (169), catches (1,012), receiving yards (13,597) and receiving touchdowns (64). Johnson holds 8 franchise records, and five NFL Records. He is the only wide receiver to catch 60+ passes in his first 8 seasons, have the most games with 10+ receptions in a season (7), have the most seasons with 100+ receptions (5), the most seasons with 100+ receptions and 1,400+ yards (4) and the most games with 10+ receptions.

Johnson is a 7-time Pro-Bowler (2004, 2006, 2008-2010, 2012, 2013), 5-time Houston Texans Team MVP, 4-time All-Pro 2006, 2008, 2009, 2012) and 3-time NFL Alumni Wide Receiver of the Year (2006,2008,2009). Johnson has spent last season with AFC South Division rival the Indianapolis Colts, and will spend this season with another division rival, the Tennessee Titans.

J.J. Watt (2011-Present) in just four short seasons has made his impact as the best defensive player in team history, and is now working his way up the All-Time list. His 74.5 career sacks, and 15 forced fumbles are the most in team history. His 298 solo tackles ranks him fourth. In 2014, he became the only player in NFL history to have two 20+ sack seasons in a career. The 3-time AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year (2012,2014,2015) is also a 4-time Pro-Bowler (2012-2015) and a 4-time 1st-team All-Pro (2012-2015).

Arian Foster (2009-2015) had an injury plague last couple of seasons in H-Town, but the former undrafted running back is the Texans all-time leader in rushing yards (6,472), rushing touchdowns (54) and carries (1454). Foster is a 4-time Pro-Bowler (2010-2012, 2014), 2-time All-Pro (2010,2011), twice led the NFL in rushing touchdowns and the 2010 NFL rushing champion. Foster is the first player in NFL history to rush for more than 100 yards in his first three postseason games.

Mario Williams (2006-2011) was the first pick in the 2006 draft–a somewhat controversial pick at the time–and quickly became the Texans defensive identity. Williams is still second in franchise history in sacks (53) and forced fumbles (11). Williams made two Pro Bowls as a Texan (2008,2009) and was a 2nd-team All-Pro in 2007, the same year he was awarded the NFL Alumni Defensive Lineman of the Year.

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