Tennessee Titans vs. Houston Texans

Daniel Collins

Written by: Daniel Collins

Last Updated:

Read Time: 4 minutes

The rivalry between the Tennessee Titans and Houston Texans is a unique one, due to the circumstances surrounding both cities. Before moving to Nashville, the Tennessee Titans were the Houston Oilers, and many long-time Houston football fans have never forgiven the team for their relocation.

However, in 2002 the NFL expanded and realigned divisions, once again giving Houston a football team named the Texans. The realignment of divisions placed the Titans and the Texans in the AFC South, guaranteeing that the harsh feelings would not go away, as the two teams would play each other twice a year. Fans in Houston still quarrel today over which franchise was better.

Due to the high levels of debate between the two teams, betting on the matchup has been pretty popular.

Titans vs. Texans Stats

Tennessee currently leads the all-time series against the Texans with a 22-18 mark. Tennessee jumped out to a huge advantage in this regard as the Texans were getting their feet underneath them, but the Texans are steadily closing the lead. The 2000’s saw the Titans race out to a 12-4 advantage in the series, buoyed by separate four-game and seven-game win streaks over Houston.

The 2010’s saw the tide sway back in favor of the Texans. Houston went 13-7 against Tennessee in the 2010’s, including two four-game winning streaks in a stretch where they took eight of nine from Tennessee. The Texans swept the season series three times in the 2010’s, most recently in 2015.

The 2020’s have started well for the Titans. They swept the season series in 2020 for the first time since 2007. They have taken 3 of 4 meetings with Houston since the 2020 season got underway. The news surrounding the rivalry has been quiet, but with both teams competing in the AFC South, it hasn’t always been that way.

Titans vs. Texans History

In 1996, the Houston Oilers saw their fan base significantly decline, and so ownership moved the team to the Music City. Many fans, saw the movement of the team as a stab in the back, and those feelings have never died down. The 2002 season was the first season that both the Tennessee Titans and Houston Texans took the field after expansion brought a franchise back to Houston.

Tennessee, the more stable franchise, jumped out to an early lead in the series, winning the first four games by a combined score of 95-54, including a 13-3 victory in Tennessee’s first return to Houston in six years. The two teams were on opposite ends of the spectrum in Houston’s first two seasons as a franchise.

In the Texans’ first two seasons, they went 4-12 and 5-11 and the Titans went 11-5 and 12-4. In large part, the Titans dominated the Texans in the 2000’s as the Texans struggled to get their feet on the ground, despite being led by #1 overall draft pick David Carr. The Titans finished the decade with a 12-4 advantage over Houston, including a seven-game winning streak from 2005–2008. The Texans’ first winning season as a franchise did not come until they finished 9-7 in 2009.

Despite the one-sided nature of the Titans vs. Texans rivalry in the 2000’s, the 2010’s opened up violently. Starting as early as 2009, some true bad blood developed between the two franchises. In 2009, there were fights and ejections before the Texans escaped with a 34-31 victory in Nashville. On November 28, 2010, Texans receiver Andre Johnson, and Titans cornerback Cortland Finnegan, exchanged blows after a play and were both ejected for their part in the fist fight. The Texans went on to win that game 20-0 over Tennessee, and many people look back to that game as a turning point in the rivalry history.

Since that infamous game, the Texans have gone on to win fourteen of the twenty-two matchups between the two teams in the 2010’s. That includes two four-game winning streaks interrupted by a lone Titans win in 2013. Since the beginning of the 2016 season, the teams have split the season series 5 out of 6 times, with each team protecting their home field. In 2017, the Texans beat the Titans by a score of 57-14 in Houston, the biggest win in series history. Tennessee has not swept the season series against Houston since the 2020 season.

As the 2022 season approaches, both teams are on a different track. The NFL is more competitive than ever, and the AFC south is one of the divisions to watch as it is expected to be a tight race.

Titans vs. Texans Highlights

The Titans vs. Texans rivalry did not start out as heated as many thought it would, but history has shown us that this rivalry is at its best when both teams are playing good football. There is no reason to believe that these two forever-connected franchises will not be competing for playoff berths for many seasons to come.

The Titans are coming off of a season where they clinched the #1 seed in the AFC. They would eventually lose in the Divisional Round to the Cincinnati Bengals, but they had plenty to be proud of during the regular season. They currently have one of the best running backs in the league, Derrick Henry, and a quarterback who has shown potential throughout his entire career.

The Texans have been on the downward slide, but they have potential with a new quarterback at the helm. Davis Mills showed excellent talent during the 2021 season, and he even got the team out of the cellar in the AFC. Good draft picks came from the struggle, and the rebuilding franchise will surely have more success in the years to come.