What are the worst moments for each NFL franchise? Yahoo Sports provides our opinion, which you are free to disagree with (and we’re sure you will).
As collapses go, it’s tough to beat giving up 17 points in less than five minutes, but that’s exactly what the Texans did against the Peyton Manning-led Colts in 2008. Quarterback Sage Rosenfels turned the ball over three times in a five-minute stretch, a sequence highlighted by a play that would have broken Twitter in half had it existed at its current level then. Rosenfels attempted a hurdle that turned into a helicopter, a fumble and a runback for a Colts’ touchdown. Ugly from any angle.
You would think a 14-game losing streak was a bad enough fate for a team to suffer. You’d be wrong. In the middle of the 2013 season, Texans QB Matt Schaub set an NFL record that no one ever wants to approach again, throwing pick-sixes in four consecutive games. Schaub gifted the Titans, Ravens, Seahawks and 49ers with a touchdown apiece; his San Francisco runbacker came on his first throw of the game. Schaub got injured partway through the next game, against the Rams, but replacement T.J. Yates kept the tradition alive by throwing a pick-six in a fifth straight game. There’s being hospitable to your guests, and then there’s just plain stupid. This is a run that everyone involved would love to forget.
3. Osweiler’s agony
It’s amazing what one decent season can do for your career. When the legendary Peyton Manning struggled late in the Denver Broncos’ 2015 season, Osweiler stepped in, leading the team straight into the postseason. And while Manning would eventually take over and preside over a Super Bowl victory, Osweiler was hailed as the Next Great Thing. Shortly after that Super Bowl, the Texans signed Osweiler to a stunning four-year, $72 million contract … and Osweiler promptly vomited all over himself and the team. He started 14 of 15 games, didn’t even reach the level of “ineffective,” and got packaged off to the Browns. The misfire ground the Texans’ momentum to a halt, and a promising future had to wait a couple more seasons.
2. Watt down … again
All the pride that came from J.J. Watt’s charitable efforts in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, all the hope that arose after the Texans appeared to have both offense and defense clicking in the early games of the 2017 season … and it all came crashing down in a matter of minutes. Early in the Texans’ Week 5 game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Watt fell to the turf, grimacing in pain, and later diagnoses revealed why: a fractured tibia. He’d be out for the majority of a second straight season, the memory of his otherworldly 2014 season fading farther into the distance. Watt’s the heart, soul and conscience of the Texans – as he’ll be happy to tell you – and the fact that he’ll miss three-fourths of his team’s games over two seasons is devastating to a franchise that’s never really found its footing.
1. Fourteen straight
Houston’s 2013 season began with such hope. The team was coming off a 12-4 run and a playoff berth, and in the first game, Matt Schaub rallied the Texans to victory over San Diego from a 28-7 deficit. A win over the Titans followed, and then … nothing. Loss after loss after humiliating loss. When the season ended with a 16-10 defeat to Tennessee, Houston had lost 14 straight, matching the greatest downward season-to-season swing in NFL history. Head coach Gary Kubiak got the boot, and then-Penn State head coach Bill O’Brien was brought in to turn the woeful team’s fortunes around. He certainly couldn’t have done any worse.