The penultimate game of this Texans' season is Sunday Reliant Stadium against Peyton Manning and the Broncos. The Texans and Denver have a slew of connections.
At the top, general manager Rick Smith was an assistant defensive backs coach in Denver from 1996-99. He transitioned into a role there in the personnel department from 2000-06.
Interim head coach Wade Phillips was the defensive coordinator for the Broncos from 1989-92, before taking over as head coach in 1993 and 1994.
Offensive coordinator Rick Dennison and assistant coaches Karl Dorrell, Brian Pariani, Larry Kirksey and Cedric Smith all were assistants at one point with the Broncos in the past. Dennison and offensive line assistant Jim Ryan were linebackers in Denver during the 1980's, and Ryan was an assistant there from 2004-2008.
Center Chris Myers and tackle Ryan Harris both played for the Broncos, as did linebacker Joe Mays. In fact, Mays was a Bronco last season.
On the other side, tight end Joel Dreessen and returner Trindon Holliday each spent time with the Houston Texans.
Dreessen was on the club here for five years. He caught a career-best six touchdowns in the franchise's first-ever playoff campaign in 2011. He also liked the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo.
On offense, the Broncos start a trio of Texas Tech Red Raiders in linemen Louis Vasquez and Manny Ramirez, as well as receiver Wes Welker. Outside linebacker Von Miller was a star at Texas A&M.