Last week I wrote about the Top 5 crowd experience games in Texans history. This week it's the Top 5 toughest road environments we've seen all-time.
Some of these are for a game, others for a period of history. Yes, better opponents make for tougher environments but these seem to be doozies no matter what.
The Texans played one game at the Vet. It was in the inaugural year and pitted David Carr against Donovan McNabb. It was cool to experience that. There was also a game at the Linc in '10 which was entertaining with Matt Schaub slinging it against Michael Vick. But the Philly crowd's teeth really came out in the late season showdown in 2018 when Nick Foles was able to win the game with a field goal drive. Every fan was in their seat prior to kick and it was just one of those games where you felt you needed to beat the opponent and their customers.
4. Kansas City
The Texans have won at Arrowhead twice. But even when you win you feel like your ears lost. It's ridiculously loud and when you stand on the field prior to the game it feels like the crowd is on top of you maybe more than any other stadium. The distance between the endzone corners and the stands seems shorter than your average social distancing requirement.
The crowd is cold, cranky and cacophonous. No matter what the record is, Bills Mafia shows up and lets you know you are not going to enjoy your visit. Even during wins in '03 and '09 the place was electric and a victory felt extra special.
2. New England
Playoffs in '12, playoffs in '16 - Both occasions teased us. In each game the Texans were able to maneuver their way into being down 17-13 at the half. The second halves were not pleasant. When the Pats have the game in hand they blast The Outfield's "Your Love" (otherwise known as 'Josie') over the P.A. system and throw an infuriating party. Someday we will see a Houston win there and it will be so sweet.
1. Indianapolis – RCA Dome
It didn't have the mystique of Lambeau Field. Heck, it didn't even have the mystique of Ford Field. But make no mistake, with Peyton Manning at the helm this was a nearly impossible place to win. The 'gym' only held a little over 60,000 but sounded like double that. And they were well schooled too. When Manning and the offense were on the field you could hear a pin drop. It was like golf. Beating Indy on the road is still tough but the stadium itself doesn't possess the same threat.
Honorable mention – Denver, Seattle, Green Bay, Cleveland
The 2021 Houston Texans rookies hit the field for the first time today.