It was the opener of Year 2. Everyone had the franchise-opening upset over Dallas still fresh in their minds. But it seemed too much to ask for an encore considering the Dolphins were nearly unbeatable at home in September at the time.
Miami was a two-touchdown favorite and some Dolphins players were talking trash before kickoff. Jabar Gaffney said that one player told him he’d see him “after today’s practice.”
Gaffney and rookie Andre Johnson were roommates and watched Miami beat Florida the night before in their hotel room. The next day, with Johnson having requested dozens of tickets for family and friends, the rookie would make a big splash in his debut.
This was an era of excellent Dolphin defense with players like Jason Taylor and Zach Thomas. But the Texans moved the ball well enough with Johnson’s six catches and the backs piling up 127 yards on the ground. Domanick Williams (Davis) was also making his debut and carried the rock six times for 36 yards.
David Carr threw for 266 yards including a 78-yard TD pass to Corey Bradford. Kris Brown kicked five field goals and hit the game-winner with 25 seconds left.
The Texans were still labeled as an expansion team, but for the second-consecutive season, shocked the NFL with an upset-opening win, this time against even greater odds. The plane ride home was bliss.
The season wouldn’t play out well. Injuries accumulated fast, Carr included. There were some sweet wins against Super Bowl-bound Carolina, Buffalo, Michael Vick-led Atlanta and Jacksonville. But the stunning opener over Miami should not be forgotten as a top moment and another reason to never assume a win is unattainable.