Someone asked me if Texans-Bills is a rivalry. This question was based on the fact that this is the 10th meeting - plus the Texans added to the mix with their come-from-behind playoff victory less than two years ago.
Some of you will point to the Oilers' playoff meltdown at Buffalo in the early 90s. But I do believe this era of Houston professional football should stand on its own. I also think that if the Texans ever meet up with Pittsburgh in an AFC Championship game, it's impossible not to summon Bum Phillips' 'kick the door in' line.
The Texans and Bills first hooked up in '02 and '03. Drew Bledsoe was the quarterback for Buffalo. The Texans would see him again in '06 when he started for Dallas.
The teams each took wins on the opponent's fields. The Texans victory in '03 in Orchard Park stands out to me because David Carr got hurt and Tony Banks came in to finish a low-scoring 12-10 triumph. Houston was all banged up on both sides of the ball but gutted out a win.
The opener in '05 was at Buffalo and Houston fell hard on its way to a 2-14 season. The Texans would lose the next year at home when J.P. Losman hit Peerless Price for a last-second game-winning score.
The Texans won three in a row after that, including a 2014 win highlighted by a J.J. Watt pick-six.
Here's where things got even more intense – in 2015, the Texans, who had come back from the dead, starting 2-5 and winning four in a row, went to Buffalo only to have Tyrod Taylor throw three touchdown passes in a stinging loss for Houston. Taylor would get a Pro Bowl invite and it's a shame he can't play this weekend against the first team that gave him a shot to start.
The 2018 game was the last regular-season matchup until now. A stingy Bills defense held Houston to 13 points and it was a Johnathan Joseph pick-six that put the Texans in front for good with 90 seconds to go.
The playoff game that capped the 2019 season saw a Bills 16-0 lead evaporate in the second half and the Texans pulled out a 22-19 epic overtime win. Don't think that the Bills have forgotten the missed opportunity. They went to the AFC Championship game last season and lost to the Chiefs, who they will face next week while the Texans host the Patriots.
For now, it's another chapter in this Texans-Buffalo saga. The storylines are rich, even without Taylor. David Culley was the QB coach when the Bills snapped their 17-year playoff drought in 2017. More connections are here.
The Texans will face the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium in Week 4. Kickoff is set for Sunday at noon CT.
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Check out the best photos from the Houston Texans practice on Wednesday.