Sean Pendergast

Houston Texan Fan's Guide To Rooting For Former Texans In NFL Playoffs

J.J. Watt is still one of the most popular sports figures in Houston, and he is back in the NFL playoffs.
J.J. Watt is still one of the most popular sports figures in Houston, and he is back in the NFL playoffs. Photo by Eric Sauseda
In case you hadn't heard, the Houston Texans are not in the NFL playoffs this postseason. This makes two straight seasons with the Texans on the outside looking in come playoff time, with a virtual guarantee that it will be three years in a row come NEXT January.  Needless to say, these are not great times.

So how do you muster up a rooting interest in the NFL postseason here in Houston, without turning into a completely degenerate gambler and betting on all of the games? Well, the silver lining of Bill O'Brien shipping out several of the good players in 2020, and Nick Caserio shipping out most the bad players that Bill O'Brien used to replace the good ones, is that the NFL postseason is littered with former Texans.

So let's give you some advice on how to root for the fourteen NFL playoff teams based on the former Texans on their rosters. Here we go:

ARIZONA CARDINALS – DE J.J. Watt, WR DeAndre Hopkins (IR)
The greatest player in the history of the franchise, Watt, appears to be back from the injured list for the postseason. DeAndre Hopkins is out with a leg injury, but would still get a ring if the Cardinals win the Super Bowl. Two of the most popular Texans ever. ROOTING INTEREST on ARZ: STRONGLY ROOT FOR

CINCINNATI BENGALS – CB Vernon Hargreaves, DT D.J. Reader, G Xavier Su’a-Filo
Hargreaves somehow stuck with the Texans for parts of three different seasons, and this past preseason. He was mediocre, at best. D.J. Reader left for a huge contract after getting lowballed by the Texans, and su'a-fill was one of the worst draft picks of the Rick Smith Era. However, none of them are bad guys, and big picture, Bengals fans are harmless. ROOTING INTEREST on CIN: CASUALLY ROOT FOR

BUFFALO BILLS – RB Taiwan Jones, former GM Brian Gaine
Jones made one of the biggest plays in Texans postseason history with his catch and run to set up the OT win over Buffalo (ironically). Gaine is a sympathetic figure after getting fired in his second year on the job as GM. ROOTING INTEREST on BUF: STRONGLY ROOT FOR

DALLAS COWBOYS  – P Bryan Anger, DE Carlos Watkins
Anger was the punter for a couple seasons, and Watkins has actually found a nice home in Dallas as a rotational defensive lineman. But it's the Cowboys. Screw the Cowboys. ROOTING INTEREST on DAL: STRONGLY ROOT AGAINST

TENNESSEE TITANS – RB D'Onta Foreman, LB Zach Cunningham, LB Dylan Cole, RB Dontrell Hilliard, C Ben Jones, T Kendall Lamm, G David Quessenberry, former DC Mike Vrabel
There are more 2018 Houston Texans on the Titans than there are on the Houston Texans, and that is not hyperbole or fuzzy math. A few of these guys are likable enough — Lamm, Jones, and Quessenberry, most specifically. However, the presence of Zach Cunningham (NOT likable), and the fact that Tennessee stole this team from Houston makes the rooting interest easy here. ROOTING INTEREST on TEN: STRONGLY ROOT AGAINST

The Honey Badger was a solid player in his one season in Houston, but since he's been gone, his level of "annoying" on social media is much more noticeable. The Chiefs win enough already, they don't need our rooting interest. ROOTING INTEREST on KC: CASUALLY ROOT AGAINST

SAN FRANCISCO 49ers – DE Charles Omenihu
Omenihu was one of a handful of guys, like Cunningham, who kind of emo'd his way out of town during the 2022 season. I have no interest in rooting for him. ROOTING INTEREST on SF: CASUALLY ROOT AGAINST

Brian Hoyer turned the ball over five times in his only playoff start as a Texan. The Patriots have won six Super Bowls. Screw Hoyer, screw New England. ROOTING INTEREST on NE: STRONGLY ROOT AGAINST

GREEN BAY PACKERS – WR Randall Cobb, DE Whitney Mercilus (IR)
Randall Cobb and Whitney Mercilus both acted like they were pleased from prison when they arrived in Green Bay from Houston, when in fact, both of their bloated contracts were reasons this teams sucked so badly the last two years. ROOTING INTEREST on GB: STRONGLY ROOT AGAINST

Martin had one of the worst contracts in team history, thanks to Bill O'Brien. He was also one of the most boring interviews in the history of the team. I'm glad he's gone. ROOTING INTEREST on LVG: STRONGLY ROOT AGAINST

Brooks is on injured reserve, but he's been great since leaving here in 2016. he also hated Bill O'Brien, which makes him cool in the eyes of Texans fans. ROOTING INTEREST on PHI: CASUALLY ROOT FOR

PITTSBURGH STEELERS — WR Anthony Miller, OLB John Simon
Miller was here for like four games, and Simon left several years ago. I have a tough time mustering emotion for either one. ROOTING INTEREST on PIT: NEUTRAL

LOS ANGELES RAMS – No former Texans

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Sean Pendergast is a contributing freelance writer who covers Houston area sports daily in the News section, with periodic columns and features, as well. He also hosts the morning drive on SportsRadio 610, as well as the pre-game and post game shows for the Houston Texans.
Contact: Sean Pendergast