The Texans–Titans rivalry is an intense rivalry, pitting the Tennessee Titans (formerly based in Houston as the Houston Oilers) with Houston's present-day team, the Texans. The 2002 expansion and conference realignment by the NFL put a new team into Houston. With the expansion Texans in place, the NFL's realignment created the AFC South and put the two teams together as division rivals. The Titans lead the series 18–16. The two teams have not met in the postseason.
The roots can be planted back to 1996, when the former Houston Oilers relocated to Tennessee and rebranded the franchise as the Titans in 1999. Houston was awarded a new franchise in 2002 dubbed the Texans, and fans have quarreled over who was the better team in Houston.
In the 2006 NFL Draft the Houston Texans picked Defensive End Mario Williams 1st overall over Quarterback prospect Vince Young. Young has since stated that he would not have declared for the draft had he known that Houston would not have picked him. In Vince Young's first game played at Houston he ran for a 39-yard TD run in overtime giving the Titans the win.
The bitterness of the rivalry has led to fistfights between the teams during games. One notable fight was on November 28, 2010, when Texans receiver Andre Johnson and Titans cornerback Cortland Finnegan exchanged blows after a play and were ejected. The Texans finished that game 20–0.
The rivalry became more competitive in 2011 as both teams were in the hunt for the division title most of the year. In Week 7, the Titans hosted the Texans in a match-up for the division lead and was the home field favorite while Houston was coming off of a 2-game losing streak. The Texans won 41–7 and went on to win the division that year. In Week 17, Houston hosted Tennessee; the Titans had to win to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Titans won on a botched two-point conversion try by the Texans, who were trying for the win. Due to the playoff scenarios, the Titans missed the playoffs. If Tennessee had qualified to play in the NFL playoffs, they would have played the Texans in the AFC Wild-Card round.
In 2018, the Texans won the AFC South at 11-5, and split with Tennessee. The Texans would play either the Titans or Colts in the upcoming Wild Card game, depending on the Sunday Night Football winner between the two. The Colts won 33-17, eliminating the Titans from the playoffs at 9-7 and setting up a wild-card match between the Texans and Colts. Had the Titans won, it would've been the first meeting in the playoffs between the two teams, similar to 2011.
|Houston Texans vs. Tennessee Titans Season-by-Season Results|
2000s (Titans, 12–4)
2010s (Texans, 12–6)
Summary of Results
|Culture and lore|
|Division championships (5)|
|Current league affiliations|
|Division championships (9)|
|Conference championships (1)|
|League championships (2)|
|Current league affiliations|
|Former league affiliation|
Championship seasons in bold