With the Houston Texans looming large on the Denver Broncos schedule this week, we'll be looking at the first time these two teams faced off. While the video above isn't from that meeting, of the three time they have previously played, it's certainly the most memorable and is well worth mentioning.
Coming into the league in 2002 as an expansion team, the Texans aimed to fill the void created in 1996 when the Oilers departed for Nashville and became the Titans. It wouldn't be until 2004 that the Broncos would get their first crack at Houston's new franchise.
Stick with me after the jump to find out how the Denver Broncos fared in that game.
As with most expansion franchises, the Houston Texans have been a perennial doormat in the NFL. On a typically chilly afternoon on November 7, 2004, they entered Invesco Field at Mile High with just 13 total wins from their two and a half season of play. Their poor offensive line and overall lack of talent plagued them, essentially, up until last year. Though, their struggles, at the time, couldn't be attributed to their wide receiver drafted in the 2nd round of their inaugural 2002 draft, #86 Jabar Gaffney (you may recall that MHR designated Gaffney the greatest Denver Bronco to ever wear the #10).
The Texans' offense struggled. Sack prone QB David Carr was put on his back four times by Kelly Herndon, Marco Coleman, Luther Eliss, and Reggie Hayward. Carr was just 21 of 44 passes for 241 yards and no touchdowns. The only scoring plays were touchdown runs by RB Dominick Williams, both from a yard out. Williams had 71 yards on 19 attempts. With numbers like these, credit has to go to the Broncos defense for doing a great job to stymie the Texans offense in this game - they even shut down a two point conversion attempt at the end of the game.
Offensively, the Broncos and QB Jake Plummer absolutely bombed the Texans. Jake the Snake threw for 4 touchdowns, each to a different receiver - TE Jeb Putzier, WR Ashley Lelie (how'd that holdout and trade work out, Ashley?), WR Rod Smith and RB Kyle Johnson (who would switch to FB the following year). RB Ruben Droughns had a great day, amassing 120 yards on 21 attempts. Jason Elam was reliable as always, nailing all four extra points and a 52 yard field goal.
In the end, the Denver Broncos would come out on top in this one, 31-13. Looking forward to this Sunday's matchup, I'm excited that a WR that had three catches for 29 yards and a touchdown in their first meeting, Rod Smith, will be inducted into the Ring-of-Fame. Here's hoping that the Broncos can dominate this time, the way they did the first time.