The Houston Texans underwent a steep fall from grace.
In 2019, they won their fourth AFC South division title with a 10-6 record.
That the franchise existed for only 18 seasons by that time made the feat more impressive.
1. Popcorn 2. Coke Freeze frame (icee) 3. Sour patch kids https://t.co/GryCUIN7FB
— Matt Schaub (@matt8schaub) June 29, 2021
But it seems as if those glory days are a distant memory by looking at how they fare at the present.
Under head coach David Culley, the Texans are on a five-game losing streak after winning their season opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Worst, they only scored three points in their latest defeat versus the Indianapolis Colts.
— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) October 17, 2021
Their woes on offense are no secret as they rank 29th in total yards per game (294.3) and 31st in points per game (15.3).
The defense also struggled to stop anyone, ranking 27th in points allowed per game at 28.7.
Unfortunately, it looks like their losing skid won’t end in Week 7 because they will be going on the road to face the undefeated Arizona Cardinals.
Coincidentally, the 6-0 Cardinals feature arguably two of the greatest players in Texans history.
DeAndre and J.J. Looking For Payback
NFL fans point to the DeAndre Hopkins trade as the start of the Texans’ demise.
Before that transaction, Hopkins was already a four-time Pro Bowler and three-time First-Team All-Pro.
He had six 1,000-yard seasons with Houston, including his stellar 2018 campaign, where he finished with 1,572 yards and 11 touchdowns.
#TBT: 9 Rec. 238 Yds. 2 TDs.
WR DeAndre Hopkins went OFF in Week 13 last year.
— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) July 16, 2015
In his final season with the Texans, the wide receiver from Clemson still had 1,165 yards and seven scores in 15 games.
However, Texans head coach and general manager Bill O’Brien saw those numbers as an indication of a player in “decline.”
Therefore, he traded Hopkins to the Cardinals for a measly package of running back David Johnson, a second-round pick in 2020, and a fourth-rounder in 2021.
Since trading away DeAndre Hopkins, the Houston Texans are 5-17 as an organization.
Meanwhile, the Arizona Cardinals are 14-8.
— PHNX Cardinals (@PHNX_Cardinals) October 22, 2021
Houston finished the 2020 season at 4-12 while Hopkins became a Second-Team All-Pro with Arizona.
During that year, J.J. Watt had a famous rant to call his teammates for their lack of effort.
After the season, he asked for his release from the Texans and signed with the Cardinals.
But he’s not looking for retribution against his former team because he barely knows the people on the current roster.
WATCH:@JJWatt goes on an explosive rant about the state of the team.
Watt is upset at the product the Texans are putting on the field for the fans: pic.twitter.com/VFDB34rhUs
— Ari Alexander (@KPRC2Ari) December 27, 2020
He acknowledged his contributions to the franchise, but Watt admitted in an interview that it’s a different team from the time he was there for ten seasons.
Hopkins and Watt represent an era when you’d see the Texans on top of the AFC South standings.
They led the team to playoff appearances almost every year, and they’ve built their stellar careers in Houston.
It must feel weird for Texans fans to see them on the other side.
"How about instead of making excuses for why we win, maybe were just f—ing better!"
J.J. Watt says there's a reason the Cardinals are 6-0 👀
— ESPN (@espn) October 22, 2021
They can only reminisce when Hopkins catches a touchdown pass, or Watt completes a game-changing tackle against their squad.
But for those two, Houston is just another victim in their march to perfection.