|2011 Houston Texans season|
|Head coach||Gary Kubiak|
|General manager||Rick Smith|
|Home field||Reliant Stadium|
|Division place||1st AFC South|
|Playoff finish||Won Wild Card Playoffs (vs. Bengals) 31-10|
Lost Divisional Playoffs (at Ravens) 13-20
The 2011 Houston Texans season was the franchise's 10th season in the National Football League and the 6th under head coach Gary Kubiak. The Texans improved on their record from the 2010 season, despite losing starting quarterback Matt Schaub & backup Matt Leinart to season ending injuries. Third stringer T.J. Yates filled in, and earned the franchise's first playoff berth by defeating the Cincinnati Bengals 20-19 in Week 14 and clinching the AFC South. It also assured the Texans of at least one playoff game at home--the first NFL playoff game in Houston since 1993. After reaching the Divisional match against the Baltimore Ravens, the Texans suffered their maiden loss in the NFL Playoffs, losing 20-13.
Prior to the season, former Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips was hired as defensive coordinator, replacing Frank Bush who was terminated by Texans owner Bob McNair. The Texans defense made major improvements in Phillips' first year calling Houston's defensive plays. The team allowed the fourth-fewest points in the league in 2011 (compared to fourth most in 2010), the second-fewest yards allowed (third-most in 2010) and third-fewest yards per play (4.8, compared to 6.0, second-worst in 2010).
|1||11||J. J. Watt||Defensive end||Wisconsin|
|2||42||Brooks Reed||Defensive line||Arizona|
|2||60 (From Patriots)||Brandon Harris||Defensive back||Miami|
|4||127 (From Bears through Redskins)||Rashad Carmichael||Defensive back||Virginia Tech|
|5||144 (From Redskins)||Shiloh Keo||Defensive back||Idaho|
|5||152 (From Colts through Redskins)||T. J. Yates||Quarterback||North Carolina|
|7||214||Derek Newton||Offensive line||Arkansas State|
|7||254 (Mr. Irrelevant) [a]||Cheta Ozougwu||Defensive line||Rice|
|1||August 15||New York Jets||W 20-16||1-0||Reliant Stadium||Recap|
|2||August 20||New Orleans Saints||W 27-14||2-0||Reliant Stadium||Recap|
|3||August 27||at San Francisco 49ers||W 30-7||3-0||Candlestick Park||Recap|
|4||September 1||at Minnesota Vikings||L 0-28||3-1||Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome||Recap|
|1||September 11||Indianapolis Colts||W 34-7||1-0||Reliant Stadium||Recap|
|2||September 18||at Miami Dolphins||W 23-13||2-0||Sun Life Stadium||Recap|
|3||September 25||at New Orleans Saints||L 33-40||2-1||Mercedes-Benz Superdome||Recap|
|4||October 2||Pittsburgh Steelers||W 17-10||3-1||Reliant Stadium||Recap|
|5||October 9||Oakland Raiders||L 20-25||3-2||Reliant Stadium||Recap|
|6||October 16||at Baltimore Ravens||L 14-29||3-3||M&T Bank Stadium||Recap|
|7||October 23||at Tennessee Titans||W 41-7||4-3||LP Field||Recap|
|8||October 30||Jacksonville Jaguars||W 24-14||5-3||Reliant Stadium||Recap|
|9||November 6||Cleveland Browns||W 30-12||6-3||Reliant Stadium||Recap|
|10||November 13||at Tampa Bay Buccaneers||W 37-9||7-3||Raymond James Stadium||Recap|
|12||November 27||at Jacksonville Jaguars||W 20-13||8-3||EverBank Field||Recap|
|13||December 4||Atlanta Falcons||W 17-10||9-3||Reliant Stadium||Recap|
|14||December 11||at Cincinnati Bengals||W 20-19||10-3||Paul Brown Stadium||Recap|
|15||December 18||Carolina Panthers||L 13-28||10-4||Reliant Stadium||Recap|
|16||December 22||at Indianapolis Colts||L 16-19||10-5||Lucas Oil Stadium||Recap|
|17||January 1||Tennessee Titans||L 22-23||10-6||Reliant Stadium||Recap|
The Texans began their season at home against the AFC South division foes, Colts. With the win, the Texans started the season out at 1-0.
The Texans went on the road to face the Dolphins. With the win, the Texans improved to 2-0.
With the loss, the Texans fell to 2-1.
With the win, the Texans improved to 3-1.
With the loss, the Texans fell to 3-2 and they lost both their second game and first home game against the Raiders.
With the loss, the Texans fell to 3-3.
With the win, the Texans improved to 4-3.
With the win, the Texans improved to 5-3.
With the win, the Texans improved to 6-3.
With the win, the Texans went on their bye week 7-3. However, Matt Schaub was lost for the season due to a Lisfranc injury on his right foot.
With the win, not only the Texans improved to 8-3, but swept the Jaguars for the 1st time since 2006. The Texans had to play the remainder of the season with T.J. Yates at QB after losing Matt Leinart for the season with a broken collarbone.
With the win, the Texans improved to 9-3.
With the last-second win, the Texans improved to 10-3 and clinched the franchise's first playoff berth and AFC South division title.
With the loss, the Texans' seven-game winning streak was snapped, falling to 10-4. Houston also lost to the Panthers for the first time in franchise history.
With the loss, the Texans fell to 10-5.
With the loss, the Texans would end their season at 10-6 and the AFC's #3 seed.
|Playoff round||Date||Kickoff||Opponent (seed)||Results||Game site||TV||NFL.com|
|Final score||Team record|
|Wild Card||January 7||3:30 p.m. CST||Cincinnati Bengals (6)||W 31-10||1-0||Reliant Stadium||NBC||Recap|
|Divisional||January 15||12:00 p.m. CST||at Baltimore Ravens (2)||L 13-20||1-1||M&T Bank Stadium||CBS||Recap|
Making their NFL postseason debut as the AFC's #3 seed, the Texans began their playoff run at home in the AFC Wild Card Round against the #6 Cincinnati Bengals, in a rematch of their Week 14 contest. Not only was this the Texans' first postseason game, it was the franchise's first game ever broadcast nationally on NBC, they were also the last NFL team to finally play on NBC, since their 2006 inception.
Houston trailed in the first quarter with Bengals running back Cedric Benson getting a 1-yard touchdown run, yet the Texans answered with an 8-yard touchdown run from running back Arian Foster. Cincinnati struck back in the second quarter with kicker Mike Nugent getting a 37-yard field goal, but Houston took the lead with a 39-yard field goal from kicker Neil Rackers, followed by rookie defensive end J.J. Watt returning an interception 29 yards for a touchdown. From there, the Texans took control with rookie quarterback T.J. Yates finding wide receiver Andre Johnson on a 40-yard touchdown in the third quarter, followed by a 42-yard touchdown run by Foster in the fourth quarter.
With the win, the Texans improved their overall record to 11-6.
With the loss, the Texans finished the overall season 11-7.