Well before the end of the Texans' 2013 season, it was clear receiver Andre Johnson had come to terms with the fact that he was back to a point where he never expected to return: 2-14.
Preseason Johnson was confident in the Texans' future. Midseason Johnson was shocked he was back to dealing with a lengthy losing streak after the Texans built what he thought was a roster that could win a championship. End-of-season Johnson awaited an uncertain future, resigned.
"After going through a season like you had the past two seasons, and going to the playoffs, and everything seems like it’s going forward, and then you take five, six, seven steps back -- it’s frustrating for everybody," Johnson said before the Texans' season finale. "Nobody wants to be in this position, but we made our bed so we have to lay in it.”
In some ways, Johnson's progression mirrored that of Texans fans. Hopeful, then confused and frustrated, and finally resigned. Hope followed by a fall might be worse than just being no good from start to finish.
That's a point considered by Will Leitch of Sports on Earth, who put together this ranking of the most tortured NFL fan bases.
On the Texans:
21. Houston Texans. (Super Bowl appearances: 0.) They've never made the Super Bowl, but they've only been around for 12 years. The little window of success they've had the last couple of years appears to have closed.
While the Texans' relatively brief existence might reduce the tortured quotient, there is a large set of Texans fans who were Oilers fans prior and that wasn't an easy existence. Further, losing an NFL team altogether might add to the torture imposed upon a fanbase.
Were this my list, I would have put some distance between Houston at 21 and San Francisco, they of five Super Bowl championships and one very recent appearance, which Leitch has ranked 22nd.