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Friday, December 20, 2013
Texans' turnaround is rare in NFL history

By Tania Ganguli

Houston has the rare distinction of being the only city that has been home to two teams that lost 12 games the season after winning 12 games.

Only four teams in NFL history have accomplished the dubious feat. In addition to this year's Houston Texans, the 2002 Chicago Bears went 4-12 after going 13-3 the year before, the 1999 San Francisco 49ers went 4-12 after going 12-4 the year before and the 1994 Houston Oilers went 2-14 a season after going 12-4.

We've talked and talked about what happened to the Texans. But what happened to those other teams? Their downturns made a little more sense than the Texans' has this season.

2002 Bears: With Soldier Field under construction, this Bears team played its home games at the University of Illinois. They were the reigning division champions, expected to have another strong season, but after winning their first two games the Bears went on an eight-game losing streak. Two defensive starters suffered injuries in early September and quarterback Jim Miller missed six games due to injuries. Six of those eight losses were by a touchdown or less.

1999 49ers: Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young's career ended by way of the last of the many concussions he suffered while playing. Young took the hit in Week 3 during a 24-10 win over Arizona. The 49ers started that season 3-1 before going on an eight-game losing streak without their quarterback.

1994 Oilers: After a wild 1993 season, the Oilers lost in the divisional playoff round to Kansas City. The first year of the NFL salary cap caused havoc. Quarterback Warren Moon was traded, and the Oilers lost defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan to a head-coaching job. Head coach Jack Pardee resigned after the team's 1-9 start, but the Oilers didn't win again until the final week of the season.