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Houston Texans

It is the newest NFL team, it played its first season in 2002 and won four games including the first game against Dallas Cowboys in the opening weekend. Despite the fact that expansion teams generally fight quite a lot during their formation years, the Texans seem to be on the right track winning five games in 2003. Before the Texans were born, in 1996 Houston city requested an NFL team after the march of Houston Oilers to Nashville, thus becoming the Tennessee Titans.

Mere marketing, as everybody knows Houston is in Texas and as Dallas is the American team, they decided to be the Texans´ team.

Indianapolis Colts

The Colts were formed in Baltimore in 1946, but they moved out of the city in March 1984, in the middle of the night, to begin to play in Indianapolis. Despite the fact that the Colts won the Super Bowl in 1971, while they were still playing in Baltimore, they have not been able to reach a Super Bowl again since they relocated in Indianapolis. Their defeats against Pittsburgh in 1995 and New England last year, were the closest the Colts have been to a Super Bowl.

When Miami Seahawks were replaced in Baltimore, the public contest brought up “Colts” given the horse races tradition of Maryland state.

Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars began to play in the NFL as an expansion team in 1995, and in their second season they reached the conference final, game they lost against the New England Patriots. The Jaguars have played the playoffs in 1997, 1998 and 1999, year in which they lost the conference final again, this time against the Tennessee Titans.

In 1991 a public contest resulted in this name among others like “Sharks”, “Stingrays” and, very ironically, “Panthers”.

Tennessee Titans

The Titans have undergone a rather nomad experience since their beginnings in the American Football League, when they were best known as the Houston Oilers in 1960. Since then, the club has played in six different stadiums, it joined the NFL and changed from “The Houston Oilers” to “Tennessee Oilers” and eventually to “Tennessee Titans”, nowadays. The team has perservered in the last years. They lost against the “St Louis Rams” in the 2000 Super Bowl, and reached the conference final in the 2001 and 2002 seasons.

After playing two years as the “Tennessee Oilers”, after relocating from Houston, they decided to call the team the “Titans” in honor of the greek mythology, given that Nashville is known as the Athens of soul.

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Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons were the NFL 15th team when they began to play in 1966 and their first years turned out to be the most difficult, winning only six games during the first three seasons. Atlanta has only reached the playoffs in six ocassions during its history, but it seems to be a team that begins to take off with the star quarterback Michael Vick. The closest they have been to Super Bowl glory was in 1999 when they were defeated by the Denver Broncos. A professor from Griffin (Georgia) argued that the Falcon was a proud and dignified bird, with great courage, that never seized battling, and that never let its preys fall. This argument persuaded them at that moment.

Carolina Panthers

The Panthers joined the NFL as an expansion team in 1995 and had a surprising start winning 7 games during their first season. just in their second season, the Panthers won the championship of the Western division with a record of 12 games won and 4 lost and they reached the conference final, where they were defeated by the Green Bay Packers. Two seasons after they had scored the worst league record with only one game won and 15 lost, last season they reached the Super Bowl losing 32-29 against the New England Patriots, in the last minute. The name of the team was decided between the owner of the team Mark Richardson and his son Jerry, the colors of the uniform (blue, silver and black) were also chosen by them.

New Orleans Saints

The Saints made their NFL debut in 1967, but their fans endured mediocrity for years until New Orleans reached the palyoffs in 1987 season. The Saints had their best time at the beginning of the 90´s when they reached the playoffs in the 1990, 1991 and 1992 seasons. However, they have never been able to win a playoff game. Ironically, the stadium that hosted most Super Bowls is the New Orleans Luisiana Superdome, and did so in nine ocasions.

The name was chosen simply because the city was granted an NFL franchise on November 1, 1996, All Saints’ Day. Besides, the famous song “When the saints go Marching In” has always been associated with New Orleans.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Bucanneers made their first NFL debut in 1976 and soon became the league’s laughing stock due to their record: 26 consecutive games lost. They, eventually, won their last two games in the 1977 season and they surprised the NFL reaching conference finals in the 1980 season. In January 2003, Tampa Bay became Super Bowl champion with a 48-21 victory over the Oakland Raiders. In 1974 and after a contest through a local radio, “Bucanneers” choice won over others like “Buzzards”, “Sea Horses” and… “Mafia”.

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