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Pro Football Hall of Fame

Considered one of the best safeties in football history, Ken Houston picked off 49 passes (898 yards), recovered 21 fumbles and scored 12 touchdowns over his 14-season NFL career, earning Pro Bowl honors 12 consecutive times (1968-69 AFL, 1970-79 NFL). Houston returned an NFL-record nine interceptions for a touchdown in his six seasons as an Oiler. Four of those scores came in 1971, tying an NFL record. He returned two in one game against San Diego in the 1971 season finale, which also ties an NFL mark. His other three touchdowns came on a punt return, a fumble return and a blocked field goal return. Houston also holds the Oilers record for most career interception return yards with 650. With a long, fluid stride, Houston had excellent speed and quickness. His 6-3, 197-pound frame made him an ideal pass defender. Yet his lean, muscular body helped him to become a punishing tackler. Originally a ninth-round draft choice out of Prairie View A&M, Houston earned a starter’s role by the third game of his rookie season. Two weeks later in a game against the New York Jets, he scored two touchdowns, one on a 71-yard blocked field goal attempt, and the other on a 43-yard interception return. After excelling for six years with the Oilers, Ken was traded to the Redskins for five veteran players in 1973. The Redskins once referred to Houston as "pro football's most underrated superstar," but his capabilities were widely recognized. He won all-league acclaim with the Oilers in 1969 and 1971, and then was either All-Pro or All-NFC with the Redskins every year from 1973 to 1979. He was selected for either the AFL All-Star game or the AFC-NFC Pro Bowl 12 straight seasons from 1968 through 1979. He played in 183 consecutive games before suffering a broken arm against the New York Giants Nov. 25, 1979.

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