FUN WITH THE SCHEDULE

Fred Faour: Doing the silly thing where we predict the Texans record based on Thursday's schedule release

J.J. Watt will return but can he stay healthy? Bob Levey/Getty Images

The Texans schedule was released Thursday night. We could do the silly prediction game, but that would be ridiculous. We should just analyze the actual schedule. But nobody wants that. So instead we will do the silly prediction game.

First the meaningless preseason schedule:

 

Week

Day

Date

Opponent

TV Network

Kickoff Time  

1

Thursday

Aug. 9

at Kansas City Chiefs

KTRK

7:30 p.m.

2

Saturday

Aug. 18

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

KTRK

7:00 p.m.

3

Saturday

Aug. 25

at Los Angeles Rams

KTRK

3:00 p.m.

4

Thu.  

Aug. 30

DALLAS COWBOYS

KTRK

7:00 p.m.


 

None of these games mean anything so who cares? Let’s get to the important stuff. The regular season:

Week

Day

Date

Opponent

TV Network

Kickoff Time

1

Sunday

Sept. 9

at New England Patriots

CBS

Noon




 

     2

Sunday

Sept. 16

at Tennessee Titans

CBS

Noon

3

Sunday

Sept. 23

NEW YORK GIANTS

FOX

Noon

4

Sunday

Sept. 30

at Indianapolis Colts

CBS

Noon

5

Sunday

Oct. 7

DALLAS COWBOYS

NBC#

7:20 p.m.

6

Sunday

Oct. 14

BUFFALO BILLS

CBS

Noon

7

Sunday

Oct. 21

at Jacksonville Jaguars

CBS

Noon

8

Thursday

Oct. 25

MIAMI DOLPHINS

FOX/NFLN#

7:20 p.m.

9

Sunday

Nov. 4

at Denver Broncos

CBS

3:05 p.m.

10

   

BYE

   

11

Sunday

Nov. 18

at Washington Redskins

CBS

Noon

12

Monday

Nov. 26

TENNESSEE TITANS

ESPN#

7:15 p.m.

13

Sunday

Dec. 2

CLEVELAND BROWNS

CBS

Noon

14

Sunday

Dec. 9

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

CBS

Noon

15

Saturday

Dec. 15

at New York Jets

NFLN#

TBD

16

Sunday

Dec. 23

at Philadelphia Eagles

CBS

Noon

17

Sunday

Dec. 30

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

CBS

Noon

 

# - Televised Nationally.

Game 1 at New England: The Texans open with another road game in Foxboro. The bad news? They can't win there. The good news? If it is going to happen, wouldn't it be now? The Texans will presumably be 100 percent healthy, and with Deshaun Watson dealing, they might have a shot. Most likely they open 0-1 with a loss in New England, because that is what happens every year.

Game 2 at Tennessee: The Titans should be more talented this season, but who knows what kind of coach Mike Vrabel will be? Marcus Mariota may have a breakout year, but if the Texans are going to be a good team, this is one you need to win. 

Game 3 Giants: The Texans get a home game against a Giants team that may or may not be a competitor. Give them a win.

Game 4 at Indianapolis: Wouldn't it be great to see a Watson vs. Andrew Luck matchup? This game (and the Colts season) hinges on a healthy Luck. Guessing it doesn't happen, which means the Texans should escape with a win.

Game 5 Dallas: Another game where we have no idea what the opponent is going to look like. Or the Texans for that matter. It's a home game. Give it to the Texans. You can count on fights in the parking lot. 

Game 6 Buffalo: The Bills made the playoffs last year, but also look weaker heading into 2018. Bills Mafia breaks some tables tailgating. The Texans roll but Watson gets injured late.

Game 7 at Jacksonville: The Texans are feeling good about life at 5-1, but the Jags are legit Super Bowl contenders. Brandon Weeden plays poorly and the Texans get blown out.

Game 8 Miami: The Dolphins are an absolute mess. Short week, home game. Weeden does just enough for the Texans to hit the halfway point at 6-2.

Game 9 at Denver: Case Keenum gets his revenge and the Texans fall to 6-3 as Weeden is also injured.

Game 10 at Washington: Watson returns but is not 100 percent and Alex Smith does what he did often in KC -- beats the Texans.

Game 11 Tennessee: Watson returns to form and the Texans take care of the Titans to go 7-4.

Game 12 Cleveland: The Browns will be better, but a healthy Watson at home gives the Texans a win.

Game 13 Indianapolis: By now, Andrew Luck is healthy. And he is too much for the Texans. First home loss of the season and an 8-5 mark.

Game 14 at NY Jets: The Jets are surprisingly decent, but Baker Mayfield has an off game and the Texans get win No. 9 and are looking good.

Game 15 at Philadelphia: The Eagles are well on their way to the best record in the NFC. Watson puts up a valiant effort, but the Texans come up short.

Game 16 Jacksonville: The Jags need a win to clinch best record in the AFC. They get it with a last-minute field goal. 

Final record: 9-7 (of course). It is good enough for a wild card.

Disclaimer: All predictions are based on relative health. 

Disclaimer 2: All predictions are complete BS since we haven't even had the draft and we are only doing this to satisfy everyone's morbid urge to know the season results in April. 

Disclaimer 3: 9-7 is never a bad guess with the Texans.

 

 

 

 

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ROCKETS BEAT THUNDER

Rockets blast Thunder in home opener, 124-91

Rockets take care of business in home opener. Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images.

The Houston Rockets had an impressive outing versus the Oklahoma City Thunder after an embarrassing loss against the Minnesota Timberwolves Wednesday night. They took care of business at home on Friday night, which was a surprising blowout. The Rockets didn't have to worry about Karl-Anthony Towns screaming at Alperen Sengun or Anthony Edwards telling Coach Silas to call a timeout. Instead, they took their frustrations out on the Thunder (another younger core).

"We responded and bounced back from that game 1," Silas said. "I wouldn't say it was taking anything out. It was just learning and applying to what you learn and that's going to be us this year. Applying to what you learn and getting better and having some games like we had the other day. Veteran teams have some games when they don't play as well they want."

Christian Wood led the way, as he controlled the paint on all aspects with rebounding and putbacks. He played an incredible game after having a poor performance versus the Timberwolves. Silas showed complete trust in allowing Wood to open sets, as he walked the ball down the court several times, and in transition too. Wood became aggressive on the perimeter with open shooting and tough shots, and long strides towards the rim. He finished the night with 31 points and 13 rebounds off 66 percent shooting from the field.

The young core for the Thunder had a tough night defending Wood from every aspect. Hopefully, he keeps this play up. Silas loved the space that was created throughout the game for Wood, which included the help from Eric Gordon, as he continued to play better. Wood continues to develop underneath the Silas umbrella. He had a great feel for off-the-dribble shooting a few times. Wood becomes more dangerous when space is created on the court.

"It allows me to show what I can do. It allows the floor to be open and I can create for other guys and create for myself," Wood said.

As Gordon continues to impress, his teammate Kevin Porter Jr was amazed with his performance.

Gordon looked marvelous inside and outside of the paint, as it looked like a time ripple. The younger guards of the Thunder had a tough time staying in front of Gordon. His size and strength gave the Thunder a huge problem. Gordon is shooting the ball better too, as he is shooting the three-ball at 70 percent this season. Although it's a small sample size, Gordon is trying to overcome his shooting struggles from last year. Gordon finished with 22 points on 66 percent shooting versus the Thunder.

"EG is the biggest part of this squad," Porter said. He comes in and just scores. We need somebody off the bench to do that. He is our guy when me and J come out, it's EG time and he knows that, and comes in aggressive. So much energy on the bench, and we need that every night from him if we want a chance to win."

As I recently mentioned Porter, his facilitation did look better versus the Thunder than the Timberwolves. Porter had nine turnovers in his first game but managed to have two Friday night. He made great slip passes and found open teammates in the open corner. Porter forced a good number of passes versus the Timberwolves but looked more relaxed Friday night. The hardest position in the NBA is the point guard position, but Silas will not allow Porter to fail. Instead of nine turnovers, Porter dished out nine assists. Silas said:

"Bounce back right, going from nine turnovers to nine assists… I think he had two turnovers tonight, which is great. He is making plays for his teammates, and he was really focused."

Porter's shiftiness and creative ability allowed his teammates to get open looks near the rim. He had 18 points because of his step-back threes and first step going towards the basket. Thankfully, Porter is a great ball handler, which confuses defenders on different spots on the court. It's almost like watching a ballerina skate on ice in the Olympics. Hopefully, his confidence continues to get better throughout the year. Porter shot the three-ball at 50 percent tonight. Efficiency is key for Porter this year.

"I'm just trying to let the game slow down," Porter said. "I had a lot of turnovers last game and I just wanted to piggyback and learn from them and learn from some of my forced passes and reads. And sometimes I still force it a little bit. My guys hate that, and sometimes I'm still passive and I'm working on that. When to pass and score and bounce it out, and tonight I felt like I did a good job of that."

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