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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The media has mixed feelings about the James Harden trade. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

James Harden was 100-percent exactly right earlier this week when he said the Houston Rockets were "just not good enough."

How could they be? Not when their moody superstar scorer, who makes about half a million dollars per game, shows up chubby, looking like a kielbasa about to explode in the microwave. Hey, some people eat when they're unhappy, it's a defense mechanism. In Harden's case, the only defense he's exhibited this season. At least he had a good excuse for missing pre-season training camp and alienating his teammates - he was busy partying with Cinnamon and Cherish in Atlanta and Vegas without a mask. Worst of all, he went into the tank his last four games in a Rockets uniform, standing around, arms folded, scoring fewer than 20 points each time, all Rockets losses. Fans in the front row were asking him to move, he was blocking their view of players who cared about winning. James Harden sabotaged his own team, a team that offered him $50 million a year to stay. Something that crazy could only happen in professional sports these days.

There's a saying that drives the American labor movement: "a fair day's wage for a fair day's work." It's the motto of the American Federation of Labor. The National Basketball Players Association is not a member. Harden's sulking on the court, cheating the Rockets and their fans, was unforgivable.

Harden, sitting out games while somehow being on the court, forced the Rockets to trade him - and quick - to Brooklyn. The trade, when you ignore the fine print and unindicted co-conspirators Cleveland and Indiana, sent Harden to Brooklyn in exchange for Caris LeVert (immediately flipped for Victor Oladipo), Jarrett Allen, three first-round draft picks and four swapped first-rounders. It's true, when you trade a superstar, you never get back equal value. The other team wins.

If it makes Rockets fans feel any better, the media in New York already has problems with their new problem child. I should say newest problem child. Kyrie Irving plays for the Nets.

"They (the Nets) gave up everybody! There's nothing left now. I just want to cry, It's awful," weeped WFAN Radio talk host Evan Roberts. For those who don't subscribe to weekly Arbitron ratings reports, WFAN is the most powerful, top-rated sports talk station in the Apple.

"You're leading down the road of doom. Harden and Durant could be gone in a year and a half. I'm not convinced this gives them a better chance to win a title. I'm living a nightmare again. They better freaking win."

Circle March 3 on your Rockets schedule. That's when the Brooklyn Nets, with their Big 3 of Kevin Durant, James Harden and possibly Kyrie Irving visit Toyota Center. I hear talk radio salivating over the record jeers that will cascade over Harden's name, although I'm not buying it. Fans don't think like the media does. I'm thinking that Rockets fans will welcome Harden back - one night only - with cheers.

Toyota Center public address announcer Matt Thomas: "Usually when former Rockets come to town for the first time since leaving, I give them a positive introduction. It's up to the fans how to react."

James Harden spent eight seasons with the Rockets. He is a spectacular player who watched other NBA players engineer trades so they could compete for a title. Harden didn't think the Rockets were good enough, and he's right. So he wanted out. We've all been there, a job we didn't like for a company we didn't like, for a boss we didn't respect. Harden wanting to be traded is understandable. How he went about it was deplorable. He hurt his co-workers.

Houston will make Harden pay for his disrespectful departure. He has an upscale restaurant set to open here. The name of the steakhouse will be "13." Harden's business partners may want to change that number ... before the restaurant's telephone number is disconnected. There are plenty of other restaurants in Houston. Rich people who can afford steakhouse prices hold grudges.

Rockets fans searching for a silver lining say, "We got two decent players and a whole bunch of precious first-round picks" for a malcontent who would rather be anywhere (except maybe Sacramento) than Houston." Yes, a bunch of first-round picks does bode well for the future. Anywhere, except maybe Houston.

Houston's draft war room isn't the most successful operation in the NBA. Over the past decade prior to 2000, under the direction of general manager Daryl Morey, the Rockets made 16 draft picks. Not one of them is still in a Rockets uniform, many of them have sought employment outside of America, some outside of basketball. Among their first-round whiffs: Nikola Mirotic, Terrence Jones, Sam Dekker - all out of the league. Best of all, Royce White, who played three whole games in his NBA career and finished with a scoring average of 0.00 points per game.

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