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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Houston's offense once again obliterated Baltimore in Wednesday's finale. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Owners of a nine-game winning streak, the Astros tried to keep the train rolling to make it double digits and complete the three-game sweep of the Orioles in Baltimore. Not only would they get the win, but they also did it by dominating on both sides of the ball again in a one-sided shutout.

Final Score: Astros 13, Orioles 0

Astros' Record: 46-28, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Jose Urquidy (6-3)

Losing Pitcher: Thomas Eshelman (0-1)

Houston keeps mashing

Unlike Tuesday's game which ended 3-1 in a much closer affair, the finale on Wednesday was once again a lopsided affair like Monda's opener, favoring the Astros. Houston once again put up double-digit runs in an offensive explosion. It started right off the bat, with three runs scoring in the top of the first on a two-RBI double by Carlos Correa and an RBI single by Kyle Tucker to grab a 3-0 lead.

Yuli Gurriel extended it to 4-0 with a two-out RBI single in the second, then Jose Altuve made it a six-run game with a two-run blast in the top of the fourth. Michael Brantley joined in with an RBI single in the top of the sixth, then Yordan Alvarez led off a four-run seventh with a solo bomb before a three-run homer by Abraham Toro made it 11-0.

Urquidy cruises through seven scoreless

Jose Urquidy was cruising all the while, allowing just three baserunners over that span, a double to start his night, which he erased, then a one-out walk in the second and leadoff single in the sixth. He returned at the bottom of the seventh with a manageable pitch count, where he'd erase a one-out single to keep Baltimore scoreless. With the insurmountable lead, he'd be given the rest of the night off. His final line: 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 84 P.

Astros complete the sweep and grab tenth straight win

Chas McCormick, who came off the bench defensively in the bottom of the seventh, made it a twelve-run lead with a one-out solo homer in the top of the eighth, then later Abraham Toro notched his fourth RBI with a run-scoring single to make it 13-0. Brandon Bielak took over for Urquidy in the bottom of the eighth, and after loading the bases with no outs, was able to escape with a strikeout and double play.

Ralph Garza Jr. was Houston's third pitcher, wrapping things up at the bottom of the ninth. He erased a one-out walk and a single with a double play to end the game, giving Houston the three-game sweep and extending their winning streak to ten games as they continue to look like baseball's best team.

Up Next: The next stop on this road trip for Houston is Detroit, where they will kick off a four-game set with the Tigers on Thursday at 6:10 PM Central. The pitching matchup for the opener will be Luis Garcia (5-4, 2.82 ERA) for Houston and Jose Urena (2-7, 5.79 ERA) for Detroit.

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