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 loses first game to Oakland

A's end losing streak against Astros with late homers

Lance McCullers Jr. went five innings of one-run ball Friday night. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

After maintaining their stronghold against the A's in Thursday's home opener, the Astros had the chance to lock up the three-game series victory against Oakland with a win on Friday night. On the mound, Lance McCullers Jr. hoped to improve upon his first start against this same team, a five-inning one-run outing.

Instead, he would have the same outcome, once again lasting five innings while allowing one run, before a big tie-breaking home run late in the game would push Oakland out of their losing skid against the Astros.

Final Score: A's 6, Astros 2

Astros' Record: 6-2, tied for first in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Yusmeiro Petit (2-0)

Losing Pitcher: Bryan Abreu (1-1)

McCullers Jr. makes it through five

McCullers Jr. looked sharp through the first three innings, allowing just two baserunners, one on a second-inning single, then a walk in the third. Oakland did better against him the second time through their order in the fourth, with Jed Lowrie leading the inning off with a solo home run to put Oakland in front 1-0.

They went on to load the bases with one out on an error and two walks, but McCullers would strand them all. He returned for the fifth, a much cleaner inning where a caught stealing by Martin Maldonado would help him face just three batters. His final line: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 88 P.

Oakland gets homer-happy to even the series

McCullers Jr. would leave the game without being eligible for the winning or losing decision, as an RBI-groundout by Kyle Tucker in the fourth would have it tied 1-1. Bryan Abreu was the first out of Houston's bullpen, and he would attempt to eat up multiple innings. He had perfect innings in the sixth and seventh, retiring six A's in order to maintain the stalemate.

Abreu remained in the game in the top of the eighth, allowing a single before getting a strikeout, ending his run as Dusty Baker would bring in left-handed Blake Taylor. Taylor would give up a single against his first batter, then a loud go-ahead three-run home run to Matt Olson to push the A's back in front 4-1. They'd add two more insurance runs off of Joe Smith in the top of the ninth, getting a two-run home run by Mark Canha to extend the lead to 6-1.

Oakland's bullpen would hold on to the newly created lead, allowing just one run on a sac fly by Jose Altuve in the bottom of the ninth, finally ending their losing streak against Houston and setting up the rubber game on Saturday to be for the series victory.

Up Next: This series's finale will be a Saturday afternoon start, with first pitch scheduled for 3:05 PM. For the Astros, Jose Urquidy (0-0, 4.15 ERA) will look to get a win on the board, while Oakland will hand the ball to Frankie Montas (0-1, 23.63 ERA).

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