The Texans have four prime time games

Texans 2019 schedule announced

Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

The Houston Texans will play this schedule in 2019:

Week 1 - Texans at Saints - Monday Night Football - September 9

What a start! This will be the first of what is typically two Monday Night Football matchups. It will also feature the "A" Monday Night Football crew with Sean McDonough, Booger Mcfarland, and whoever replaces Jason Witten. It's the first trip to New Orleans since 2011 and the first game against the Saints since 2015.

Week 2 - Texans vs Jaguars - September 15

Houston gets to see new AFC South mainstay Nick Foles early in the year. It also means a likely healthy Jaguars team for the Texans to play against as well. Without much talent at wideout Foles might not be meshing with his pass catchers yet but the Texans hopefully new offensive line will be tested early.

Week 3 - Texans at Chargers - September 22

The first and what should be the last trip to the least advantageous home field advantage in football. The next time the Texans go on the road against the Chargers it should be in their fancy new stadium. This one will be in a soccer stadium. Fans not withstanding, the Chargers will be a tough out with Philip Rivers, Melvin Gordon, and Keenan Allen leading the way for the Bolts offense. They will also be wearing their Chargers powder blues as a home uniform. The last time the Texans played on the road against the Chargers was Monday Night Football to open the 2013 season. Brian Cushing, now a coach for the Texans, had an interception return for a touchdown.

Week 4 - Texans vs Panthers - September 29

Cam Newton has never lost to the Texans, including his rookie year visit in 2011. This could also be a rebuilt offensive line coming into NRG stadium as well. Newton had a bounce-back season in 2018 after a down year in 2017. If he's healthy this will be a tough game.

Week 5 - Texans vs Falcons - October 6

The last time Bill O'Brien's Texans played the Falcons it was one of the worst losses in franchise history. This time should be different and has shootout potential. This is also a potential landing spot for Houston's Ed Oliver that would be a fun homecoming.

Week 6 - Texans at Chiefs - October 13

How this game isn't primetime is beyond me. The Lions-Packers is Monday Night Football and the Chargers-Steelers is Sunday Night Football. Neither pairing is better than this game's potential. A showdown with the reigning MVP and one of Deshaun Watson's fellow first round QB's in Patrick Mahomes. The Chiefs had one of the most dynamic offenses ever but Kareem Hunt is now in Cleveland and Tyreek Hill's status is up in the air. It will also feature an opportunity for Deshaun Watson to light up his former teammate Tyrann Mathieu. The last time the Texans played the Chiefs J.J. Watt broke his leg and Whitney Mercilus tore his pectoral in a shootout loss.

Week 7 - Texans at Colts - October 20

Andrew Luck and the Colts were better than the Texans in all three games last season even though they didn't win all three. They stopped the Texans in the playoffs and there's no reason to think they won't be the favorites early in the AFC South.

Week 8 - Texans vs Raiders - October 27

The hope would have been getting the Raiders earlier having it be a better matchup considering they will be working in so many new faces. The faces should be settled by now though so no advantage there. The Raiders last played at NRG in a playoff game where Brock Osweiler dueled Connor Cook.

Week 9 - Texans at Jaguars in London at Wembley Stadium - November 3

This is the Texans first trip across the pond. The Jaguars have played there plenty so you have to imagine they have a slight logistical advantage. It will be interesting to see when the Texans head over if they spend a whole week there or just a few days.

Week 10 - BYE - November 10

Bill O'Brien has almost always had his bye week in the middle of the season. The earliest it has come with O'Brien as the head coach is week seven. Also, having the bye week after London has to help a ton.

Week 11 - Texans at Ravens - November 17

A nice opponent coming out of the bye week. If Lamar Jackson has anything of substance as a quarterback it will be well known by now. Tom Savage was the quarterback the last time the Texans played the Ravens in 2017.

Week 12 - Texans vs Colts - Thursday Night Football - November 21

Not ideal to be playing on Thursday after a traditionally hard-nosed defense was the previous opponent. With a division matchup like this coming so late in the season, this could be a key game in the standings and a difference-maker in who wins the Division. It also could establish a tone out of the bye week should they beat Baltimore and take care of the Colts here.

Week 13 - Texans vs Patriots - Sunday Night Football - December 1

This doesn't feel like the best spot in the schedule. The Patriots are 61-11 in December with Bill Belichick calling the shots. The Texans have beat the Patriots once, 2010, in franchise history.

Week 14 - Texans vs Broncos - December 8

If the Broncos have a rookie quarterback after this year's draft I would expect they are starting here. The Texans have had lots of success against rookies in recent years.

Week 15 - Texans at Titans - December 15

A late appearance for the Titans and then you see them again in two weeks. This late in the season Mariota will probably already be hurt so the Texans may miss him. Of course, Blaine Gabbert the Titans backup beat them last year in Tennessee.

Week 16 - Texans at Buccaneers - December 21 or 22

This game could be on Saturday or Sunday depending on how the schedule shakes out. Jamies Winston at this point will have either played himself into the job or Bruce Arians will be scouring the college ranks for his next quarterback. This could be a bad team by the time the Texans play them or it could be a team that is surprisingly good. It will all depend on Winston. A Ryan Mallett led Texans beat the Buccaneers in 2015.

Week 17 - Texans vs Titans - December 29

It is nice to end the season at home and if the Titans are in contention this is a potential Sunday Night Football flex finale game.

Day two of the work for the team as their spring work is well underway

11 observations from Texans OTAs

SportsMap/Cody Stoots

Here are my 11 Observations from the second day of work for the Texans during OTAs but their first open to the media.

First round, first taste for Tytus Howard

The Texans top draft pick from this year's class doesn't look out of place with other offensive lineman. His body is there. He did have some rookie moments and a couple of welcome to the NFL moments at the hands of Whitney Mercilus.

Howard said he doesn't mind the work at various positions he is getting. The Texans have been known to throw a lot at their rookies but especially their offensive linemen. Brian Gaine and Bill O'Brien have made no secret they want to see where Howard and fellow draft pick Max Scharping fit and how they can help the team different ways.

"He learns well," Bill O'Brien said. "He's just getting acclimated to the speed of how we practice over the last two days. For every rookie, that's a big jump. But I think he's a guy that, if he continues to work the way he works, he'll get better every day."

Lookout for Lonnie

It isn't hard to find the Texans second round pick Lonnie Johnson Jr. The Texans haven't had a cornerback in his mold probably in the entire time Bill O'Brien has been the coach of this team. He towers above most his defensive back teammates. His base is a lot more solid than you would think for someone who has such good length to his body.

He diagnosed some plays pretty well today and even when the rep looks lost his makeup ability is clear. He looked like he was going to get beat on a play today and the next thing you know he knocked the ball down. It will be interesting how much the Texans trust him early in his career and his development from now through training camp will be something to watch closely.

"He's a real big kid," Justin Reid said. "He's a big kid. Almost bigger than me. You see it when he plays. You see it on the practice film. He knows how to use it as well, which is one of the good things about having good corners, is they know how to actually body receivers, especially if they're going against a big guy. He's someone that we can see as a potential matchup for those type of situations."

Coutee right where he left off

Keke Coutee was one of the most dynamic offensive weapons the Texans had last season. Unfortunately injuries plagued his rookie year limiting his time on the field and his production. If he is healthy, my goodness.

Coutee never had a defender around him very long. He looked every bit the key piece he did last season. He is going to be a fun watch and will be a great matchup for the Texans defensive backs to work against.

Warring showcasing skills

Watching a handful of reps for Kahale Warring it is clear why he is here. He played at a school that didn't throw the ball much and when they did the talent throwing the ball wasn't great. He was the best pass catcher they have and oh by the way he has only played football for a few years. You can't tell that's the case.

I will be anxious to see more of him. He looks fluid and smooth in his movements which often indicates he is picking things up fast and not thinking much. Blocking when the pads come on will be something to watch, but watching him run routes is fun. Athletes aren't usually moving as well as he does at that size. These tight ends might be pound-for-pound the most athletic group on the team.

Lots of bodies catching lots of passes

​Johnnie Dixon showed off in rookie camp but there are plenty of other players to watch in the quest to make this time as a wideout. Tyron Johnson from Oklahoma State as well as Dixon both earned kudos from quarterback Deshaun Watson.

They join names like Steven Mitchell Jr., Isaac Whitney, Floyd Allen, Jester Weah, and second-year wideout Vyncint Smith among others vying for a spot on the team. There will be plenty of reps to go around as Will Fuller continues his recovery from injury and if Deandre Hopkins has his work load managed similar to last preseason. It might come down to who can help the most on special teams as well.

Special Adviser to the Head Coach and General Manager Andre Johnson was on hand helping out with the wide receivers.

It's a long name but worth learning

Briean Boddy-Calhoun is a veteran trying to make the Texans at cornerback. His previous stint was with Cleveland where Browns fans were surprisingly a little sad to see him leave this offseason.

He was all over the place today. His experience with pass defense packages will be key in his efforts to make the team. He also has experience playing safety as well. He was talking to all the defensive backs from safeties to rookies and veterans and corners. Being a veteran sponge will help him stick.

Mercilus begins contract year

If they Texans had to play a game tomorrow without Jadeveon Clowney and Whitney Mercilus lined up across from J.J. Watt as the other pass rusher it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. Mercilus was all over the field in the workout. He looks to be in great shape, but of course he always is, and he wasn't winded at any moment.

He is in the final year of his second contract and most NFL players don't see a third. Certainly not with the same team. Mercilus will have to have a nice year to reach that situation after a year lost to injury and a down year statistically. He is a veteran and a leader on this team and should the team not have Clowney at any point Mercilus can pick up some of the pass rushing slack.

Do your job, make the team, stay on the team, repeat

Peter Kalambayi was a little bit of a surprise to make the Texans last year to me. He ended up on the team as a do-it-all linebacker and played pretty well in his special teams reps. He looked really good today.

His name was called out for accolades on one play and he found himself around the ball in the reps. He also showed off good basics and movement in a drill against skill players who were trying to shake defenders. There is absolutely room for him on the roster and his contributions can be even more than last year with his rookie year under his belt.

D'Onta Foreman 2.0

D'Onta Foreman looks like a totally different guy. I have been seeing the hard work on social media but until you see them in person you aren't sure if it is paying off. It paid off. His body looks different and the burst, albeit in a low-to-no contact environment, looked solid. He has more wiggle than he has previously shown.

He has to be good for the Texans and the lack of investment in the position shows the team's faith in him. He and Lamar Miller, who looks to be in great shape as he was a year ago maybe even better shape, will have to guide the ground game. There is too much uncertainty behind them and even at this point a new face would need to do some catching up.

"I think he's had a very good offseason," said Bill O'Brien. "He's worked very hard. Sometimes it takes time, especially when you're injured your rookie year with a significant injury. You have something you're dealing with like he did with the Achilles. It takes a while to come back from that. Young player, getting used to pro football, then you have that. So, I think he's had a really good time away from us, when he wasn't with us, and that has parlayed into a good spring."

If boxing classes paid off like this for D'Onta Foreman I need to get me some gloves.

Speaking of body transformations...

Martinas Rankin looks a lot different. Slimmer in the lower midsection and maybe even thicker up top. Remember, he had a foot injury that slowed his time on the field before the season got started last year. He is a potentially key offensive lineman with his versatility. It will be a fun watch when the pads come on to see what Rankin brings to the table.

Jordan Thomas is another player who looks to be in even better shape than last year as well. Watching him run still feels like a sleek bouncer chasing down an unruly patron. I say that with the most possible endearment I can. He's a crazy good athlete.

Justin Reid...more like Justin Leader...

Justin Reid has seen the field as a member of the Texans more than any other safety on the roster. Now, that's not to say the second-year player has the most experience, but he has the most experience as a member of the Texans. That seems wild for a second-year player to have that designation but it is the truth and a testament to how well Reid played last year.

"The room is a little bit different now but we have phenomenal guys like T-Gip (Tashaun Gipson Sr.), (Bradley) Roby, (Briean) Boddy(-Calhoun)," said Reid. "The guys that we've brought in, the rookies, have been doing well. I'm impressed with how they've played these last two days. So, we've been building as a unit and our chemistry has been getting better every day."

He and Tashaun Gipson have formed a close bond already. Reid said he feels like he has known his fellow safety for a long time when they haven't actually been teammates that long. Reid mentioned they almost feel interchangeable in their skills and is excited to play with the former Jaguars safety.

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