The Texans have four prime time games

Texans 2019 schedule announced

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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.

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Composite photo by Jack Brame

As things continue to relax as far as the COVID-19 pandemic is concerned, a return to a semblance of normalcy seems imminent. The NBA has some parameters in place for a potential return. Training camps are set to open late this month and the season is supposed to open July 31. Whether that's the rumored Disney-centered one-stop shop or another form, they have a plan in place to return. There's also no argument between the league and players going back and forth about money either (MLB could learn a lesson here).

So when it comes to the potential return, how does that fare for the local team? The Rockets were 40-24 and tied for the fifth seed in the West when the season was shut down. Since they're getting ready to return potentially, we need to be looking at what chances they may have in making a run in the playoffs towards an NBA title.



Harden's new physique

According to his new trainer, James Harden has done more cardio workouts and lost some weight. Specifically, he's done more football player workouts as opposed to basketball player workouts. There was a pic of Harden floating around showing an obvious loss of weight. His new-found cardio and weight loss could mean more late-game and late-season success for Harden and the Rockets.

Westbrook's edge

Russell Westbrook has a competitive fire that can't be put out. It's like one of those never-ending burning torches you see at monuments. He wants nothing more than to prove he's a winner on a high level. Given that he's reunited with a long time friend in Harden, his competitive nature could help fill the gap where Harden may lack. These two have proven they can coexist very well this season. Now could be their time to take surge.

Small-ball

When the Rockets traded Clint Capela, they fully committed to small-ball. There were times they didn't have a guy in the lineup over 6'5. The tallest guy that gets regular time is roughly 6'8. The smaller, quicker lineup is an advantage on the offensive end, but can be a huge liability on the defensive end. Given the stoppage and restart of the season, it could help them. Suppose other teams are sluggish and can't get their chemistry straight. Houston's advantage is that they go through one or two guys and eat off their shooting. Shooting can be worked on during times like these, whereas other aspects of your game can't.


I'm not saying the Rockets have a built-in advantage, but they have as good a shot as they've ever had in the past. The field is wide open to any team that's in the playoff hunt. No team will have a built-in advantage over others. With the Rockets' unique brand of ball, they may be able to make a run at a title this season. Couple that with Harden's weight loss and Westbrook's competitive nature, it could be very interesting. Whenever the NBA comes back this season, which I believe they will, I think this team has a legit shot at winning it all.

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