Before we begin the analysis - just a reminder that this is why you love the NFL so much. Every game is absolutely huge! Sunday feels like the NCAA Tournament on steroids. Careers hang in the balance. Seasons are on the line. We could feel elation or deep disappointment.
And that's only Week 1.
Ok, Let's go.
This is only the third time Houston has opened at home with the Colts and the first since 2011. Houston won both previous meetings by pounding the ball. One was an unforgettable afternoon against Peyton Manning in 2010.
Three division games to close out the season are slated for the first time since 2015, when Houston won all three to capture the AFC South for the first time in three years. It's a sign! Let's see a repeat of that this year!
Houston is 55-40 all-time against the non-division opponents on the schedule.
The only prime time game (Nov. 3 vs Philly) is at home and that's always a good thing. Being a Thursday-nighter, I always feel like the home team has a big edge in not having to travel on a short week. The Eagles are the only team on the schedule the Texans have never beaten (0-5) so this needs to be remedied.
The only cold weather threats are Tennessee on Christmas Eve and the Giants in November, which shouldn't be too bad. Let the record show that the Texans have often done well in cold weather anyway (Green Bay and Chicago, anyone?) and defeated the Titans in a driving rain storm last year, in a season that saw the Titans earn the top seed in the AFC.
The Cowboys game will be the latest the Texans have ever played them. The all-time record is 3-2 in favor of Dallas. The last two meetings have been epics that went into overtime.
The only NFC East team the Texans have a winning record against is Washington (3-2). Houston beat the Giants, then a playoff team, in the inaugural season but has lost four straight to New York since then.
The Denver and Chicago trips are both in September in weeks two and three. We'll learn an awful lot about this team before the calendar hits October. There are some fairly long flights but even the west coast games aren't too cumbersome travel-wise, with the Raiders and Broncos as the destinations (once you get past that Denver mile-high issue).
Two stadiums the Texans have never appeared in will be crossed off the list, with Vegas and the L.A. Rams, the one preseason road trip. This will leave Atlanta as the only one left. Houston will be there next year.
New Orleans and San Francisco come calling for the two preseason home games with Amazon Prime broadcasting the final tilt, against the 49ers. That means Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit make two visits to NRG, the Philly game being the other. The Texans will be their first broadcast.
As usual, we'll have every game on SportsRadio 610 and the entire Texans Radio network. Can't wait!
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