10 Observations On The Houston Texans Newly Released 2016 Schedule

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Somewhere on the excitement scale, in between the arrival of the new phone book (Do they still make phone books?) at zero and the unveiling of the Rogue One trailer at ten, is the reveal of the 2016 NFL schedule. After three months of knowing what the puzzle pieces look like, we are told what order to assemble them in.

For the Texans, speculation has been rampant since the day that Brock Osweiler signed the bottom of his contract documentation that they would travel to Denver to face the Broncos in the season opener on Thursday, September 8. It would be the Brock Osweiler Bowl, pitting the jilted Broncos versus the home wrecking Texans.

Well, it's not gonna happen. Actually, it will, but not until October 24. Without further ado, here is the Houston Texans' 2016 schedule of professional football games.....

Day                Date            Opponent                             TV Network       Kickoff Time
Sunday         Aug. 14        at San Francisco 49ers         KTRK                  6:00 p.m.
Saturday      Aug. 20       NEW ORLEANS SAINTS      KTRK                  7:00 p.m.
Sunday         Aug. 28       ARIZONA CARDINALS         FOX                    3:00 p.m.
Thursday      Sept. 1        at Dallas Cowboys                  KTRK                  7:00 p.m.

Day                Date            Opponent                             TV Network       Kickoff Time
Sunday         Sept. 11        CHICAGO BEARS                   FOX                      Noon
Sunday         Sept. 18       KANSAS CITY CHIEFS          CBS                       Noon
Thursday     Sept. 22       at New England Patriots   CBS/NFLN/Tw    7:25 p.m.
Sunday         Oct. 2           TENNESSEE TITANS            CBS                       Noon
Sunday         Oct. 9          at Minnesota Vikings             CBS                       Noon
Sunday         Oct. 16         INDIANAPOLIS COLTS        NBC                    7:30 p.m.
Monday       Oct. 24         at Denver Broncos                ESPN                   7:30 p.m.
Sunday        Oct. 30          DETROIT LIONS                   FOX                      Noon
Sunday        Nov. 13          at Jacksonville Jaguars        CBS                      Noon
Monday       Nov. 21         at Oakland Raiders               ESPN                   7:30 p.m.
Sunday        Nov. 27         SAN DIEGO CHARGERS       CBS                     Noon
Sunday        Dec. 4           at Green Bay Packers             CBS                     Noon
Sunday        Dec. 11          at Indianapolis Colts               CBS                    Noon
Sunday        Dec. 18         JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS   CBS                    Noon
Saturday     Dec. 24        CINCINNATI BENGALS         NFLN                7:25 p.m.
Sunday        Jan. 1            at Tennessee Titans                 CBS                    Noon

Ok, a few observations.....

1. While playing in the season opener for the entire league would have been a fun build up and certainly a rousing referendum on the cachet of the Texans' moves this offseason, it's probably for the best that the NFL's best defense is tucked nicely seven weeks into the schedule after their former teammate gets a chance to get his feet wet in Bill O'Brien's playbook for a couple months. Whatever degree of fun would be gleaned from the relevance of playing in that game would likely be cancelled out by the detrimental effect of Osweiler answering questions about it for the entire preseason. Going up against the Bears at home is a much nicer beginning, like the $100 question in Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

1a. Oh, you say you want a betting line on the season opener? Well, ask and ye shall receive.... 

2. The Texans won't have to wait long to get revenge on the Kansas City Chiefs for the time they came in here last January and all but declared prima nocta on all of the Texans' wives and girlfriends. Osweiler will get a chance to finish the job that Brian Hoyer could never even start. Actually, now that I think about it, if Osweiler makes it out of the first quarter of that game having not turned the ball over, it's already a massive upgrade. Go get 'em, Brock!!

3. Of course, the emotional high (or low) of whatever the Chiefs game holds must be washed away quickly. Like REALLY freaking quickly, as the Texans have three days to get ready to travel to New England to face the Patriots. While I had always been on Tom Brady's side in the Deflate-Gate litigation, allow me to be completely transparent and root for the league to win its appeal in reinstating the four game suspension against Brady. GO ROGER GO!!!!

4. That October 9 looms as a sneaky game on the schedule. The Vikings took a step up last season and made the playoffs, and should have beaten the Seahawks in a wild card round game, were it not for a 27 yard Blair Walsh field goal miss. That road game against the Vikes is sandwiched in between two division games against the soon-to-be-fortified-by-a-jillio-draft-picks Titans and the presumably Luck-led Colts. 

5. Back to back prime time games against the Colts at home on Sunday night and the Broncos on the road on Monday night! RELEVANCE, THY NAME IS OSWEILER!! Also, this makes six of the last seven seasons that at least one of the two games against the Colts has been in prime time, and four straight seasons that the home game against the Colts has been on either Sunday or Thursday night. 

6. Coming out of the bye week in Week 9, the Traveling Texans get to pile up gobs of frequent flyer miles over the next five weeks, with four road trips to Jacksonville, Mexico City (Oakland), Green Bay (in December! Brrrr....), and Indianapolis. In between, there's a home game against San Diego after the Mexico City trip. I know the Chargers suck, but considering that the Texans are playing them off of a short week and possibly dealing with Montezuma's Revenge, I plan on taking the points in that San Diego game. 

7. How nice will it be to not have to discuss the Texans never winning in Indy?? Seriously. 

8. Christmas Eve night game against the Bengals! That means that I get to give Santa Claus updates during the post game show on Texans radio! Sweet, I've always wanted to do that! 

9. Let's hope that the Texans' season finale on the road against Tennessee is far different than the last season finale on the road against Tennessee — 2013, in which roughly 94 percent of Texan fans were rooting for the Titans so that the Texans would get the number one overall pick. 

10. Early full season prediction.... 9-7. 

Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 to 7 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanTPendergast and like him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SeanTPendergast.                  

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