Of all its properties and assets, perhaps the one that the NFL most grossly misuses and improperly leverages is the reveal of the upcoming season's schedule. Fans in NFL cities love finding out when and where their teams are going to play in the upcoming season, and how many primetime games their teams will have.
And yet the NFL treats it with the urgency and magnitude of an appointment at Supercuts, waiting to nail down the exact date and time of the unveiling until like 48 hours before that date. I don't get it, but it's not my job to get it. It's my job to analyze it once the schedule is released.
After a few leaks here and there on Tuesday afternoon, we finally got the goods on Tuesday night. Here is the Houston Texans 2015 schedule:
Saturday, Aug. 15 SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS 7:00 p.m. KTRK Saturday, Aug. 22 DENVER BRONCOS 7:00 p.m. KTRK Sunday, Aug. 30 at New Orleans Saints 3:00 p.m. FOX Thursday, Sept. 3 at Dallas Cowboys 7:00 p.m. KTRK
Sunday, Sept. 13 KANSAS CITY CHIEFS Noon CBS Sunday, Sept. 20 at Carolina Panthers Noon CBS Sunday, Sept. 27 TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS Noon FOX Sunday, Oct. 4 at Atlanta Falcons Noon CBS Thursday, Oct. 8 INDIANAPOLIS COLTS 7:25 p.m. CBS/NFLN Sunday, Oct. 18 at Jacksonville Jaguars Noon CBS Sunday, Oct. 25 at Miami Dolphins Noon CBS Sunday, Nov. 1 TENNESSEE TITANS Noon CBS Sunday, Nov. 8 BYE Monday, Nov. 16 at Cincinnati Bengals 7:30 p.m. ESPN Sunday, Nov. 22 NEW YORK JETS Noon CBS Sunday, Nov. 29 NEW ORLEANS SAINTS Noon FOX Sunday, Dec. 6 at Buffalo Bills Noon CBS Sunday, Dec. 13 NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS Noon CBS Sunday, Dec. 20 at Indianapolis Colts Noon CBS Sunday, Dec. 27 at Tennessee Titans Noon CBS Sunday, Jan. 3 JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS Noon CBS
A few thoughts and observations on the Texans' 2015 slate:
1. The Texans open the season at home against the Kansas City Chiefs, which is the second time they've done so in the history of the franchise, having opened the 2007 season against the Chiefs at home. Similarities (actual and hopeful) between these two games -- both Texans teams had head coaches entering their second years, both teams possibly may have started brand new quarterbacks (Schaub in 2007, possibly Brian Hoyer in 2015), and hopefully both teams beat up on the Chiefs by 17 points (20-3 in 2007).
2. The Texans play three NFC South teams in a row during Weeks 2, 3, and 4 of the regular season, with trips to Carolina and Atlanta sandwiched around a visit from Tampa Bay, and possibly soon to be number one overall pick Jameis Winston. The Texans have generally fared well against young quarterbacks (not named Luck) in recent years. That Atlanta game will mark the reunion of Brooks Reed with his former teammates, which of course will be a pimple on the ass of the reunion between....
3. ....Andre Johnson and his teammates. On a Thursday night. On national television. For Dre's homecoming as an Indianapolis Colt. Kudos schedule makers! If the Texans are 3-1 or 4-0 going into that game, the atmosphere should be fantastic.
4. For the first time since 2011, the Texans have a chance to win the state championship for the state of Florida, playing Miami, Tampa Bay, and Jacksonville (twice). That season they went 4-0 against those teams, taking home the mythical Florida NFL Title (which is a trophy made out of a big brick of cocaine).
5. Week 9 bye week, which Bill O'Brien likes:
"I think when it comes in the middle of the season, it's really almost perfect. I think that when its eight games in, that's a time when your team probably needs a little bit of a rest from the normal bumps and bruises that happen in an NFL season. It'll be good to get that rest there and then kick it into gear for the last half of the season."
6. Only two primetime games, which is a little surprising considering a) everybody gets at least one Thursday night game, and b) the Texans have J.J. Watt.
7. The toughest stretch of schedule is the four weeks in between Thanksgiving and Christmas, when the Texans have a road trip to frigid Buffalo sandwiched in between home games against the Saints and the Patriots before wrapping things up with a road trip to Indianapolis (where they've never won ever). They have to crawl through those 500 yards of shit smelling foulness to escape to a Tennessee-Jacksonville exacta to close things out.
8. Early prediction on 2015 record: 9-7 (again)