Sean Pendergast

Houston Texans Announce Their 2017 Preseason Opponents

As of right now, it will be Tom Savage opening the preseason as the Texans' starting QB.
As of right now, it will be Tom Savage opening the preseason as the Texans' starting QB. Eric Sauseda
So I leave for one week to go on vacation, and all of my hopes and dreams (namely, Tony Romo as the starting quarterback for the Houston Texans in 2017) go up in smoke. I mean, when I left last Saturday for Florida, Jerry Jones was on the cusp of giving teams permission to speak to Romo, and by the time I was standing on line for the Frozen ride at EPCOT Center on Tuesday morning, Romo was retiring for a career in broadcasting.

The question now becomes whether Romo was ever going to play for someone other than the Dallas Cowboys, but I guess that doesn't really matter now. The Texans are back to square one at the quarterback position, ready to draft a quarterback in a couple of weeks and go to war with Tom Savage as their starter in 2017, until we hear otherwise.

The Texans have steadily backstroked from "Pick Six" Schaub in 2013 to Fitzy and Mallett in 2014 to Hoyer and Mallett in 2015 to Brock Osweiler's Interception Story Time in 2016, and finally to Savage, who I am assuming is the only quarterback to have actually seen the field, started games and still not thrown a touchdown pass after three NFL seasons.

You know the old saying "optimism abounds"? Well, the Houston Texans are the complete opposite of that right now, and Football Outsiders has quantitatively confirmed that, placing the Texans in last place in the AFC south with a 6-10 record in their first set of 2017 projections. Good times!

Additionally, the first baby steps of this pivotal season for Bill O'Brien were announced on Monday afternoon, as the Texans learned who their four preseason opponents will be. Let's run through them quickly...

WEEK 1 (August 10-14) at Carolina
Story Lines:
Hey, the first start of the Tom Savage Era! ... J.J. Watt is back from back surgery, how does he look watching from the sidelines in bubble wrap? .. [Fill in name of drafted rookie here] gets some snaps, attempts to create QB controversy... Cam Newton's first action since surgery on his torn rotator cuff (possibly).

From the press release:

The matchup with the Panthers in Week 1 is only the second time the two teams have faced off in the preseason with Houston winning the first matchup 26-13 in Carolina in 2012. The Texans and Panthers most recently met in the 2015 regular season, a 24-17 victory for Carolina to tie the all-time regular season series at 2-2.
WEEK 2 (August 17-21) vs NEW ENGLAND
Story Lines:
Not sure if you knew this, but the Patriots specialize in ripping out the Texans' soul, as they did twice last season...Apparently, the two teams might practice together leading up to this game:
So maybe Bill O'Brien can be fooled into thinking he has lifted even MORE trade secrets from Bill Belichick as he continues his ill-conceived attempt to build Patriots South.

From the press release:

In Week 2, the Texans will welcome the defending Super Bowl Champion Patriots to NRG Stadium for the first-ever matchup between the two teams in the preseason. Houston and New England met in Week 3 of the regular season last year and in the AFC Divisional Round in Foxborough.
WEEK 3 (August 24-28) at New Orleans
Story Lines: A gratuitous trip to the French Quarter for Texans fans! Third preseason game, so it most closely resembles a regular season game, so if the Texans offense looks bad here, that's trouble.

From the press release:

Houston will go on the road in Week 3 to face New Orleans for the ninth time in 10 years and 10th time overall in the preseason. The Texans lead the all-time preseason series between the two teams at 5-4, with Houston winning both of the last two meetings, including a 16-9 victory at NRG Stadium in 2016.
WEEK 4, (August 31-September 1) vs DALLAS
Story Lines:
 Battle for the Governor's Cup, which to my knowledge is the only trophy that gets passed around for results in a preseason Week 4 exhibition...[Fill in name of drafted rookie here] probably gets to start a game, so please do well, rook!

From the press release:

Week 4 marks the third straight year the Texans will wrap up the preseason against the Cowboys and 10th preseason matchup overall between the two teams. Houston leads the head-to-head preseason series at 5-4, dating back to the first contest in 2003. The Texans won 28-17 last season at AT&T Stadium to close out the preseason.

Dates and times of the preseason games will be announced in the near future, and all games will be televised locally on KTRK. The 2017 regular season scheduled will likely be unveiled sometime during the week of April 17 through April 21.

Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 to 6 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at and like him on Facebook at
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Sean Pendergast is a contributing freelance writer who covers Houston area sports daily in the News section, with periodic columns and features, as well. He also hosts afternoon drive on SportsRadio 610, as well as the post game show for the Houston Texans.
Contact: Sean Pendergast