The Houston Texans announced their 2012 preseason opponents yesterday. The schedule is as follows:
Week 1: @ Carolina Panthers
Week 2 : vs. San Francisco 49ers
Week 3: @ New Orleans Saints
Week 4: vs. Minnesota Vikings
A quick glance at the schedule reveals that all of the Texans’ preseason opponents are from the NFC; among them only the Vikings are scheduled to play the Texans during the regular season. Gary Kubiak should thus feel more comfortable putting his playbook into practice.
The preseason begins with a visit to Carolina. This is a chance for the Texans to somewhat avenge an embarrassing 28-13 home loss to Newton and Co. on Week 15 of the 2011 season. They face tough challenges the next two weeks in the form of two defending division champions, hosting the 49ers at Reliant on Week 2 then traveling to New Orleans for a nationally televised matchup against the Saints on Week 3. These two matchups against a shutdown defense and an offensive powerhouse, respectively, should provide much-needed tests on both sides of the ball for Houston. Finally, the Texans will end their preseason with a home game against the Vikings, who handed them a 28-0 defeat last preseason.
“I think it’s a good preseason schedule,” said Kubiak. “From a defensive standpoint, we see a variety of offenses, [including] Carolina that we struggled with a little bit last year. New Orleans has a great offensive football team. San Francisco’s very physical from an offensive standpoint. The defenses we see are going to be primarily 4-3 football teams, so that is totally opposite of what we work against in training camp, because our defense is a 3-4.”
CBS will broadcast the Texans @ Saints game at 7 P.M. ET, Aug. 25. Times and dates of the other games will be released in a later announcement.
It’s hard to get overly excited for a preseason schedule release. But during a time in which football news surrenders its buzz to the grand return of baseball, we’ll take what we can get. With the draft coming up in just a few weeks while the long and arduous baseball season settles down, football will slowly make its way back. As of now, though, the question remains:
Is it football season yet?