The NFL put out the official schedule for all 32 teams Tuesday night, an exciting event for all fans and players. The Houston Texans got a fairly decent schedule, not too hard, but not incredibly easy, either.
They do have one of their huge division games set as a Thursday night game against the Colts, and it would be huge to get a win then. While this game looks incredibly intimidating, if the Texans can get some offensive momentum rolling, they have a chance to win it.
What comes after this game is what’s really exciting, though. The Texans have a schedule with lots of ease in the following weeks after their difficult matchup with the Colts.
A long stretch of easier weeks is the perfect time for the Texans to get a jump on other teams in their conference and division who may have it harder. They can move up a few games in the rankings by taking advantage of the easier teams they will be playing.
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The next six weeks of the season after the Colts feature 4 teams who did not make the playoffs last year, or finish with a record over .500. They also have a bye week, a perfect chance for the team to take a break, and revitalize themselves, to get ready for the second half of the year. Not to mention that their bye week comes in week nine, almost perfectly placed in the middle of the season.
While they do play one team who was in the playoffs last year, the Cincinnati Bengals, the Bengals have often failed to prove their consistency to the league. Their quarterback, Andy Dalton, often fails to show he is a leader, although the team did show some success last year. I believe even this game, the hardest one of this 6 week stretch, is a winnable game.
Over the five opponents they will play between October 18th and November 22nd, their opponents win percentage from last year is just 35%, and this is drastically increased by the Bengals 10-5 record, and even brought up by the Dolphins flat 8-8 record.
The Jacksonville Jaguars and Miami Dolphins don’t pose a huge threat to the Texans. The New York Jets will be a difficult team to get things rolling offensively with Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie in the backfield, but I believe it’s still a game the Texans can win.
The biggest downfall of this stretch is the fact that out of these five games, three of them are on the road. Luckily this isn’t a huge deal in the NFL with a week in between each game. Also, one of the games they have to travel to directly follows a bye week, which will give them plenty of time to rest before traveling up to Ohio to see the Bengals.
While other teams have to play stretches of very daunting opponents, the Texans should be happy that this middle of their schedule was a blessing to them. It will be great for them to have the possibility of having a five game winning streak going into the later end of the season, where they have to face the likes of Drew Brees and Tom Brady.
Taking advantage of this light middle part of their schedule could be the difference between the Texans making it into the playoffs and missing the playoffs, and possibly even winning the division. The momentum gained from these games could be huge. Alternatively, if the Texans are unable to take control of these games, they could be digging themselves into a huge hole.