Last night the NFL released the schedules for all 32 teams, including the Houston Texans. Here is the order of 2016 opponents:
Week 1- Chicago Bears
It’s not the worst way to open the season, but I think the Bears are going to be better than they were last year. Watch out for Jeremy Langford, the heir to Matt Forte. He has the skills to be a very good back and will now be the featured guy. Brock Osweiler played for John Fox in Denver before Fox left for Chicago, and also former Broncos linebacker Danny Trevathan will be familiar with Osweiler having gone against him in practice for years. The Texans have won each of their first three meetings with the Bears.
Week 2- Kansas City Chiefs
After opening and closing the season against the Chiefs last year, the Texans will get an early shot at redemption. Osweiler will get another opponent that he is familiar with in a former division rival. The Chiefs also might be without Justin Houston for the entirety of the 2016 season, which would be a crushing loss for their pass rush. Also this’ll be another opportunity to see two young stars in DeAndre Hopkins and Marcus Peters go head to head.
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Week 3- at New England Patriots
Well this will be a nice how-do-you-do for the first road game of the season. This will be a Thursday Night Game, one of the five Prime Time games the Texans have in 2016. Tom Brady and the Patriots embarrassed the Texans on their field late last season and now going to Foxborough with a close to fully healthy Patriots squad will be a tall order. Of course there is some question as to whether Brady will be playing in this game, but even without Brady the Pats are still one of the toughest teams in the league to beat on their field.
Week 4- Tennessee Titans
This will be the Texans first game against Marcus Mariota and new Titan DeMarco Murray. The last time the Texans saw Murray he had nearly 200 all-purpose yards as the Cowboys beat the Texans 20-17 in overtime in 2014. We won’t see the top pick in the draft in this game, as the Titans sent it to the Rams earlier this week. If the Titans can develop their receivers and offensive line in the offseason, they could surprise some people.
Overall, the first quarter of the season isn’t too bad. Three home games will allow the Texans to hopefully get off to a faster start than they did in 2015, with at least a couple wins early.