On Tuesday night, fans of the NFL everywhere tuned in closely as ESPN announced the schedules for the 2012-2013 regular season for all 32 franchises.
Fresh off their first divisional championship in franchise history, here is a breakdown of every regular-season game for the Houston Texans.
At first glance, the schedule is rough in the middle, but the team definitely possesses the talent to break into the postseason once again. If healthy, they could make a serious run to New Orleans for the 2013 Super Bowl.
Here is the breakdown and analyzing of every game on the schedule.
The home opener for the Texans at first glance appears to be an easy win.
There is a chance the opposing QB could be Ryan Tannehill, who, for some reason has jumped up to the third-best player at his position in this year's draft despite not attending the combine.
I watched every single snap Tannehill took this year, and while I believe he has promise (especially with former Aggie coach Mike Sherman calling the shots on offense), he won't get it done in his first start.
The defense will give the Dolphins fits and Foster will have success against the defense. After the first game, the Texans will be 1-0 and improve to 7-0 against the Dolphins all-time.
Week 2: 9/16 Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars 12 PM CT, CBS
The days of David Garrard and his Hail Mary passes to Mike Thomas are behind us.
The Jaguars are one of the weaker teams in this division and in my opinion do not pose much of a threat with young QB Blaine Gabbert at the helm.
The only possible threat that I see with the Jaguars is Maurice Jones-Drew running rampant against the Texans defense. MJD always seems to find the opening and rack up the yards and is usually a difficult player to stop.
Our offense is much better overall, though, and I don't see the Jaguars being able to compete for the full 60 minutes.
The Texans improve to 2-0 in this game behind a big game from Matt Schaub (yes, he will be healthy).
Week 3: 9/23 Houston Texans at Denver Broncos 3:15 PM CT, CBS
I've seen various power rankings from both large sites and small blogs that have the Broncos as one of the favorites to win this year's Super Bowl. Yeah right.
Broncos fans will be in for a rude awakening. Even if Manning is the healthiest he has ever been in his entire life, he is a 36-year-old QB who has his best days behind him and is on the decline.
The young Texans defense will bring him down multiple times as well as bat down a number of passes as Broncos receivers try to adjust to passes actually making it to them (sorry Tebow).
After three weeks, the Texans will stand at a perfect 3-0.
Week 4: 9/30 Tennessee Titans vs. Houston Texans 12 PM CT, CBS:
The Titans pose the only significant threat to the Texans winning the AFC South this year.
Jake Locker appears to be the future QB of this franchise and I expect he will improve his performance over last year's campaign.
Chris Johnson also will no longer be worried about living up to his contract and will actually perform for the entire season. Behind the hometown crowd of Reliant Stadium I think Houston gets the win here.
At 4-0, the Texans are looking great after the first month of the season.
Week 5: Houston Texans at New York Jets 7:30 PM CT, ESPN
In their first prime-time game of the year, the Houston Texans visit the Jets on Monday Night Football.
The Jets are going to be a team with a fairly high draft pick next year if they don't get their QB situation figured out. As the old saying goes, "If you have two QBs, you have no QBs."
The Jets struggle throughout this entire game on converting third downs and turnovers and the defense will struggle to stop Foster.
The Texans improve to 5-0 in front of the entire country on ESPN.
Week 6: 10/14 Green Bay Packers at Houston Texans 7:20 CT, CBS
The Green Bay Packers will present the first truly difficult challenge of the NFL.
The Packers defense will be somewhat weak and the Texans will not struggle too much to put up points against them. However, Aaron Rogers will also put up a lot of points for Green Bay.
In a high-scoring affair, the Texans fall to 5-1.
Week 7: 10/21 Baltimore Ravens vs. Houston Texans 12 PM CT, CBS
Fresh off a loss to the Packers and with revenge from last year on their minds, I expect the Texans to come up big in this game.
I am a firm believer that if Matt Schaub had been under center for the Houston Texans last year during the playoffs, they could have taken down Baltimore in the playoffs.
Schaub will get his shot this year with a clean bill of health, and will outperform the self-proclaimed "best QB in the NFL," Joe Flacco in this matchup.
Ed Reed and Ray Lewis are productive, but they'll finally begin to show their age. Foster has a big game and I believe a receiver other than Andre Johnson will have a big game as well.
Back on track with the wins, the Texans are 6-1.
Week 9: 11/4 Buffalo Bills vs. Houston Texans 12 PM CT, CBS
After a bye in Week 8, the Texans will take on the Buffalo Bills. They are better than the Bills, but there is a game on every team's schedule that they should win but just can't seem to get it done.
For the first time in his career, Mario Williams records a sack in Reliant Stadium for another team. I expect him to have a huge game.
Ryan Fitzpatrick has a bigger game than he should against the Texans defense, and the Texans also have a couple boneheaded turnovers.
Off of the bye, the Texans complete their first half of the season with a record of 6-2.
Week 10: 11/11 Houston Texans at Chicago Bears 7:20 PM CT, NBC
Matt Forte (hopefully) has a better contract at this point that rewards him for his great performance. If he is still dealing with franchise tag issues, he will be giving one last run at convincing the Bears he is worthy of a payday.
The running backs will be the story of the game in this prime time matchup, as Arian Foster also racks up a lot of yards through both the running and passing game.
The game is close, but the Bears get the best of the Texans as they fall to 6-3 in a very close game.
Week 11: 11/18 Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Houston Texans 12 PM CT, CBS
Once again, the Jaguars are unable to perform against the Houston Texans in their second faceoff of the season.
If Gabbert hasn't been replaced at this point of the season, the talk will become much louder as Jaguars fans grow tired of his performance.
The Texans don't struggle a bit in this game. They'll win by double digits to improve their record to 7-3.
Week 12: 11/22 Houston Texans at Detroit Lions 11:30 AM, CBS
Calvin Johnson will use this game to prove to the country he has taken over the title of Best Wide Receiver in the NFL as he outshines Andre Johnson.
Texans offense will struggle as the Lions dominate the Texans fairly easily on defense and will cause multiple turnovers and prevent long drives.
In the first Thanksgiving game in franchise history, the only thing the Texans will have to be thankful for is that the losing is almost over in the regular season.
After Week 12, the Texans record stands at 7-4.
Week 13: 12/2 Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans 12 PM CT, CBS
This will be the game that will virtually clinch the division for the second consecutive year for the Texans in the AFC South.
With a few days of extra rest, the Texans will dominate in this game.
Matt Schaub will have one of the best performances of his season, and Andre Johnson will also come up big.
The Texans will be 8-4 after the season sweep of the Titans.
Week 14: Houston Texans at New England Patriots 7:30 PM CT, ESPN
This game will determine home field advantage for the AFC in this year's playoffs.
Unfortunately for the Texans, they will not come out with the W.
Brandon Lloyd and Tom Brady will become the 2012 version of Brady and Moss. They will be too much for the defense to contain.
While the yards-per-game defense of the Patriots will be weak, they will still come up with a red-zone turnover just when you think the Texans may pull this game out.
With three games remaining, the Texans are 8-5. On a positive note, the rest of the schedule will be a cakewalk.
Week 15: 12/16 Indianapolis Colts vs. Houston Texans 12 PM CT, CBS
In the 15th week of the regular season, the Houston Texans finally face the biggest rival of the division in Andrew Luck and the Colts.
For at least the 2012 season, this "rivalry" won't be too competitive. I believe that Andrew Luck will find success in the NFL, but the rebuilding process will still be going when these teams match up.
Not too much to analyze here. The Texans handle the Colts and they do so quite easily.
Houston Texans are 9-5 after 15 weeks.
Week 16: 12/23 Minnesota Vikings vs. Houston Texans, 12 PM CT, FOX
Yet another easy game for the Texans.
Ponder is not the future for the Vikings, and hopefully Minnesota has noticed this by now.
Actually, no, go ahead and leave him in there for the Texans sake.
Adrian Peterson won't be as productive, as his injury will still linger throughout the season.
The Vikings can't stop the Texans at Reliant, and Houston will match a franchise-high 10 wins and are 10-5 overall.
Week 17: Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts 12 PM CT, CBS
The season is wrapped up in Indy in front of the Colts faithful.
Colts are excited to see the season end as they wrap up a pretty weak season under the direction of Andrew Luck. They suffer due to a weak offensive line and the Texans rack up the sacks to finish off the year at 11-5.
So there it is. 11-5, division champions and looking good going into the playoffs. The draft is next week and the season is even closer than when you started reading.
Let's get ready for some football and a potential run at the Super Bowl.
Agree? Disagree? Leave your feedback in the comment section below. Follow Brandon Wheeland on Twitter @BrandonWheeland for the perfect mixture of sports news, analysis, and satire.
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