I really like Gary Kubiak. I think he is a good coach and an all around genuine guy. Last year his Texans were on the playoff doorstep. This year they want to cross over that threshold and I am rooting for them. The good news is the team is back intact, not to many preseason injuries and they are hungry. That's the good news. The bad news is their schedule. For starters they open up with Indy at home. Peyton Manning and company coming off a Superbowl season, look poised and ready to return. Week 3 brings Jerry Jones' Cowboys to Reliant stadium. After the preseason shellacking the Texans administered to Dallas, look for a good old fashioned Texas brawl. The Cowboys are looking good to return to the playoffs and many are looking at a Superbowl appearance. Steve Jones has cleaned up the mess Jerry created and now hopefully the Cowboy locker room can find some stability.The next couple of weeks find the Texans playing KC, Oakland, and the Giants. Not to bad. Week 8 finds them at Indy, not so good. Week 9 Phillip Rivers and the Chargers invade Reliant stadium. The Chargers were 1 win away from the AFC conference championship last year and I guarantee are looking to take that next step. Weeks 10, 11 and 12 find the Texans at Jacksonville, at the Jets and back home against the Titans and good old Bud Adams. For some unknown reason the Texans don't do well against Jacksonville. Last year they lost a key game to the Jags. The Jets, who knows about them. AFC conference finalists last year, they could fold like a house of cards this year. How many times have we seen that? A team goes from first to worst in one season. The Titans, will go only as far as Vince Young can take them. My personal opinion is that Vince is not the "man." Still, the Titans are worthy of some playoff consideration.The high flying Baltimore Ravens with big, bad Ray Lewis, patient Joe Flacco and the rest of another highly rated team, touch down at Reliant in week 14. Superbowl contenders almost every year, the Ravens defense is going to open a can of Wupp Ass that day. The Texans can give it right back to them. The problem is can they do so with minimal injuries. The Texans closeout the season at the Titans, at Denver and the Jags at home. While Denver has not been the same since Shanahan left, they are looking to make a playoff run. Without a quality Qb, easier said than done.
For me it starts at the Qb. Matt Shaub has been getting better every year. I just don't think he can get them to that next level. Now they have brought in Matt Leinart.....overrated or hasn't found his fit? My belief is Matt Leinart was a great college Qb.I may be wrong, but I think that's where it ends for him. You know the old saying:"defense wins ball games." This is my second concern. The Texan defense was hot and cold last year. There were some games that they are great.....some games not so great. So consistency is a big one for the defense this year. During the preseason, Kubiak had to call em on the carpet. This is not a good sign. They are pros and hopefully can come together as a group and make big stops when they need to.
So I have highlighted what I think will be the 11 games that will decide the Texans playoff hopes Six of these games are against legitimate playoff teams. The other 5 are against good winning franchises.The other games on their schedule are not give aways either. This is pro football, remember "on any given Sunday." Lets say the Texans win 6 of these 11 games and the rest of their games. They end up 11 and 5 and are ready for a possible bye in the first round. As much as I like the Texans, I think they lose 7 of these games and just miss the playoffs. You add the injury factor and it could be a long season.