Houston Texans: Quick thoughts on the 2019 NFL schedule release

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

The Houston Texans scheduled has been officially released and it’s a doozy for us fans. Can this season be a successful one? Let’s take a look.

Houston Texans fans — after patiently waiting with anxiety as well as the anticipation of the ballyhooed schedule release, we finally know the dates that this team will do battle with their opponents.

We’ve known their who their opponents were going to be for 2019 for quite some time as this information is arranged well in advance but it’s nice to know the exact dates that the Houston Texans will do the dirty work in order to reign supreme for the upcoming season.

At least we hope.

The obvious highlight to the schedule is that for the first time in franchise history, the team will participate in the annual NFL London games usually taking place toward the mid-point of the season.  They’ll take on the Jacksonville Jaguars — a regular invitee — at Wembley Stadium.  The Houston Texans were one of the last NFL teams to not have participated in the games across the pond and now they’ll have an opportunity to grow their brand even more in Europe.

I fully expect to be in attendance as I’ve been looking forward to this happening for quite some time.

The NFL built in a nice prelude to that trip with the team hosting the Oakland Raiders Sunday, Oct. 27 Week 8 and traveling up to London for Week 9.  Rest has been built into the nearly 5,000-mile trek back to H-Town with the team having their bye the following week before getting back on the road to take on the Baltimore Ravens in Week 11.

Ultimately, the McNairs got what they wanted.  Since the days of the inception of the franchise, Bob McNair has instituted a practice of not giving up a home game in order to participate in these special event-type games.  It’s definitely apparent that Cal will continue the tradition of his late father as well.  The Houston Texans will be the road team and there will be no hit to the bottom line which I would have to say is a shrewd business practice.

It’s tough to gauge how tough this schedule will be for the Houston Texans as we have yet to see how the NFL Draft shakes out but it certainly looks tough on paper even in the early goings.

The team will be facing only seven out of 16 teams that had a losing record for 2018, the remaining nine opponents are solid within their own right — a lot of them had elongated playoff runs — and they will be extremely tough to deal with, starting with the New Orleans Saints on the road for the opener in Week 1.

If you somehow courageously count the game in London on the NFL Network, the Houston Texans only have four prime time games in front of a national audience this season.  That’s far less than 2018 but I think this will be better for the team as I think they’ll perform better when not under the radar.  I know Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins love the bright lights but I think they’re going to shine no matter what audience they’re playing in front of.

They’ll be on prime time against the Saints Sep. 9 (Week 1 on ESPN), the Indianapolis Colts Nov. 21

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(Week 12 on FOX) and the defending-champ New England Patriots Dec. 1 (Week 13 on NBC).  I’m positive this is one of the rare instances the franchise has been featured on national television in back-to-back weeks.

The Oct. 13th Week 6 matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs will be at noon on CBS but it honestly should be in prime time.  You all remember the last time these teams played each other back in 2017?  With two talented quarterbacks under center, you’d think it’d be on prime time at Arrowhead Stadium; but no, the NFL decided to put the Pittsburgh Steelers and Los Angeles Chargers in prime time with L.A. doing the hosting.  For ad revenue purposes, it’s a savvy move because that game will be interesting as the Houston Texans earlier in the day.

The Week 11 matchup against the Baltimore Ravens could be a decent candidate to be flexed with Lamar Jackson and Watson as well as two good defenses going at it but they face some stiff competition with the Los Angeles Rams hosting the Chicago Bears on NBC that evening.  We’ll have to see how their seasons pan out.

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All in all, I think it’s going to be a tough schedule for the Houston Texans but I think reaching last season’s 11-5 mark is not out of the question but I’ll follow up with a predictional piece after the draft has concluded.

I can’t wait until the season starts!