With the 2012 regular-season schedule release coming up at 6 p.m., here are five predictions about the Texans’ schedule. I have no inside information — these are all just guesses of what I think could happen, which means they probably won’t happen. Feel free to dismantle my predictions in the comments section below.
Prediction: The Texans will not open at home against the Indianapolis Colts for the third consecutive year.
Reasoning: This is a two-part prediction, so I’m giving myself some serious leeway here. I don’t expect the league to give the Texans a home game in Week 1 for the third consecutive season (and sixth time in seven years). And even if they are at home, I don’t expect it to be against the Colts, whom the Texans have beaten by a combined score of 68-31 on opening day in the last two seasons – and that includes one game in which Indy had Peyton Manning, who’s now on the Denver Broncos.
Prediction: The Texans will have at least three primetime games.
Reasoning: I don’t know the ins and outs of the league’s formula for primetime games, nor do I even know if there is a specific formula. But I do know the Texans had three primetime games in 2010, when they were an up-and-comer coming off a 9-7 season. After going 0-3 in those primetime games and 6-10 overall in 2010, they had only one game in primetime last season – a Thursday nighter at Indianapolis. On the heels of a 10-6 record and their first playoff berth, and with opponents like the Packers, Patriots, Ravens, Lions, Jets and Broncos on the schedule, I’d certainly be a little surprised if the Texans have less than three primetime games in 2012.
Prediction: Texans vs. Ravens will be on Monday Night Football.
Reasoning: A Divisional Round playoff rematch and a rematch of a thrilling Monday Night game in 2010. The Texans have never beaten the Ravens, but this is an emerging rivalry after these two 2011 division winners have played three times in the last two years. The Texans lost 20-13 at Baltimore in the playoffs last season in a slugfest that featured two of the league’s top defenses and running games. Baltimore won 34-28 on MNF in 2010 at Reliant Stadium after the Texans roared back from a 28-7 deficit to send the game to overtime. Putting this game on MNF would make for great television, and Reliant could set new decibel-level records with how eager the home fans would be to see their team exact some revenge.
Prediction: The Texans will play at Detroit on Thanksgiving.
Reasoning: The Lions will host a game on Thanksgiving, and because it will be broadcast by CBS, it’ll be against an AFC opponent. The two AFC opponents they face at home this season are the Texans and the Colts. The Texans were 10-6 and won the AFC South in 2011. The Colts were 2-14, the worst record in the league. Maybe the NFL wants to give Andrew Luck a spotlight game against Matthew Stafford in a battle of No. 1 overall picks, but a pair of reigning division winners sounds a lot more enticing to me.
Prediction: The Texans will finish their season at home against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Reasoning: I’ve got a 1-in-3 chance on this one since all Week 17 games are division contests. The league made that change two years ago to give more games more meaning on the last week of the season. Based on 2011, the most attractive matchup for the AFC South would be the Texans (10-6, division champs) and Titans (9-7). But I could see the league being leery of a Week 17 game between teams with two first-year head coaches in the Jaguars (5-11 last season) and Colts (2-14). My highly unscientific research tells me that the league matched up last year’s team with the No. 1 overall pick (Carolina) against their division runner-up (New Orleans) in Week 17, so I’ll guess Colts at Titans and Jaguars at Texans this season. The Texans and Jags have played twice in Week 17, once more than the Texans and Colts. And the Texans have closed out all six seasons at Reliant Stadium under head coach Gary Kubiak.
Tags: 2012 schedule, Gary Kubiak
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