by Marc Vandermeer @TexansVoice
This year’s schedule looks tough and probably will be. But the truth is, you never know how a schedule will play out. Below are some examples of match-ups and situations that didn’t go down as advertised. Circle a win or loss on your schedule with great care. ‘Easy’ opponents often turn out to wolves in sheeps’ clothing. Sometimes tough games can be a lot smoother than you thought.
When last year’s schedule was released, didn’t we all look at the final three games (2 vs. Indy and one against Minnesota) and think we could pencil in all three as wins, or at least two? Who knew that the Colts and Vikings would be playoff teams and Houston would go 1-2 against them, wiping out home field advantage in the playoffs.
You would have gladly taken a split against Indy (with Manning) and Washington to start the season. Instead, The Texans went 2-0. No one on the planet could have predicted a 2-10 finish low lighted by the hail-Mary loss to the Jags, and last minute defeats to San Diego, Baltimore, the Jets and the Tebow-led Broncos.
2009 Opener vs. the New York Jets
New coach, rookie quarterback. A Texans win was a virtual lock. Not really. The Jets dominated the game, holding Houston’s offense without a touchdown as Mark Sanchez looked amazing. My, how times have changed.
2004 Opener vs. San Diego
The Chargers were coming off a 4-12 season, they drafted Phillip Rivers and Drew Brees was supposed to play a Steve DeBerg type of role to usher in the new quarterback. Well, Brees performed brilliantly, reinventing himself, and the Chargers won, launching a 12-4 campaign.
2004 Finale vs. Cleveland
The Texans won back-to-back games on the road against the Bears and Jacksonville. Surely they would beat a weak Cleveland team to finish 8-8 for the first time. Nope. The Browns won and the Texans went 7-9. The loss should have been a wake up call but the Texans had an unproductive off season and stumbled through a 2-14 season the next year.
A four win season was not out of the question but it’s who the Texans beat that was a surprise. The opening night win over the Cowboys was a shocker. The win at Jacksonville surprised many. The fact that the Texans beat two playoff teams (Pittsburgh, New York Giants) was unthinkable.
We’ll highlight some of these on Texans All Access (Tuesdays, 12-2pm, Sports Radio 610) Tell me what I left out.
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