The Texans start the season a scant 51 days from today, when the Chicago Bears come to NRG Stadium for the first time since 2008. On that day, the Texans will square off against Jay Cutler.
Is he one of the top five quarterbacks the Texans will face in 2016?
Here are the top five quarterbacks that the Texans will face in 2016, all things considered and known at this point in the off-season.
5. Andy Dalton, Bengals
3,250 yards, 25 TD and seven INT (in only 13 games)
Had Dalton not gotten hurt late in the year, there's no telling what Cincinnati could've done in the playoffs with him in charge. The Texans held him in check on Monday Night Football last year, but he picked them apart with the short passing game here at NRG Stadium in 2014. The man has loved playing in this building since his days at Katy High School.
4. Philip Rivers, Chargers
4,792 yards, 29 TD and 13 INT
Good 'ol boy Rivers can still sling the rock as evidenced by his numbers in 2015. He'll take chances at times and can make awkward off balance throws with the best of them. He's so smart and that manifests itself in the way he can pick apart a defense early and often in 60 minutes of action. With Keenan Allen in tow, he has a definite threat on the perimeter that could allow for big numbers through the air each and every week.
3. Derek Carr, Raiders
3,987 yards, 32 TD and 13 INT
The more I thought about this list of top five quarterbacks the Texans will face, the more worried I got thinking about Carr. The former Clements High School grad was outstanding in only his second season and he has weapons, including a star in second year wideout Amari Cooper. The Texans faced him in only the second start of his career in 2014 and he showed glimpses of what he could be two years ago. His progress will be seen front and center in Mexico City in late November.
2. Andrew Luck, Colts
Injured for much of 2015
55.3% completion1,881 yards, 15 TD and 12 INT
The Texans didn't see the Colts franchise QB either game in 2015, but he's been a thorn in the Texans side for years. He's at No. 2 in large part because he has been so good against Houston in the years that he has played against them and he is probably the biggest worry in the AFC South.
1. Aaron Rodgers, Packers
3,821 yards, 31 TD and eight INT
With Tom Brady presumably suspended for the first four games of the 2016 season, the narrow difference between he and Rodgers is eliminated. He didn't have the kind of season in 2015 that Packers fans, coaches and players have grown used to seeing him have. But, wide receiver Jordy Nelson returns and that should give Rodgers a tremendous boost in 2016...unfortunately.
The Texans will travel 15,308 miles in the 2016 regular season, and play in these venues.