The Broncos are coming to town on Sunday for the first time since 2013. On that day, Peyton Manning set the single season record for touchdown passes against a Texans squad coached by Wade Phillips. Two years later, Phillips moved to Denver to help lead Manning and the Broncos to a Super Bowl win over Carolina. Thankfully, neither one of those gentlemen will be on the Broncos sideline this weekend. Regardless, here are some other nuggets to chew on prior to this matchup with the Broncos.
The Texans are 3-0 against the AFC West. A win over Denver would give the Texans a clean sweep through that division. That would be the first time the Texans ever swept a division in their history, any division. There have been years of being 3-1 against a division, including last year when the Texans won three against the AFC East. But, they've never completely swept a division, yet have the chance to do so on Sunday.
The Texans will wear their Battle Red uniforms on Sunday and won last year's Battle Red contest against the Buffalo Bills. The first time that the Texans wore the FULL (pants and jersey) Battle Red was in 2007 when they knocked off the... Denver Broncos on a Thursday night with quarterback Sage Rosenfels at the helm.
The 2015 Denver Broncos defense is thought to be one of the best of all-time, but four years later, if Von Miller does not play in this game (due to a lingering knee injury), the Texans will have as many members of the 2015 Bronco defense as the Broncos do. Chris Harris Jr. is a long-time star for Denver, but Texans cornerback Bradley Roby was a member of that secondary, alongside Harris Jr. four years ago.
Deshaun Watson was a star at Gainesville (GA) High School before heading off to Clemson. Broncos linebacker Alexander Johnson was also a star at Gainesville (GA) High School before heading off to the University of Tennessee. The two stars were teammates for a couple of years in high school before Johnson graduated and headed to college. The two former high school teammates will take the field as opponents for the first time ever.
The leading interceptors in Texans history will both be on the field on Sunday, yet one will be wearing a Broncos uniform. Johnathan Joseph and current Broncos safety Kareem Jackson both have 16 interceptions as members of the Texans.
The Broncos and the Texans have always had a history with players, coaches and the sort over the years. Current Broncos head coach Vic Fangio was the Texans first defensive coordinator in its history.
Kenny Stills' touchdown catch against the Patriots was the first for a receiver not named DeAndre Hopkins or Will Fuller at NRG Stadium since Week 13 of 2018 when Demaryius Thomas had a pair of touchdowns on Monday Night Football against the Tennessee Titans.
The Broncos have a 4-8 record, but lost three games this year by two points and each game was distinctly in their grasp to win. This team should really be 7-5 heading into this matchup.
Denver receiver Courtland Sutton is third in the NFL, amongst receivers with 40+ catches, with a 16.8 yards per catch average. He's a true deep threat with 54 catches for 906 yards and six touchdowns. The next closest receiver, statistically speaking, is DaeSean Hamilton with 13 catches.
As such, the Broncos have four players with 25+ catches. For comparison purposes, the Texans have six players with 25+ catches, led by DeAndre Hopkins' 86 receptions.
DeAndre Hopkins is one of just three receivers to throw a touchdown pass in the NFL in 2019. Buffalo's John Brown and New England's Julian Edelman both threw touchdown passes earlier this season and Hopkins added his name to the list after last Sunday's win.
This meeting with the Broncos will be just the third time the Broncos have faced the Texans at NRG Stadium. In 2007, the Texans won on Battle Red night 31-13 behind the performance of quarterback Sage Rosenfels. In 2013, the Broncos returned the favor with a 37-13 win behind the performance of all-time Texans villain Peyton Manning. RUBBER MATCH ON SUNDAY!!
Okay, that should give you a few items to digest before Sunday's game. See ya then, everyone.