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Get ready for opening day

Gary Kubiak said Friday's practice was a bit nervous for some of the guys. The butterflies were circling because opening day is upon us. The rookies will get their first real NFL action and Matt Schaub takes snaps as a franchise starter for the first time.

John McClain wrote in Friday's Houston Chronicle that five of the last seven teams with a brand new QB-RB starting tandem had finished with losing records. Sports Illustrated picked the Texans to finish last in the division. Sean Salisbury and Eric Allen of ESPN both predicted the Texans would have six wins or less. Despite hearing and reading such things, I'm still optimistic.

You never know how a season and schedule will play out. In 2005, the team crashed on take-off. Meanwhile, 2006 brought awful results until the fourth game. Who in their right mind would have circled a win over the Colts on the schedule heading into the season?

This year will bring more excitement than ever. The team has its best firepower and should be fun to watch. The problem is they could be a lot better and still finish with a similar record. I, however, have to say this squad has an 8-8 look to it. Sure, they could be better or worse, but from where we stand now it's hard not see a .500 finish. If they get hurt or can't close games, they could win six again. If they perform beyond expectations and finally catch some breaks in the health department, they could have their first winning season.

Anthony Weaver is good to go for Sunday and Michael Boulware will play some special teams and maybe a tad of defense. Watch Ahman Green go all out knowing that Ron Dayne is waiting in the wings to give him a breather. Starting the season with Dayne in last year's top form and Green playing the way he did against Dallas bodes well.

Kansas City had just two offensive TDs in the preseason. Rick Smith told us he watched a bit of "Hard Knocks" on HBO to get a taste of Chiefs camp. This is a playoff team from a year ago, but you sense the need for a confidence boost with all the turmoil at the QB position and Larry Johnson showing up late. It's up to the Texans to try to step in their air hose early.

If you have tickets, please be seated for the start of the performance and, even though it's after Labor Day, wear white.



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