At long last, Lovie Smith and the Texans know when they'll play their 2022 regular season opponents.
The Texans Head Coach took over the job in early February, and after going through the prospect evaluation process and the NFL Draft, he and the rest of the staff are set to kick off rookie minicamp tomorrow. But the NFL Schedule Release on Thursday was an important date for Smith.
"I've been waiting in anticipation for this day," Smith said. "One of the most exciting days to me, in sports. We knew the opponents, but now to know exactly when we play them, I'm pumped."
Smith and company open the 2022 campaign at home against the Indianapolis Colts. A Noon kickoff on Sunday, September 11 at NRG Stadium will get the regular season going, and Smith explained why the early challenge against their AFC South rival is a big deal.
"Once you know who the first opponent is, everything that we're going to do is about starting fast," Smith said. "It's one thing to get your opponent. But for it to be a Division team, a Division rival that dominated us last season, that should keep us motivated."
Houston finishes the season with a trio of games against AFC South opponents. In Week 16 the Texans travel to Nashville for a Christmas Eve matchup with the Titans. They're back home on New Year's Day against the Jagaurs, before wrapping up the season at Indianapolis. Smith likes that conclusion to the season.
"If I had control of drawing it up, you want to start off with a division opponent," Smith said. "Then in the end, once the season plays out, and you're playing for it all, you want to play against the teams in your division."
Smith and the Texans will host a pair of preseason games against the Saints and 49ers, with a trip to Los Angeles for a game with the Rams in between.