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Schedule possibly a wolf in sheep's clothing

The Texans schedule looks favorable early and then tough the rest of the way. Sure you can talk about playing a "weak" division in the NFC West plus getting the Raiders and Bengals, but the fact is there are some real challenges here as you get deeper into the season.

Opening with three out of four at home is a delight compared to last year. But then it's four out of five on the road. And the Texans have to go about a month (two road games and a bye) between home games.

They get MNF with the Titans but have to follow that up with a short week before hosting the Colts. Then, it's more fun on the road with three of the next four away from Reliant Stadium. The capper is the finale against New England at home.

The road has not been kind to the Texans. They are 12-4 at home the past two years but the opposite away from Reliant. They thought they exorcised the road demons last season when they won at Cleveland and Green Bay. But then they fell flat at Oakland. This year should be different, as the team continues to mature. A late season date at a potentially fading St Louis team should spark "remember the Raiders" cries from the coaches.

It appears that weather will not be much of a factor but don't discount the possibility of an ugly day in Buffalo in early November or a monsoon in Miami in December (remember the Colts Super Bowl win?)

Bottom line: If the Texans are going to be a playoff team, then beating the big boys will have to be part of the recipe. So bring on a road date with Miami and home tilt with the Pats to close out the regular season. If the Texans are going to break into the post season, they will once again have to be playing their best ball in December.

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