Scouting the Texans' 2009 opponents

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The Texans' 2009 home slate will include games against the New England Patriots and New York Jets.

On Tuesday, the Texans' schedule will be announced at 6 p.m. CT. The preseason schedule already has been announced, and Houston's includes a Monday Night Football game against the Minnesota Vikings in the third week of the preseason.

In the regular season, the Texans will play teams from the AFC East and NFC West in addition to their standard six games against AFC South opponents. The Texans also will face the Oakland Raiders and Cincinnati Bengals because, like the Texans, both teams finished third in their respective AFC divisions last year.

Last season, the Texans went 2-2 against the AFC North and 3-1 against the NFC North. They were 6-2 at home and 2-6 on the road for the second consecutive season.

The Texans' first four games in 2008 were against playoff teams, and the first three of those were road games because Hurricane Ike postponed a Week 2 home game. The Texans became the first team since the 1970 merger to start a non-strike season with three road games against teams coming off playoff seasons.

While the order of the 2009 schedule isn't yet known, the opponents are. Read below for a comprehensive preview of the Texans' upcoming opponents. Projected draft picks for each team are from the latest HoustonTexans.com Mock Draft.

HOME SCHEDULE

New England Patriots (AFC East)
2008 record:
11-5 (6-2 road)
Key players: QB Tom Brady, WR Randy Moss, DE Richard Seymour, LB Jerod Mayo, WR Wes Welker
Key offseason additions: CB Leigh Bodden, WR Joey Galloway, RB Fred Taylor, TE Chris Baker
Key offseason losses: QB Matt Cassel, S Rodney Harrison, WR Jabar Gaffney, CB Deltha O'Neal
First round draft position: 23 (Projected pick: LB Brian Cushing, USC)
All-time series: Patriots lead 2-0
Last meeting: Patriots 40, Texans 7 (2006 at New England). Patriots QB Tom Brady threw for two TDs, while Texans QB David Carr was picked off four times. RB Ron Dayne scored the Texans' lone TD in the third quarter. Recap

New York Jets (AFC East)
2008 record:
9-7 (4-4 road)
Key players: RB Thomas Jones, DT Kris Jenkins, RB/KR Leon Washington, CB Darrelle Revis, G Alan Faneca, C Nick Mangold
Key offseason additions: Head coach Rex Ryan, LB Bart Scott, S Jim Leonhard
Key offseason losses: QB Brett Favre, WR Laveraneus Coles, LB Eric Barton, TE Chris Baker
First round draft position: 17 (Projected pick: QB Josh Freeman, Kansas State)
All-time series: Jets lead 3-0
Last meeting: Jets 26, Texans 11 (2006 at New York). Jets QB Chad Pennington threw for 286 yards and a TD in the victory. WR Andre Johnson got the Texans into the end zone on a three-yard pass from David Carr with 3:54 remaining. Recap

San Francisco 49ers (NFC West)
2008 record:7-9 (3-5 road)
Key players: LB Patrick Willis, RB Frank Gore, CB Nate Clements, T Marvel Smith
Key offseason additions: DE Demetric Evans, WR Brandon Jones
Key offseason losses: WR Bryant Johnson, QB J.T. O'Sullivan
First round draft position: 10 (Projected pick: DE Brian Orakpo, Texas)
All-time series: 49ers lead 1-0
Last meeting: 49ers 20, Texans 17 - OT (2005 at San Francisco). In a game that determined the No. 1 pick in the 2006 NFL Draft, the Texans (2-13) lost to the 49ers (3-12) on a 33-yard Joe Nedney FG in OT in the season finale. Four months later, the Texans used the No. 1 pick on DE Mario Williams. Recap

Seattle Seahawks (NFC West)
2008 record:
4-12 (2-6 road)
Key players: T Walter Jones, QB Matt Hasselbeck, WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh, DE Patrick Kerney, LB Lofa Tatupu, CB Marcus Trufant
Key offseason additions: WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh, DT Cory Redding
Key offseason losses: LB Julian Peterson, FB Leonard Weaver, WR Bobby Engram, DT Rocky Bernard
First round draft position: 4 (Projected pick: QB Mark Sanchez, USC)
All-time series: Seahawks lead 1-0
Last meeting: Seahawks 42, Texans 10 (2005 at Seattle). Seahawks RB Shaun Alexander, the eventual 2005 MVP, ran for 141 yards and four TDs on Sunday Night Football. RB Domanick Davis scored the Texans' only TD on a 27-yard pass from QB David Carr. Recap

Oakland Raiders (AFC West)
2008 record:5-11 (3-5 road)
Key players: CB Nnamdi Asomugha, P Shane Lechler, LB Kirk Morrison, KR Johnnie Lee Higgins, QB JaMarcus Russell
Key offseason additions: T Khalif Barnes, T Erik Pears
Key offseason losses: S Gibril Wilson, C Jake Grove, DE Kalimba Edwards, T Kwame Harris
First round draft position: 7 (Projected pick: WR Jeremy Maclin, Missouri)
All-time series: Texans lead 3-1
Last meeting: Raiders 31, Texans 20 (2008 at Oakland). A week after beating the AFC South champion Titans, the Texans had a four-game winning streak snapped in a disappointing loss in Week 16. Oakland WR Johnnie Lee Higgins scored punt return and receiving TDs, and WR Andre Johnson was limited to two catches for 19 yards. Recap

ROAD SCHEDULE

Miami Dolphins (AFC East)*
2008 record: 11-5 (5-3 home)
Key players: RB Ronnie Brown, LB Joey Porter, QB Chad Pennington, S Gibril Wilson
Key offseason additions: S Gibril Wilson, C Jake Grove, CB Eric Green
Key offseason losses: CB Andre' Goodman, DE Vonnie Holliday, RB Patrick Cobbs
First round draft position: 25 (Projected pick: WR Darrius Heyward-Bey, Maryland)
All-time series: Texans lead 4-0
Last meeting: Texans 29, Dolphins 28 (2008 in Houston). In one of the most thrilling games in franchise history, the Texans won on a fourth-down QB draw by Matt Schaub from three yards out with three seconds remaining. WR Andre Johnson set up the score with an acrobatic fourth-down catch on the game-winning drive. Recap

Buffalo Bills (AFC East)
2008 record:7-9 (3-5 home)
Key players: WR Terrell Owens, T Jason Peters, RB Marshawn Lynch, WR Lee Evans, DT Marcus Stroud, DE Aaron Schobel, S Donte Whitner
Key offseason additions: WR Terrell Owens, CB Drayton Florence, C Geoff Hangartner
Key offseason losses: G Derrick Dockery, LB Angelo Crowell CB Jabari Greer, G Duke Preston
First round draft position: 11 (Projected pick: DE/OLB Everette Brown, Florida State)
All-time series: Bills lead 3-1
Last meeting: Buffalo 24, Houston 21 (2006 in Houston). Bills WR Peerless Price caught a 15-yard TD pass from J.P Losman with nine seconds left for the victory. WR Lee Evans set a Bills record with 265 receiving yards, including two 83-yard TDs. Texans QB David Carr tied an NFL record by completing 22 consecutive passes in the game. Recap

Arizona Cardinals (NFC West) **2008 record:9-7 (6-2 home) Key players:WR Larry Fitzgerald, WR Anquan Boldin, QB Kurt Warner, S Adrian Wilson, LB Karlos Dansby, DT Darnell Dockett Key offseason additions:CB Bryant McFadden, TE Anthony Becht Key offseason losses:DE Antonio Smith, CB Eric Green, FB Terrelle Smith First round draft position:31 (Projected pick: RB LeSean McCoy, Pittsburgh) All-time series:Texans lead 1-0 Last meeting:Texans 30, Cardinals 19 (2005 in Houston). Backup RBs Jonathan Wells and Vernand Morency combined for three TDs to give Houston a lead it didn't let go. It was just the Texans' second victory through 14 games of the 2005 season.Recap

St. Louis Rams (NFC West)
2008 record:2-14 (1-7 home)
Key players: RB Steven Jackson, QB Marc Bulger, WR Donnie Avery, DE Chris Long, DE Leonard Little
Key offseason additions: C Jason Brown, FS James Butler, QB Kyle Boller
Key offseason losses: WR Torry Holt, T Orlando Pace, CB Fakhir Brown
First round draft position: 2 (Projected pick: OT Jason Smith, Baylor)
All-time series: Rams lead 1-0
Last meeting: Rams 33, Texans 27 - OT (2005 in Houston). After trailing 24-3 at halftime, the Rams scored 10 points in the final 30 seconds of regulation to tie. Rookie QB Ryan Fitzpatrick won it with a 56-yard TD pass to Kevin Curtis in OT. Playing in his first game (Rams backup Jamie Martin got hurt in the first quarter), Fitzpatrick threw for 310 yards and three TDs. That spoiled a 293-yard, three-TD performance by QB David Carr and a 159-yard receiving day from WR Andre Johnson. Recap

Cincinnati Bengals (AFC North)
2008 record:4-11-1 (3-4-1 home)
Key players: QB Carson Palmer, WR Chad Ochocinco, WR Laveraneus Coles, RB Cedric Benson, LB Keith Rivers
Key offseason additions: WR Laveraneus Coles, DT Tank Johnson
Key offseason losses: WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh, T Stacy Andrews, LB Rashad Jeanty
First round draft position: 6 (Projected pick: OT Eugene Monroe, Virginia)
All-time series: Bengals lead 3-1
Last meeting: Texans 35, Bengals 6 (2008 in Houston). QB Matt Schaub went 24-of-28 for 280 yards and three TDs, WR Kevin Walter caught two TDs against his former team and the Texans' defense held Cincinnati to 253 net yards of offense. Cincy QB Ryan Fitzpatrick played for the injured Carson Palmer. Recap

HOME ROAD (division opponents)

Tennessee Titans* 2008 record: 13-3 (7-1 home, 6-2 away)
Key players: DE Kyle Vanden Bosch, LB Keith Bulluck, RB Chris Johnson, CB Cortland Finnegan, T Michael Roos, C Kevin Mawae
Key offseason additions:DT Jovan Haye, WR Nate Washington
Key offseason losses: DT Albert Haynesworth, DB Chris Carr, WR Justin McCareins, QB Chris Simms
First round draft position: 30 (Projected pick: WR Percy Harvin, Florida)
All-time series: Titans lead 11-3
Last meeting: Texans 13, Titans 12 (2008 in Houston). The Texans upset the NFL's best team in front of a record crowd of 70,831 at Reliant Stadium. WR Andre Johnson led the way with a franchise-record 207 receiving yards on 11 catches. Recap

Indianapolis Colts*
2008 record: 12-4 (6-2 home, 6-2 away)
Key players: QB Peyton Manning, WR Reggie Wayne, DE Dwight Freeney, DE Robert Mathis, S Bob Sanders, TE Dallas Clark, C Jeff Saturday
Key offseason additions: N/A
Key offseason losses: Head coach Tony Dungy, WR Marvin Harrison, LB Freddy Keiaho, P Hunter Smith, RB Dominic Rhodes
First round draft position: 27 (Projected pick: RB Donald Brown, UConn)
All-time series: Colts lead 13-1
Last meeting: Colts 33, Texans 27 (2008 at Indianapolis). RB Steve Slaton had a team-rookie record 156 rushing yards on 14 carries, including a team-record 71-yard touchdown. It wasn't enough to defeat the Colts, as QB Sage Rosenfels' interception in the final minutes sealed the Texans' fate. Recap

Jacksonville Jaguars
2008 record:5-11 (2-6 home, 3-5 away)
Key players: RB Maurice Jones-Drew, CB Rashean Mathis, QB David Garrard, DT John Henderson
Key offseason additions: T Tra Thomas, S Sean Considine
Key offseason losses: RB Fred Taylor, LB Mike Peterson, DE Paul Spicer, WR Matt Jones, T Khalif Barnes, WR Reggie Williams, WR Jerry Porter, CB Drayton Florence
First round draft position: 8 (Projected pick: DT B.J. Raji, Boston College)
All-time series: Texans lead 8-6
Last meeting: Texans 30, Jaguars 17 (2008 in Houston). In their first appearance on Monday Night Football, the Texans dominated Jacksonville on Battle Red Day at Reliant Stadium. Rookie RB Steve Slaton ran for 130 yards and two TDs, and DE Mario Williams had three sacks to lead the defense. Recap

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