Opponents and locations may already determined, but as soon as the 2023 Houston Texans schedule drops, there's a mad rush to see how the remaining gaps are filled. With the full 17-game dates, times, places and networks revealed, here were six things that stood out:
Zero Primetime Games
The Texans 2023 schedule is a sea of Sunday noon games, barring a 3:05 p.m. start against Denver in Week 13 (Dec. 3). Disappointing? Yes. Surprising? A little. Despite finishing with a 3-13-1 record last year, the Texans have a lot to be optimistic about in 2023: a new Head Coach DeMeco Ryans, two picks in the Top 3 of the NFL Draft and more. At the very least, the NFL could have pitted the No. 1 and No. 2 overall draft picks against each other in primetime, giving the country a first look at Bryce Young vs. C.J. Stroud. Alas, that matchup is buried in the middle of the season at Week 8 (Oct. 29).
Now, the date and time for the Texans-Colts matchup in Week 17 is TBD. That's a primetime possibility depending on playoff implications. A caveat, of course, is the league's new flex scheduling which can be used twice between Weeks 5-10 and anytime between Weeks 11-17 to move games into Sunday Night Football. This year, the rule has been adjusted to include flexing into the Monday Night Football slot as well. So, don't rule out a possible Sunday to Monday shift if the stars align this year.
For just the eighth time in franchise history, the Texans will open their 2023 regular season on the road as Houston travels to Baltimore to face QB Lamar Jackson and the Ravens on Sept. 10. The last time Houston opened on the road, it was against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs in 2020 on Thursday night. The Texans hold a 2-5 record when on the road for opening weekend.
An NFC Sandwich
This season, the AFC South matches up against the NFC South with a 17th game against an NFC West team. Houston will host the Arizona Cardinals in that matchup since both teams finished fourth in their division. Starting in Week 5 (Oct. 8), the Texans will play four consecutive games and five of their next six against their NFC opponents, wrapping up with the Cardinals in Week 11.
Aaron Rodgers Week
The Texans will have to wait until Week 14 (Dec. 10) and the month of December to play Aaron Rodgers and the New York Jets. This will be Houston's fifth meeting against Rodgers, having faced him in 2008, 2012, 2016 and 2020. The Texans are 1-3 against Rodgers with a 24-21 victory in 2008. DeMeco Ryans had a team-high nine tackles plus a sack in that game.
AFC South finish
The Texans will wrap up the season with three of four games against division opponents. Houston will play twice against Tennessee (Weeks 15, 17) with a finale in Indianapolis (again) setting up a dramatic finish for the race for the division title.
Home for the holidays
The Texans will be playing at home on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve with matchups against the Cleveland Browns and the Tennessee Titans, respectively. A Texans game might just be the perfect outing for all those extra holiday guests.
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