Defensive end Mario Williams is a big reason why the Texans are so optimistic heading into 2009.
The Houston Texans' 2009 schedule is highlighted with matchups against opponents from the NFC West and AFC East divisions and a Monday night showdown with AFC South rival Tennessee. ESPN's Monday Night Football crew will travel to Houston twice including preseason play (
Houston opens the regular season at home for the third time in four years under head coach Gary Kubiak and the fifth time overall. The Texans will host the New York Jets (9/13) on Kickoff Weekend. Houston is 3-4 in season openers and 3-2 in season openers at home. The Texans went 12-4 at home over the previous two seasons.
The Texans will dive right into division play following the opener as they travel to Tennessee (9/20) in Week 2 and host Jacksonville (9/27) in Week 3. The Texans will be seeking their first win in Nashville since 2004 and will look to extend their home winning streak against the Jaguars to three straight games. Houston wraps up the first quarter of the season at home against Oakland (10/4).
After playing three of their first four at home, the Texans will balance things out with three road games in the second quarter of the season. Houston will travel to the desert in Week 5 to face the defending NFC Champion Arizona Cardinals (10/11). The Texans won the only prior meeting between the two teams, pulling out a 30-19 victory at Reliant Stadium in 2005. The second of back-to-back away games takes the team to Cincinnati (10/18) before hosting the San Francisco 49ers (10/25) for the first time.
November brings the conclusion of the season's first half as the Texans travel to Buffalo (11/1). The Texans will open the second half of the season with four consecutive games against AFC South foes, beginning with a trip to Indianapolis (11/8). Houston is among the last group of teams to enjoy their bye week, which comes in Week 10 (11/15).
The bye week will provide extra time for the team and the city to prepare for a date with Tennessee on Monday Night Football (11/23). The 16th Monday Night Football game in Houston history will pit the Texans against the former Oilers, who hosted 14 Monday night games before moving to Tennessee in 1997. The Texans will host a nationally-televised prime-time game for the third consecutive season. Houston's preseason game against Minnesota (8/31) will also be shown nationally on Monday Night Football.
Houston will stay home to face Indianapolis (11/29) for the second time in three games before heading to Jacksonville (12/6) to close the four-game stretch in the division and kick off the season's final month.
Seattle (12/13) makes its first trip to Houston since 1994 before the Texans head out for two straight road games at St. Louis (12/20) and at Miami (12/27). The Texans will conclude the 2009 regular season slate against the New England Patriots (1/3/10). Houston has closed the season at home every year under Kubiak and seven times in the franchise's eight-year history. The Texans are 3-4 in season finales but are 3-0 under Kubiak.
The NFL will continue to implement flexible scheduling for Week 11-17 to ensure the best matchups of the week. The NFL has the option to inform teams 12 days in advance that their Sunday afternoon game will switch to Sunday night and will be aired on NBC at 7:15 p.m. The Texans' Monday Night Game in Week 11 against Tennessee will not change.
TEXANS' 2009 SCHEDULE
Italic games can change to 3 p.m. or 7 p.m. due to flex scheduling, and could move from CBS or FOX to NBC.