A prime time matchup with the Denver Broncos highlights the Texans 2007 regular season schedule, which was announced Wednesday.
"I'm sure that will be a big deal, but I'm excited for the city to have a prime time game like that," Texans head coach Gary Kubiak said of the matchup with his former team. "The next step is maybe get a Monday night game here somewhere down the road and play good enough to have games like that. With the NFL flex schedule now you want your team in position to play those big, prime time games and that will be an opportunity for us next season, but we have a long way to go until we get there."
The slate also features 11 games against opponents who finished the 2006 season with a record of 8-8 or better, including four matchups with 2006 playoff teams, two against Super Bowl champion Indianapolis and one game each against San Diego and New Orleans, the only NFC team on the schedule who played in the postseason a year ago.
"When you look at (all schedules), they all look tough," Kubiak said. "I mean you have the world champs in your division and you're going to play them twice and then you have Jacksonville and Tennessee so you start there which makes it difficult.
"Picking up the AFC West this year you get the team who had the best record in football last year in San Diego, Denver, a perennial playoff team, Kansas City, opening with them, a playoff team with arguably one of the best backs in the game so that's a tremendous challenge for us, but we're excited about that."
Away from Reliant Stadium, Houston will make its first ever trips to Carolina and Atlanta while Denver, New Orleans and Tampa Bay will be first-time visitors to Reliant Stadium.
The Texans will also face two familiar non-division foes that they've had success against in their brief history. Houston holds a 2-0 all-time record against both the Oakland Raiders and the Miami Dolphins, the only two teams in the NFL in which Houston is undefeated and played more than once.
After finishing the 2006 season with consecutive wins for the first time in franchise history, including a first ever win over the Colts, the Texans have plenty of momentum heading into their 2007 season.
Want to know what the players think of the 2007 schedule? Dunta Robinson will be answering questions LIVE Thursday on Texans TV.
Also, for the first time ever, fans can download the Texans schedule to their calendar. You can find out more by clicking here.
In addition, Fans can also download a PDF version of the 2007 schedule by clicking here.
Now here's a breakdown of Houston's road through the NFL this season:
Week Date Opponent (2006 record, home/road record) vs. Texans
1 Sept. 9 KANSAS CITY (9-7, 3-5 road) vs. Texans 2-1
Houston hosts Kansas City for the third time in regular season action on Sept. 9 to start their sixth season in franchise history.
Only Cleveland will have made as many trips to Reliant Stadium as Kansas City will have by the end of the 2007 season.
The Texans will be looking to even the all-time series with Kansas City at two wins apiece and will look to avenge one of the most lopsided losses in franchise history.
The Chiefs enjoyed their last trip to Houston in 2005, handing the Texans a 45-17 loss behind 211 rushing yards and two touchdowns from Larry Johnson.
2 Sept. 16 Carolina (8-8, 4-4 home) vs. Texans 0-1
As with the Atlanta Falcons, Houston has defeated Carolina at Reliant Stadium, but will venture on the road against the Panthers for the first time ever in Week 2.
The Texans enter 2007 with a 2-2 record all-time against the NFC South, playing each team once. Depending on Carolina's quarterback situation, the game could also mark Panthers' quarterback David Carr's first game against the team that drafted him first overall in the 2002 NFL Draft.
3 Sept. 23 INDIANAPOLIS (12-4, 4-4 road) vs. Texans 9-1
The Texans claimed their first ever win over the Colts last season at Reliant Stadium. In fact, Houston enters the 2007 season as the last team to beat the Colts, who went on to win Super Bowl XVI after faltering against the Texans late in December last year.
It will mark the second time in franchise history that the Texans have faced the defending Super Bowl champion. Houston faced Tampa Bay in 2003, a year after the Buccaneers won Super Bowl XXXVII.
4 Sept. 30 Atlanta (7-9, 3-5 home) vs. Texans 0-1
The Texans will be looking to raise their record to 2-0 all-time against the Falcons when Houston travels to Atlanta in Week 4. The game will be Texans' quarterback Matt Schaub's first against his former team.
While Schaub is quite familiar with the Georgia Dome, the Texans are not as the game will be the first for Houston in Atlanta in franchise history.
5 Oct. 7 MIAMI (6-10, 2-6 road) vs. Texans 0-2
The Texans will be looking for their third consecutive win over the Dolphins when Miami travels to Houston on Oct. 7.
Interestingly enough, Houston's two previous wins over the Dolphins have been the first wins respectively of the 2003 and 2006 seasons. It's unlikely that will be the case this fall.
Houston defeated Miami last season at Reliant Stadium, 17-15, to give Gary Kubiak his first win as an NFL head coach.
6 Oct. 14 Jacksonville (8-8, 2-6 road, 6-2 home) vs. Texans 4-6
The Jaguars went 6-2 at home last season, but one of those losses came at the hands of the Texans who had one of their more impressive defensive showings of the 2006 season at Alltel Stadium
The Texans led the whole way, racing out to a 10-0 lead and holding on for a 13-10 win. Houston collected four turnovers, all interceptions from Jaguars quarterback David Garrard.
7 Oct. 21 TENNESSEE (8-8, 4-4 road, 4-4 home) vs. Texans 8-2
Houston and Tennessee have yet to split a season series. The Texans swept the season series in 2004, but have lost every other game played against the Titans in franchise history, including a 26-20 overtime loss at Reliant Stadium last year.
8 Oct. 28 San Diego (14-2, 8-0 home) vs. Texans 2-0
The Texans will be looking for their first win in franchise history against the Chargers when they travel to San Diego in Week 8. These two teams last met in 2004, a 27-20 triumph by the Chargers in Houston.
9 Nov. 4 Oakland (2-14, 2-6 home) vs. Texans 0-2
Houston will spend a second consecutive week on the left coast when they travel to Oakland in Week 9. The Texans have never lost to the Raiders and will be looking for wins in consecutive seasons after defeating Oakland last year in a defensive exhibition by both teams in the Black Hole.
11 Nov. 18 NEW ORLEANS (10-6, 6-2 road) vs. Texans 1-0
The Texans will face the Saints for the first time since the 2003 season when New Orleans heads to Houston on Nov. 18.
The Saints were one of the best road teams in the NFL a year ago and fell just one game short of a Super Bowl appearance in head coach Sean Payton's first season at the helm.
Houston will be looking to even the all-time series at one after falling to the Saints in '03, 31-10, at the Super Dome. The game will also feature the top two picks in the 2006 NFL Draft in Mario Williams and Reggie Bush.
12 Nov. 25 Cleveland (4-12, 2-6 home) vs. Texans 2-2
The Texans will face Cleveland for the fifth time in franchise history on Nov.25, more than any other team outside the AFC South.
Houston defeated the Browns at Reliant Stadium in 2006 to end its season with a win for the first time in team history. A win over Cleveland in 2007 would be a third consecutive triumph over the Browns as the Texans defeated Cleveland 19-16 in 2005 at Reliant Stadium.
13 Dec. 2 Tennessee (8-8, 4-4 road, 4-4 home) vs. Texans 8-2
Turnovers killed the Texans last season in Nashville and Houston will be looking to avenge a loss in 2007 after thoroughly beating Tennessee in nearly every major statistical category a year ago.
The Texans fell 28-22 to Tennessee at LP Field in their last visit to Music City, falling behind 21-3 before Sage Rosenfels led a valiant second-half comeback that fell just short. Houston had 427 total yards while Tennessee managed just 197, but in the end Houston couldn't overcome five turnovers.
14 Dec. 9 TAMPA BAY (4-12, 1-7 road) vs. Texans 1-0
Like the Saints, Houston has only played Tampa Bay on the road previously and will be looking for its first win over the Buccaneers in franchise history.
The Texans defeated the Buccaneers last season in preseason action, but lost to Tampa Bay 16-3 at Raymond James Stadium in 2003 in the only regular season meeting between these two teams.
15 Dec. 13 DENVER (9-7, 5-3 road) vs. Texans 1-0
The Texans will be looking for their first ever win over the Broncos when Denver heads to Reliant Stadium on Dec. 13 for a prime time matchup.
The two teams have only met once previously, a 31-13, win for the Broncos in Denver during the 2004 season. Plenty of storylines go along with this matchup which is probably why NFL Network has decided to broadcast the game to a national audience.
Gary Kubiak will be facing his mentor, Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan, for the first time in the regular season. However, Shanahan will also be coaching against his son, Kyle, who is the Texans quarterbacks coach.
Houston's roster is also littered with former Broncos so while these teams have met just once previously in the regular season, they will be quite familiar with one another when they take the field in mid-December.
16 Dec. 23 Indianapolis (12-4, 4-4 road) vs. Texans 9-1
One last chance to claim a win at RCA Dome. Houston is 0-5 in Indy against the Colts, who will be moving into a new home prior to the 2008 season.
17 Dec. 30 JACKSONVILLE (8-8, 2-6 road) vs. Texans 4-6
If the Texans are to make the playoffs for the first time in team history, a berth may come down to a matchup with their bitter rival.
The Texans have historically had the Jaguars number during their brief history. Six of the Texans' nine division wins in franchise history have come against the Jags, only adding to this intense rivalry.
*HOME games are in ALL CAPS