Preseason shouldn't warrant the excitement of a regular season game, but the Texans 2015 preseason schedule sure is generating a fair share of interest.
Within minutes of releasing the preseason schedule across the league, NFL.com posted its top games to watch in that long month of August. Half of the Texans preseason made the list of nine.
Seventh in the rankings was Houston's Week 2 preseason matchup against Denver.
"Another fun Houston matchup as the Texans take on their old coach.The more we get to see of Manning in Gary Kubiak's offense the better. Nobody knows that scheme better than Watt, though, so look for the quarterback-crushing behemoth to give Denver trouble." (NFL.com)
Kubiak plus five former Texans coaches, including offensive coordinator Rick Dennison and defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, and two players will return to NRG Stadium from the Broncos. Tight end Owen Daniels and Antonio Smith were added to the Broncos roster this offseason. The multitude of reunions make the game one that fans will want to watch, preseason or not.
Ranked fifth was the next game, when the Texans take on the Saints in the Superdome in preseason Week 3:
"Coach Sean Payton has used the offseason to remake his pass-happy Saints offense into a ground-control attack centered around Mark Ingram and C.J. Spiller running for daylight behind center Max Unger. Their first big test comes against a rugged Texans defense led by J.J. Watt, Vince Wilfork and a back-from-the-wilderness Jadeveon Clowney." (NFL.com)
Actually, the biggest story of this matchup may not even be on the field. The game will commemorate
the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Running back Alfred Blue, a native of Louisiana, and his family were one of the many displaced during the 2005 natural disaster who sought refuge in Houston. FOX will nationally televise the game on Sunday, August 30 at 3 p.m. CDT.
To bookend these games, the Texans will host the San Francisco 49ers to open the preseason and travel to Dallas to finish up the preseason.
Which brings us to the one game not included on this list, the Texans preseason finale. The intrastate rivalry between the two franchises have historically always made for great matchups. Games at AT&T Stadium are always well-traveled by Texans fans. In fact, the noise factor from Houston's fans in Dallas became a national story last year. Remember Tony Romo's comments?
"We played on the road today in that football game," Romo said Oct. 5 in his post-game press conference.
Preseason games don't count for any stats or wins or losses but this year's lineup will certainly be fun to watch.
The NFL is expected to release the complete 2015 regular season schedule later this month.
View photos of the Texans' 2015 preseason opponents.