HOUSTON – The NFL released the Houston Texans 2004 schedule, it was announced today.
In addition to their AFC South division games in Reliant Stadium, the Texans will
host other noteworthy games; Houston returns to primetime television (ESPN) versus
Green Bay in Week 11 and will open and close the season at home against San Diego
and Cleveland, respectively.
"It's always good to play on national TV," Texans head coach Dom Capers said. "It'll only be our second time doing so. And we get to face one of the league's best teams and one of its best quarterbacks."
Houston's 2004 schedule features five playoff teams (Denver, Green Bay, Kansas City, Indianapolis, Tennessee) and three division winners (Green Bay, Indianapolis, Kansas City). Houston's opponents were also a combined six games over .500 last season (131-125).
The Texans became the first expansion team in league history to win their first two season openers (against Dallas in 2002 and Miami in 2003). As an expansion club, the Texans are looking to win an unprecedented three-consecutive season openers when they host San Diego (Sept. 12). After opening against the Chargers, Houston hits the road for two-consecutive weeks for games in Detroit (Sept. 19) and Kansas City (Sept. 26). The Texans will then host back-to-back home games against Oakland (Oct. 3) and Minnesota (Oct. 10), two teams they haven't previously faced.
The Texans' first two AFC South division games surround the Texans Bye Week (Oct. 24). The Texans will start division play at Tennessee (Oct 17), then take a break before returning to action against Jacksonville on Oct. 31 in Reliant Stadium. The following two weeks, the Texans travel to INVESCO Field at Mile High to play Denver with a 3:15 p.m. kickoff (Nov. 7) and to the RCA Dome to face division foe Indianapolis (Nov. 14).
Houston then returns home for two games to host defending NFC North champion Green Bay Packers (Nov. 21) in a 7:30 p.m. primetime game on ESPN and then play AFC South division opponent Tennessee (Nov. 28). After two games in temperature-controlled Reliant Stadium, Houston will travel to the East Coast to face the Jets (Dec. 5). Then after hosting the Colts on Dec. 12, the Texans play another cold weather game in Chicago (Dec. 19). The average temperature in Chicago on Dec. 19 is 25°F.
The Texans finish their road schedule in Jacksonville (Dec. 26) against the only team Houston has beaten twice in its short history. Houston wraps up the 2004 season by hosting the Cleveland Browns on Jan. 2.
2004 SCHEDULE NOTES
- For the third consecutive season, 14 of the Texans' 16 regular season games will be televised on CBS.
- FOX will televise Houston's home game against Minnesota and ESPN will televise the home game against Green Bay.
- The Texans are 3-0 in games played on FOX, vs. N.Y. Giants 16-14 (11/24/02), Carolina Panthers 14-10 (11/2/03) and Atlanta Falcons 17-13 (11/30/03).
- The Texans were 3-5 at home and 2-6 on the road last season…Only two of the Texans' 2004 games are late starts – at Denver (3:15 p.m.) and vs. Green Bay (7:30 p.m.) – Houston is currently 2-4 in late kickoff games and 1-0 in primetime games
- The Texans are a perfect 4-0 at home against the NFC against Dallas 19-10 (9/8/02), NY Giants 16-14 (11/24/02) Carolina 14-10 (11/2/03) and Atlanta 17-13 (11/30/03).
- This marks the first month the Texans will play in the month of January.
- The Texans most successful month is November (4-5 record) where they play at Denver, at Indianapolis, vs. Green Bay and vs. division rival Tennessee.
- On the last week of November the Texans are 2-0 at home – They defeated the New York Giants 16-14 (11/24/02) and the Atlanta Falcons 17-13 (11/30/03).
- The Texans have played against six (AFC South, AFC East, AFC West, AFC North, NFC South and NFC East) of the eight NFL divisions in their first two years – Houston has beaten at least one team from each division, except for the AFC West (Houston has fallen to San Diego 24-3 and Kansas City 42-14) – The Texans get their chance early to erase that history, because Houston plays three of the four games against the AFC West: vs. San Diego (9/12), @ Kansas City (9/26) and vs. Oakland (10/03).
- For the first time in team history, Houston plays its initial division game on the road when they travel to Tennessee (10/17) – The Texans are 1-1 in their first division games and are 1-1 in their first division road game – Houston captured their first road win in team history with a 21-19 victory in Jacksonville in 2002, they also fell 38-17 at Tennessee in 2003.
- There are three stretches of back-to-back road games and two stretches of back-to-back home games.
- The Texans open and close the season in Reliant Stadium for the first time since
- The Texans play two field turf games in 2004 (@ Detroit, @N.Y. Jets) and artificial turf once (@ Indianapolis).
- The Texans have two games late in the year in cold weather climates (New York, Chicago) – Texans are 2-1 in games played in under 50°: Pittsburgh, 35°F (W, 12/8/02), Cincinnati 43°F (L, 11/9/03) and Buffalo, 47°F (W, 11/16/03).