The Texans knew they were set to face both teams from Super Bowl 52 in 2018, but Thursday's schedule release revealed the dates too. Houston will bookend its regular season road schedule with the AFC Champion New England Patriots and Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles, respectively.
"It's a challenge and that's what the NFL is all about though," head coach Bill O'Brien said Thursday. "In my mind, 32 teams all chasing the same thing and from last year you have two Super Bowl participants, one at the beginning and one near the end and that's quite a challenge, but that's what it is every week. Every week in this league, there are no freebies; every week it's so hard to win a game. That's what you always try to tell the fans and your family and people outside the building. You just say look, every week is a huge challenge and that's what it is this year."
In Week 1, the Texans kick off their regular season at Foxborough against the Patriots on Sept. 9. In Week 16, the Texans travel to Philadelphia to face the Super Bowl-defending champion Philadelphia Eagles before closing out their season at home against Jacksonville.
For just the second time in franchise history, the Texans will play each of the Super Bowl teams from the prior year. The first instance was 2013, when the Texans played both the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers following their meeting in Super Bowl XLVII. The Texans will play seven games against teams that made the playoffs in 2017: Philadelphia (13-3), New England (13-3), Jacksonville (10-6, twice), Buffalo (9-7) and Tennessee (9-7, twice).
Check out the opposing quarterbacks the Texans will likely face in 2018. (Photos via AP Images)