Top 11 storylines to follow for schedule release

It's almost here. The schedule release gets released on Thursday, May 12 and it is one of my favorite days every year, including the annual Player Selection meeting, aka The Draft. Here are 11 storylines that'll stoke the fires for the 2022 season.

  1. Dallas - Pure and simple, there is no team on the Texans schedule any year, any time that strikes at the heart of Texans fans than the Cowboys. The last two matchups with Dallas have been two of my favorite games to cover of all time. In 2014, the last time we met the Cowboys in Dallas, the Battle Red supporters showed up en masse and forced former Cowboys QB Tony Romo to go to a silent count in his own building. 2018's Sunday night win over Dallas was a scintillating overtime contest during a nine game winning streak.
  2. The Uber (the one with the umlauts, not the drivers) QB games - There's a Mahomes, a Watson, a Herbert, a Wilson, a Prescott and even a Matt Ryan on the 2022 Texans schedule. I don't know that there's ever been a QB roster on the opposite sideline quite like the one that the Texans will face this season. The AFC West, alone, is loaded with four gunslingers - all four Pro Bowlers, All-Pros, MVPs and/or Super Bowl champions. The Texans defense will see some true dudes at that position in 2022. (As an aside, it'll be a major upset if they face a rookie QB in 2022)
  3. A Trip to Chicago - This one is twofold. The last time we went to Chicago to face the Bears, there wasn't a soul in the stands (ya know, COVID?). It was weird. So, this will be the first time that the Texans have faced the Bears with fans in attendance in ten years. Oh, did I mention that the Texans new head coach used to be the Chicago Bears head coach and this will be the first time that Lovie Smith has returned to Soldier Field since he was the head coach with Tampa in 2014? Well, there you go because I just did.
  4. VEGAS, BABY!!! The Texans have never played a pre-season, regular season or playoff game in Las Vegas, but that'll change in 2022. The Raiders are heading into year three in their new building - Allegiant Stadium - in the desert and welcoming the Texans in 2022. I have a feeling that might be a well attended Texans road game.
  5. Old Faces in New Places - The Broncos' Russell Wilson. The Raiders' Davante Adams. The Dolphins' Tyreek Hill. The Chargers' Khalil Mack. The Colts' Stephon Gilmore. The Texans faced each of those five stars throughout the past two seasons and will do so again in 2022. It's just that they'll all be playing for different teams and, unfortunately, all five of them will now be in the AFC. Yikes.
  6. One old face we know well – Deshaun Watson returns to the sideline against the Texans at NRG Stadium.
  7. New faces in New Places - As it stands right now, the Texans will face 2022 NFL Draft picks one (2x), five, seven, 11, 15, 17, 18, 24, 26 (2x), 29 & 30 in the first round during the 2022 season. Five of the 14 teams on the Texans schedule will not make first round picks.
  8. The First Time - The Texans will face the team dba the Commanders for the first time. Okay, okay, semantics, but Washington renamed its franchise this offseason and it'll be the first game we've ever mentioned that name. On that note, it'll also be Washington's first return to NRG Stadium since the opener in 2014, aka my first game as the Texans sideline reporter. It was in that game that my favorite story of all-time occurred in the Texans win over the artist formerly known as the Redskins. Come see me at the Draft Party and I'll tell you what happened #GetMEBackOnTheAir
  9. New leaders on the schedule - There are nine new head coaches in the NFL and one of them is the Texans' own Lovie Smith. Of the other eight hires, the Texans will have seven games against six new head coaches: Nathaniel Hackett, Denver, Doug Pederson, Jacksonville (2x), Brian Daboll, New York, Matt Eberfuls, Chicago, Mike McDaniel, Miami and Josh McDaniels, Las Vegas. The only two new head coaches not on the schedule are Kevin O'Connell (Vikings) and Dennis Allen (Saints)
  10. This is the sexiest road schedule in quite some time - The only thing missing is a trip to Los Angeles and a pond roadie to London but that's about all this one lacks. Over the 20 years of Texans football, New York, Chicago, Nashville, Miami and Arlington have ALL been at the top of the list for Texans fans for a game trip. They're ALL on this schedule, along with trips to Las Vegas and Denver too?!? Wow! I mean, I love Jacksonville for many reasons and the Indy trip is always top three for me. So, this road schedule is SEXY, BABY!
  11. It's almost here. That's the best storyline of all.

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