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Numbers to Know: 2016 schedule
2016 Texans feature in 5 primetime games
The fact that the Texans are in five primetime games in 2016 shows that the NFL thinks they will be a pretty good team.
Here are my top five observations on the upcoming slate:
1. Like Death and Taxes
It's not quite that certain but you can usually expect the Texans to open at home. In the 15 years of franchise history the Texans have only opened on the road four times (Miami '03, Buffalo '05, Pittsburgh '08 and San Diego '13). Last year's loss to the Chiefs snapped a string of five consecutive opening day victories. So Houston looks to start another winning streak September 11 against Chicago. Also, for whatever reason this will be the 7th year in a row the Texans will play at Indy in the back half of the season series. How about having them visit here in December for a change?
The Texans will visit Green Bay for only the second time ever when they make the trek to Lambeau Field on December 4th. The first time was also in early December back in 2008. It was three degrees at kickoff and Houston won it on a late Kris Brown field goal. The only other cold weather threat is at Tennessee on New Year's Day. Unless you count a possible early freeze in Denver on October 24th.
3. Speaking of Denver…
Too many people assumed the Texans would play the league opener at Denver because of the Brock Osweiler and Gary Kubiak storylines. Those connections didn't get the game on NBC but did land it on ESPN for a Monday night affair that will pack plenty of local and regional drama.
4. Unfinished Business
After starting the season at home against the Bears (only the second visit by Chicago to NRG, the first was in the finale in '08), the Texans play two teams they went a combined 0-3 against last year. They'll host the Chiefs in week two then have a total of three days to prep for a visit to New England for a Thursday night game that'll bring Bill O'Brien back to his home state. Houston will have only three days and virtually no practices to get ready for Tom Brady (we think) and Bill Belichick on a short week.
5. Deck the Bengals
Many families will be looking to revise their Christmas routine as the Texans host Cincinnati on December 24 at 7:30pm. O'Brien looks to play the role of Ebenezer Scrooge to a Bengals team that the Texans beat in their Monday nighter on the road in 2015.
The Texans will travel 15,308 miles in the 2016 regular season, and play in these venues.