Complete 2015 Schedule Release Coverage **READ: 2015 schedule by the numbers READ: Key early season matchups
READ: Texans to face several top overall draft picks
READ: Vandermeer's View on the 2015 schedule
With the release of the 2015 NFL schedule, it's hard not to mentally circle several big games on the calendar. Facing former teams, reunions among players and coaches, and winter games in December all make for exciting matchups. Reunions can be fun, but sometimes they add a layer of emotion and intensity when it comes to football.
- Week 4: At Atlanta
Sunday, October 4
The Texans travel to Atlanta's Georgia Dome for the last time before it's demolished. There they'll face former starting linebacker Brooks Reed, who signed with the Falcons in free agency. Also on the Falcons roster is T.J. Yates, the first quarterback in Texans history to earn a playoff win.
- Week 11: New York Jets
Sunday, November 22
Former quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick landed in New York after a trade with the Jets. General manager Mike Maccagnon, who served as Houston's director of college scouting since 2011, knows the Texans roster well. Texans offensive line coach Mike Devlin was a member of the Jets coaching staff for nine years as tight ends coach (2006-12) and offensive line coach (2013-2014).
- Week 10: At Cincinnati
Monday, November 16
Johnathan Joseph is 3-1 against his former team. In last year's 22-13 loss to the Bengals, Joseph recorded the longest interception return for a touchdown of his career. His 60-yard return made him just the second player in franchise history with two career interception returns for touchdowns (Aaron Glenn, 2002-04). The Bengals sideline also has a pair of former Texans: safety Shiloh Keo and right tackle Eric Winston. Cincinnati defensive backs coach Vance Joseph also held the same position with Houston under Gary Kubiak. Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton also has Houston ties. He grew up in Katy and led the Tigers to the state finals at NRG Stadium.
- Week 5: Indianapolis
Thursday, October 8
It's not the biggest reunion game if you look at the sheer number of connections, but logic goes out the window and is replaced by emotion when it comes to the Texans division rival.
Facing Andre Johnson in a Colts uniform, wearing No. 81, may be just as strange for fans as it is for Johnson. What will crowd reaction be? No one knew that Week 17 against Jacksonville would be the All-Pro receiver's last game in a Texans jersey. Now, he'll return to the stadium he called home for the entirety of his 12-year NFL career.
And it will be in the visiting locker room.
On national television.
- Week 5: Indianapolis
- Week 14: New England
Sunday, December 13
It's a big game for the biggest number of players and coaches, eight in all.
Head coach Bill O'Brien
Defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel
Linebackers coach Mike Vrabel
Quarterbacks coach George Godsey
Defensive assistant Anthony Pleasant
Quarterback Brian Hoyer
Quarterback Ryan Mallett
Defensive tackle Vince Wilfork
With O'Brien's arrival in Houston came a lot of New England connections to the city. From defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel to quarterbacks coach George Godsey, the coaching staff is peppered with Patriots connections. The quarterback room is too as Ryan Mallett and Brian Hoyer prepare against Tom Brady. Vince Wilfork will play opposite his former teammates for the first time in his career.
It will be the last game of 2015 that's not a divisional game and could have major playoff implications.
To see the complete 2015 Texans schedule, click here.