The stars at night will be big, bright, and wearing Battle Red come August as the Texans take center stage in the NFL.
The Houston Texans released their 2012 schedule on April 18 and fans and players alike are ecstatic. Coming off of an excellent and exciting 2011 playoff berth season, the Texans start preseason off tough and continue with a difficult and noteworthy schedule through December 2012.
In preseason, the Texans play their neighbor to the east, the Saints in New Orleans. This is always a good game for the Texans in that it provides them with an opportunity to play a relatively well-developed team and lets them know how they will fare against NFC teams during the regular season. Additionally, the Texans will have the chance to play the San Francisco 49ers at home this year which should be a fun matchup for fans who secretly enjoyed watching San Francisco play ball in 2011.
The regular season places the Texans in the spotlight which is well-deserved after a hard fought season last year. Not only did the Texans score the well-viewed afternoon Thanksgiving game against Detroit on November 22, 2012, but the Texans also have two Monday night games and two Sunday night games in 2012.
The Texans match up against Tebow and the Jets in New York on Monday October 8 and on Monday December 10, the team marches into Tom Brady-world. On Sunday night, October 14, the Texans host the Packers in Houston and on Sunday November 11 the team goes to war at Soldier Field against “Da Bears”. Granted, all but one of these primetime games (including the Thanksgiving matchup) will be played away which may give the Texans a slight disadvantage against traditionally stellar teams, but it gives the team something else that can propel them to the Promised Land: the chance to shine on the big stage which is enough to rev up the competitive juices for any player.
Never has there been a team like the Texans that is poised for a repeated excellent season like last year. Perhaps with all of the exposure on network television, the Texans will be like the 2009 Superbowl Champion Saints and become the nation’s football darling. That all depends on how the Texans do in pressure situations. What is guaranteed is that the new schedule offers just enough of those types of situations. However, if the team maintains its adopted approach of not taking any down for granted, and if the team stays focused and healthy, the Texans could not only win the division again, but they could also go further into the playoffs than might be expected. Given the strength of schedule, if the Texans pull off at least a 10-6 season, there is no doubt that the Texans will maintain its place in the big lights for seasons to come.