Five Highly Relevant Thoughts on the 2014 Houston Texans Schedule
The NFL has done a tremendous job, for the most part (more on this in a second), of building anticipation toward seemingly every date of their league's calendar, regardless of how consequential they are.
Photo by Ed Schipul Let's hope for more of this in 2014.
Free agency begins on March 11! Holy cow, we need a free agent tracker and let's get some talking heads onto the network!!
Offseason workouts are starting! Wow! Let's set up shop at the facilities of the seven teams with new head coaches!!
The 2014 schedule is about to be announced! Hey, let's hold off on doing this for another week to build even more anticipation because....well, because we can!
It's truly amazing.
(SIDEBAR: Misses are rare when it comes to NFL marketing calculations, but they misfired on this move of the draft into early May. The additional two weeks were ostensibly placed here because of a scheduling conflict at Radio City Music Hall, but if the move of the draft to the second weekend in May had made for better, more expansive coverage, it would've been a lock to remain in place. It has not. All it has done is expose just how inane many of the arguments and debates become in the media leading up to the draft, and just how manipulative much of the "news" really is this time of year. And I say all of this as someone who loves draft season. A rare fail by the shield.)
So, yes, the new schedule is out (cue Navin Johnson dance) and here is what the 2014 slate looks like for the maiden voyage of the S.S. O'Brien:
WEEK 1: Sunday, September 7: WASHINGTON
WEEK 2: Sunday, September 14: at Oakland
WEEK 3: Sunday, September 21: at New York Giants
WEEK 4: Sunday, September 28: BUFFALO
WEEK 5: Sunday, October 5: at Dallas
WEEK 6: Thursday, October 9: INDIANAPOLIS
WEEK 7: Monday, October 20: at Pittsburgh
WEEK 8: Sunday, October 26: at Tennessee
WEEK 9: Sunday, November 2: PHILADELPHIA
WEEK 10: BYE
WEEK 11: Sunday, November 16: at Cleveland
WEEK 12: Sunday, November 23: CINCINNATI
WEEK 13: Sunday, November 30: TENNESSEE
WEEK 14: Sunday, December 7: at Jacksonville
WEEK 15: Sunday, December 14: at Indianapolis
WEEK 16: Sunday, December 21: BALTIMORE
WEEK 17: Sunday, December 28: JACKSONVILLE
And now a few of my piping hot, fresh out-of-the-oven takes on this schedule:
1. Unsettled quarterback means we are throwing darts
With this being the first time really in franchise history that the Texans have gone into a season not knowing who their starting quarterback would be, it's the hardest schedule ever on Release Day (my proper noun for the schedule coming out) to assess in terms of "How will they do?". Before 2014, there would be teams with holes at quarterback on the schedule, but with the decent-to-above-average version of Matt Schaub you would generally pencil those in as wins and then assess the remaining games. Now, the Texans are one of those teams, and the difference between, say, five wins and nine wins really rests in large part on the QB decision.