5 intriguing matchups in Texans' 2014 schedule

5 intriguing matchups in Texans' 2014 schedule
April 23, 2014, 7:00 pm
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The entire 2014 Texans schedule has been released.

Click here to see it.

The Texans have two primetime nationally televised games and both of those make the list of the five most-intriguing matchups from the schedule. Here are the five games we picked:

Sunday, Sept. 14: at Raiders

It’s a shame this game isn’t at NRG Stadium. It’ll be the first time the Texans will get a chance to go against new Raiders quarterback Matt Schaub. Schaub had a disastrous season in 2013 but will still be an upgrade for the Raiders, who have struggled at the quarterback position for a long time.

Schaub is still friends with many current Texans and has already admitted that this will be an emotional game.

It’ll also be a chance to face former Texans fan favorite Antonio Smith, who signed with the Raiders as a free agent in the offseason.

Sunday, Oct. 5: at Cowboys

This game doesn’t really need a long explanation. This is the battle for Texas in Jerry World. It’ll certainly be a fun game.

“I think it’s great," head coach Bill O'Brien said. "I think Texas is such a great football state. The city of Houston is a football city and any time you have the two pro teams in the state of Texas playing each other, that’s a fantastic thing for the National Football League and great for both fan bases. It’s an exciting time for both teams.”

Thursday, Oct. 9: vs. Colts

This is the first of two primetime games for the Texans in back-to-back weeks. The Colts won the division in 2013 and return as the favorites to win it again. This game will always have a little extra juice when it’s in Houston as long as Houston-area product Andrew Luck is the Colts’ starting quarterback. The Texans had a brief stay atop the AFC South but the Colts are hoping to own the division for a long time again, just like when they did with Peyton Manning under center.

Monday, Oct. 20: at Steelers

This game makes the list because it’s the other primetime game. It’s almost like the Texans get an extra bye week in 2014. They play a Thursday night game and then don’t have to play until the next Monday. That’s a whole lot of extra time to prepare for the Steelers.

“Any time you play primetime, it means a lot to our players," O'Brien said. "It’s an exciting time. They know it’s a national audience. For us as coaches, I think it works out fairly well because it’s a home game and then a little bit of time between traveling to go to Pittsburgh. Again, for our players, it’s a great opportunity. For us as coaches, we look at it as giving us a little bit of extra time to prepare.”

Sunday, Dec. 21: vs. Ravens

The return of Gary Kubiak. Kubiak was the Texans’ coach for a long time and he should receive a nice ovation when he gets into NRG Stadium. Kubiak is the Ravens’ offensive coordinator, so the Ravens’ offense will look very familiar to Texans fans. It’ll also be the return of Rick Dennison, Brian Pariani and tight end Owen Daniels, who was the second-longest tenured player when he was cut this offseason.

Honorable mention: Sunday, Nov. 2: vs. Eagles

This game might not be better than the other five but it’ll be interesting to see a whole bunch of former Texans, including Connor Barwin and DeMeco Ryans, come into NRG Stadium. There are eight former Texans on the Eagles.