Houston Texans schedule analysis

Breakdown: The Houston Texans lost out on their bid to be the training camp team HBO visited with for Hard Knocks. They also didn’t get a Thanksgiving game as they hoped. But three prime time games for a team that finally broke through the .500 barrier last season means the Texans will get some quality exposure. They’ll be at Indianapolis for a Monday night game, at Philadelphia for a Thursday night game and host Baltimore for a Monday night game. The games against the Eagles and Ravens come back to back in early December. If the Texans are a contender, they’ll have a sufficient chance to make a national impression.

Complaint department: The start is a pretty big challenge, with three of the Texans’ four games against the NFC East in the first five weeks. The first five presents a potential quarterback gauntlet for Houston’s defense, which can’t start slow against Peyton Manning, Donovan McNabb, Tony Romo and Eli Manning.

Rested, but ready? After opening the season with the Colts at home, the Texans come off their bye week at the end of October for the rematch at Lucas Oil Stadium on Nov. 1. Eight games into their schedule, the Texans will be finished playing the team they are trying to knock out of the top spot in the AFC South.

Texans Regular Season Schedule (All times Eastern)

Week 1: Sunday, Sep. 12, Indianapolis, 1:00 PM

Week 2: Sunday, Sep. 19, at Washington, 4:15 PM

Week 3: Sunday, Sep. 26, Dallas, 1:00 PM

Week 4: Sunday, Oct. 3, at Oakland, 4:05 PM

Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 10, NY Giants, 1:00 PM

Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 17, Kansas City, 1:00 PM

Week 7: BYE

Week 8: Monday, Nov. 1, at Indianapolis, 8:30 PM

Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 7, San Diego, 1:00 PM

Week 10: Sunday, Nov. 14, at Jacksonville, 1:00 PM

Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 21, at NY Jets, 1:00 PM

Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 28, Tennessee, 1:00 PM

Week 13: Thursday, Dec. 2, at Philadelphia, 8:20 PM

Week 14: Monday, Dec. 13, Baltimore, 8:30 PM

Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 19, at Tennessee, 1:00 PM

Week 16: Sunday, Dec. 26, at Denver, 4:05 PM

Week 17: Sunday, Jan. 2, Jacksonville, 1:00 PM