Houston Texans schedule analysis

Breakdown: The Houston Texans are slated to open at home against the Indianapolis Colts for the second season in a row. Last season, Arian Foster ran wild and the Texans pulled the upset, but then faced a lot of discussion about having put too much offseason focus on that one game. This time they will love unveiling their new 3-4 defense against Peyton Manning, with him having prepared with nothing but old Wade Phillips film.

The only sniff of prime time comes in Week 16, in a Thursday night game at Indianapolis. This is a development that will surely upset fans when they see that the Jacksonville Jaguars have three. They should be looking to the Tennessee Titans, not Jacksonville, for comparison however. And the Titans don't have any either.

Complaint department: The Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens stand to be the two most physical games on the schedule, and playing the two within three weeks is less than ideal. Back-to-back road games twice in the first seven weeks of the season will be a test as well. But there is always a trade off for such things, and the Texans also have two sets of back-to-back home games.

Potential coast to the finish: Should the Texans have a big bounce-back season from 2010's disappointing 6-10 record, at this point their final month hardly appears a murderer’s row. Sign me up for their finish at the Cincinnati Bengals, against the Carolina Panthers, at Indianapolis and against Tennessee.

Texans Regular-Season Schedule (All times Eastern)

Week 1: Sunday, Sep. 11, Indianapolis, 1:00 PM

Week 2: Sunday, Sep. 18, at Miami, 4:15 PM

Week 3: Sunday, Sep. 25, at New Orleans, 1:00 PM

Week 4: Sunday, Oct. 2, Pittsburgh, 1:00 PM

Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 9, Oakland, 1:00 PM

Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 16, at Baltimore, 4:05 PM

Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 23, at Tennessee, 1:00 PM

Week 8: Sunday, Oct. 30, Jacksonville, 1:00 PM

Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 6, Cleveland, 1:00 PM

Week 10: Sunday, Nov. 13, at Tampa Bay, 1:00 PM

Week 11: BYE

Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 27, at Jacksonville, 1:00 PM

Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 4, Atlanta, 1:00 PM

Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 11, at Cincinnati, 1:00 PM

Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 18, Carolina, 1:00 PM

Week 16: Thursday, Dec. 22, at Indianapolis, 8:20 PM

Week 17: Sunday, Jan. 1, Tennessee, 1:00 PM