You want to keep those September tickets
Houston Texans' schedule released from Roethlisberger hostage
The Houston Texans 2010 football schedule was just released after being held hostage by the Ben Roethlisberger drama for more than a week. And the extra wait was worth it — if you get first dibs on any September games in a ticket-sharing deal with your buddy.
Reliant Stadium will host the two most-anticipated home games of the season in the first three weeks of the season. The Indianapolis Colts and that Peyton Manning character roll into Houston for the season opener for both teams on Sept. 12. Then on Sept. 26, there's just a little intrastate clash with the Dallas Cowboys — or as it will be known in Houston, Scalper's Holiday.
The Texans' schedule is great if you like drama. The San Diego Chargers — another Super Bowl contender — play at Reliant on Nov. 7 and the Tennessee Titans and former University of Texas quarterback Vince Young bring in their run-happy offense on Nov. 28. The schedule doesn't look so great if you're obsessed with seeing the Texans make the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. It's a stacked slate.
In the first three weeks of the season alone, Gary Kubiak's team faces off against three of the Top 10 quarterbacks in the NFL — opening against Manning, going to Washington for Donovan McNabb's second home game as Redskin in Week 2 and getting Tony Romo and the Cowboys in Week 3, early when Romo usually plays like a Top 5 QB before ramping down to his yearly playoff choke.
Houston does get two appearances on Monday Night Football (Nov. 1 at the Colts and a Dec. 13 home game against the Ravens) and one on Thursday Night Football (Dec. 2 at the Eagles), but the team still hasn't been deemed worthy of a more prestigious Sunday Night Football spot.
For a team that went 9-7 last year behind Matt Schaub's aerial show, missing the playoffs on the last day of the 2009 regular season, this 2010 slate is a gauntlet. The only thing close to near-sure Ws on the schedule are the games against the Chiefs and Raiders and the two with the Jaguars. Otherwise, it's largely a who's who of the NFL's elite.
Kubiak might wish that the NFL delayed the announcement even longer (you can bet that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was really holding off to see how long he needed to suspend Roethlisberger before allowing the schedules to go out) because the Texans weren't done any favors. Now, with the delayed schedule announcement out of the way (and turned into a TV show like with everything the NFL does these days), Goodell can wait till tomorrow to announce what he's already determined about Big Ben.
Funny, how the Steelers didn't end up with any prime-time games the first four games of the season either. In fact, Pittsburgh plays all five of its prime-time games after Week 7, when a certain quarterback with rape allegation issues is all but sure to be back. By the looks of this schedule, Big Ben is staring at a four-game suspension at minimum and don't be surprised if Goodell makes it as many as five or six games.
The Texans 2010 Schedule:
Sept. 12 — Colts, Noon
Sept. 19 — At the Redskins, 3:15 p.m.
Sept 26 — Cowboys, Noon
Oct. 3 — At the Raiders, 3:05 p.m.
Oct. 10 — Giants, Noon
Oct. 17 — Chiefs, Noon
Oct. 24 — Bye week
Nov. 1 — At the Colts, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 7 — Chargers, Noon
Nov. 14 — At the Jaguars, Noon
Nov. 21 — At the Jets, Noon
Nov. 28 — Titans, Noon
Dec. 2 — At the Eagles, 7:20 p.m.
Dec 13 — Ravens, 7:30 p.m.
Dec 19 — At the Titans, Noon
Dec. 26 — At the Broncos, Noon
Jan. 2 — Jaguars, Noon