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TheRealJoker
08-13-2008, 03:45 PM
They say that competition brings out the best in people. Our opening 5 games are arguably the toughest stretch any team in the NFL has to face to open their season. Road trips to Pittsburgh, Tennessee, and Jacksonville with home games against Baltimore and Indianapolis thrown in as well.

The only game we are projected to be favored to win in that schedule is the Baltimore game, who should still have a tough defense.

Do you think that this tough opening stretch will improve our team for the rest of the season provided we aren't destroyed by injuries? In theory if our OL gets experience against those 5 defenses then the rest of the Ds on the schedule should be a cakewalk. That's just one example, but from a defensive perspective if we can have success against the Steelers, Jags, and Colts offenses we should have success against any other O on our schedule.

I think the rough start will help us down the stretch when a handful of teams are competing for a playoff spot. We'll have gone through the worst stretch of our schedule and finishing up with a favorable schedule. The toughest game is the Jags at home in December and that's on Battle Red Day during our MNF debut. Those are the best conditions possible for us outside of being 100% healthy.

Hervoyel
08-13-2008, 03:51 PM
I don't think it will really matter. I have us in my mind winning the opener but I think we're going to look really funky for the first 3-5 weeks of the season. Once they've spent a couple of months working under Gibbs they'll start to show it and I think we finish the season pretty strong but I think overall we're not going to look very good regardless of the opposition at the beginning.

I expect the Texans offense to remind me of Buddy Ryan's defense when he brought the 46 here. We spent all off-season talking about how tough our defense was going to be and how Buddy Ryan and Wilbur Marshall were going to turn us into the 85' Bears and eventually the defense did turn into something awesome to behold. It took a few weeks to start looking right though. Same thing will happen here.

gtexan02
08-13-2008, 03:51 PM
I prefer a slightly easier start. It helps build confidence and the team can practice their new roles before tackling tough competition.

I think having a tough opening schedule could easily handicap the season honestly

TheRealJoker
08-13-2008, 03:56 PM
I prefer a slightly easier start. It helps build confidence and the team can practice their new roles before tackling tough competition.

I think having a tough opening schedule could easily handicap the season honestly

I would agree with that, but its hard to start any stronger than the Texans did last season. 2-0 start and playing the defending SB champs tough without AJ. However we threw up a dud against the Falcons in what should've been a gimme win. I think that loss hurt the teams confidence and kinda took away the momentum we had built up to that point because that game should've been such an easy win.

Then you look at a team like the New York Giants who started off 0-2 and won the SB. You could say they were more talented and all but the most important thing for them was that they started off rough. Their HC was on the hot seat, their QB was on the hot seat, their defense was thought to be similar to a wet paper bag... But they finished strong in large part due to all the lumps they took early on.

barrett
08-13-2008, 04:52 PM
i would agree with the thinking that we could potentially start off poorly. my only concern overall is that it could effect our confidence. we've never gone into a season with the kind of confidence that our players have right now. we are fragile in that sense no doubt. we've never learned to have actual expectations. even last year. so my biggest fear is that if we do start of shakey, (which we could as the ZBS takes hold) that we have a harder time recovering than say the giants team of last year.

if we start off hot then it may be a situation where our ignorance is a positive and we honestly believe that we can beat anybody and in turn... do.

Buffi2
08-13-2008, 05:09 PM
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. :shades: I just hope we come out of the first 5 games with at least 2 wins (Baltimore and TN) and no injuries. If we can manage that (or better) - we are on our way. And the confidence level shouldn't be too badly affected if we can win 2. The team is so pumped this year, it is hard to think that they will let a tough opening few games affect them. Like the Giants of last year, they have a goal. That helps considerably.

I refuse to even think about losing to the Titans one more time and I don't care where we play them. As far as I'm concerned, that is a must win game period.

Polo
08-13-2008, 05:25 PM
I don't think it matters much...

nero THE zero
08-13-2008, 05:39 PM
I think the start of our schedule is good for a couple of reasons.

1. We have half of our division schedule in the first five weeks of the season. We can set the tone for our season in the early part of it against our division opponents and, at the same time, get half of our divisional games out of the way early. If last year was any precedent, that is good news for us. Addtionally, if we come out of the first five games with a win against either Pittsburgh or Baltimore and a win against one of our divisional opponents, we have gone 2-3 in, presumably (which will probably end up being wrong,) the toughest stretch of our schedule.

2. Getting the "tough part" of the schedule out of the way first, we have an easier back end of the schedule. That way, assuming we are playoff bound, we should be riding a good wave of momentum into the playoffs. And, as is so important in every sport, playing the hot hand is a large key to success in the playoffs.

But, ultimately, I think that opening stretch and the overall strength of our schedule is getting overhyped by a long shot. We have it easy compared to the AFC North who has to play the two toughest divisions in football. I think by the end of the season we'll have one of the easier schedules in the NFL.

Texans_Chick
08-13-2008, 05:52 PM
In college, good teams schedule directional schools first so that they can get their feet under them.

There are no directional schools in the NFL, and that early season schedule is a brutality. The Texans in recent years have been awful on the road, and few teams win in Pittsburgh in recent years. They are learning a run blocking system, and learning to work together as an offense as this is a very different line than last year. Line issues are more difficult to work out on the road than at home--they just have to make sure that nobody gets killed.

That being said, if they can survive that stretch of games with their health and confidence intact, good things can happen for this team.

Thorn
08-13-2008, 06:26 PM
In college, good teams schedule directional schools first so that they can get their feet under them.

There are no directional schools in the NFL, and that early season schedule is a brutality. The Texans in recent years have been awful on the road, and few teams win in Pittsburgh in recent years. They are learning a run blocking system, and learning to work together as an offense as this is a very different line than last year. Line issues are more difficult to work out on the road than at home--they just have to make sure that nobody gets killed.

That being said, if they can survive that stretch of games with their health and confidence intact, good things can happen for this team.

considering everything, I'll be glad to get out of all this with a 2-3 record after the first five games. We could still be 4-3 by the bye week.

The Pencil Neck
08-13-2008, 06:54 PM
Madden used to say that he liked to get the road division games out of the way early in the season. Then later in the season when the games "meant" something, he had home games against them.

ATXtexanfan
08-13-2008, 07:08 PM
if we do well in those first 5 games than people will take notice, maybe we'll get some espn coverage. every game is tough so why not start off with your division early and a division champ. it'll build character.

NBT
08-13-2008, 07:17 PM
I don't think coach Gibbs will allow this team to start slow. On the other hand, it will drive him nuts till he does get it squared away, being a perfectionist.

b0ng
08-14-2008, 10:15 AM
Really the only game I see as being brutal is the opener @Pittsburgh. All the others in the opening 5 weeks are against teams that we play year in and year out.

If we're hellbent on improving the divisional record, then we'll see some results before the first 1/3 of the season is over.

EDIT: I realize Baltimore is in there too, but I don't think anyone around here is thinking that they count as being the brutal part of the sched.

El Tejano
08-14-2008, 10:25 AM
It doesn't matter because NFL commercials are giving an early indication that they want a Manning vs. Manning Superbowl and they are going to fight tooth and nail to make sure Brett Favre gets the final Wild Card Spot.

nunusguy
08-14-2008, 10:47 AM
This year is a tough schedule and while I'd like to jump in with the Texans-in-2008-playoffs-bandwagon crowd, I just dunno if it's gonna happen ? But then I tend to keep my expectations under control and try to be as realistic as possible.
And I'm sorry, but for the umpteenth time, the Jags game at the end of last year was a garbage-victory and besides I really don't think the teams attitude would be any different rignt now were they 8-8 or 7-9 last year. And
I think their attitude is good, but wonder if Kubiaks may end up second-guessing hisself on rolling out all the stops to win a meaningless game ?
With Dunta out until atleast mid-season, with still have got huge issues in the D-backfield and we don't know what we are going to have on one edge even with Mario on the other in passing situations. And at running back - how can any fan feel optimistic about that position on the Texans right now with our projected starter at the beginning of the year looking more doubful than ever ?
Now 2009 with the NFC West in our schedule and one more Draft (including
a second rounder this year), and another FA with Rick working his magic - that's a different story all together.
But this year I think I'll keep my expectations in check and hope for the best, and hope to be pleasantly surprised.

TexanSam
08-14-2008, 11:17 AM
If the Texans come out 2-3 after the first 5 games, I would be happy. I'm obviously hoping for better than that, but our early schedule is brutal (at least on paper).

FirstTexansFan
08-14-2008, 11:38 AM
I don't like our first five games, and I don't expect much. Will it improve the team? Who knows, but I'm betting it'll kill the optimism of the fans pretty quickly. I'm already looking forward to the "Fire ______ " posts we'll surely see. Any wagers on who falls off the bandwagon first? :)

Texecutioner
08-14-2008, 11:39 AM
I think it will.

I actually like the fact that the Texans are playing the Steelers in Pitts in their first game. For one, the Texans have a good history of playing really well in the first game of the season. I'd rather play the Steelers early on, when they might not have everything together just yet.

I think the Steelers will be one of the best teams this year, but I like our chances at winning in the first game of the season. The Steelers biggest problem this year is probably their O line, which they didn't address much in the off season. I think that Mario and the D line have a good advantage here taking on an O line that might not be ready for us in the first game of the season, especially with some good blitz packages where Colvin can get involved.

Thorn
08-14-2008, 11:46 AM
I don't like our first five games, and I don't expect much. Will it improve the team? Who knows, but I'm betting it'll kill the optimism of the fans pretty quickly. I'm already looking forward to the "Fire ______ " posts we'll surely see. Any wagers on who falls off the bandwagon first? :)

Five bucks says our defensive co will be on the fan's chopping block early this season. LOL

barrett
08-14-2008, 03:11 PM
$5? Thats all you could muster? For a sure thing bet like that?

Thorn
08-14-2008, 04:17 PM
$5? Thats all you could muster? For a sure thing bet like that?


OK, ten then. I'm saving for retirement, ya know. LOL

Number19
08-14-2008, 07:06 PM
I'm going to take a contrary position and say I like the opening schedule this year. I'm not worried about the ZBS not being up to speed early on. We are going to have a killer passing offense this season and it will carry us until we can become more balanced. Even though we have question marks on defense, we are going to be improved - in the line, the LB's and in the backfield. Going 3-2 will set up the rest of the season.

barrett
08-14-2008, 07:12 PM
i'll be pretty happy with 3-2. I'm figuring Pittsburgh, Baltimore and one from our division, I'm going to go with a win over the Colts actually and losses to the jax and tax. just a hunch. but i'm seeing 3-2 as well.

thunderkyss
08-14-2008, 07:26 PM
Will it help our team.....

First and foremost, we have to play well. If our leaders do what they need to do, lead on the field, and play well, I think the first five games will help our team for the rest of the year.

Win or Lose. If everyone stays healthy, Schaub performs well, distributes the ball, keep our offense on the field... AJ make big plays, challenge the secondary, Owen Daniels holds on to the ball, and keep teams honest, make them play the middle of the field, back them off the LOS, warrant some attention from the safeties.

If Mario gets off early, he can't start slow like last year, don't worry about sacks, but he's got to creat havoc, Amobi, TJ, OKam need to create pressure in the middle, and Demeco needs to keep doing what he do, make plays.

Schaub, AJ, MArio, TJ, & Dunta, can't let this team get down. They need to play their best, against the best, then we can dominate in the remaining 11 games.

Thorn
08-14-2008, 07:38 PM
if if if......

One second later our (or theirs) best player is out for the season.

There is a reason we look at those secondary players as does everyone else

Depth is where it is at, and while we are good at that at a few positions, we are not there at all the positions.

Insideop
08-14-2008, 11:10 PM
Will it help our team.....

First and foremost, we have to play well. If our leaders do what they need to do, lead on the field, and play well, I think the first five games will help our team for the rest of the year.

Win or Lose. If everyone stays healthy, Schaub performs well, distributes the ball, keep our offense on the field... AJ make big plays, challenge the secondary, Owen Daniels holds on to the ball, and keep teams honest, make them play the middle of the field, back them off the LOS, warrant some attention from the safeties.

If Mario gets off early, he can't start slow like last year, don't worry about sacks, but he's got to creat havoc, Amobi, TJ, OKam need to create pressure in the middle, and Demeco needs to keep doing what he do, make plays.

Schaub, AJ, MArio, TJ, & Dunta, can't let this team get down. They need to play their best, against the best, then we can dominate in the remaining 11 games.

TK, I agree with most of your post, but I believe Mario started the 1st game very well with 2 sacks, a fumble recovery run back 38 yds for a TD, 4 tackles and 1 assist. If that's a slow start, I hope he has that every game! JMHO!

dsorc
08-15-2008, 12:24 AM
Did anybody else see the Pittsburgh O-line 1st unit get manhandled by Buffalo tonight? I really thought that first game would be near impossible to win but if their O-line has yet to gel Mario and Okoye could have a field day with them.

Wolf
08-15-2008, 01:49 AM
Honestly This comes to mind

and changing it for content of Texans (top gun quote)

Manning: Good morning, gentlemen, the temperature is 110 degrees.
Richard Smith: Holy shit, it's Viper!
Demeco: Manning's up here, great... oh shit...
Mario: Great, he's probably saying, "Holy shit, it's Mario and Demeco."
Demeco: Yeah, I'm sure he's saying that.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0092099/quotes

I might have the names wrong but Maverick and Goose are like Demeco and Mario

some might have a better quote

I don't worry about the schedule, We will be what we will be. We have to take care of business and I don't think we will go undefeated but I think we are competitive enough to wreck havok ... confidence goes along way

ObsiWan
08-15-2008, 02:37 AM
Did anybody else see the Pittsburgh O-line 1st unit get manhandled by Buffalo tonight? I really thought that first game would be near impossible to win but if their O-line has yet to gel Mario and Okoye could have a field day with them.

don't sell Buffalo short.
Like us, they've been making some pretty decent steps to get better.

kiwitexansfan
08-15-2008, 05:02 AM
I have no doubt that the tough early schedule will mean that our team improves signifacantly.

The question is will our record be good enough for us to still make the playoffs after those five games....

I certainly hope so.

thunderkyss
08-15-2008, 11:12 AM
TK, I agree with most of your post, but I believe Mario started the 1st game very well with 2 sacks, a fumble recovery run back 38 yds for a TD, 4 tackles and 1 assist. If that's a slow start, I hope he has that every game! JMHO!

You're right, I was thinking of his first year.

That's my story anyway.

Did anybody else see the Pittsburgh O-line 1st unit get manhandled by Buffalo tonight? I really thought that first game would be near impossible to win but if their O-line has yet to gel Mario and Okoye could have a field day with them.

They were doing a lot of blitzes.... from what I saw, there problem was mostly on the interior line.

It would be nice, if we blitzed more..... but I haven't seen anything from our coaching staff to make me think they are the gambling kind.

But hopefully Amobi & TJ can exploit that line, and the net results would be the same.

Lucky
08-15-2008, 12:06 PM
They say that competition brings out the best in people. Our opening 5 games are arguably the toughest stretch any team in the NFL has to face to open their season. Road trips to Pittsburgh, Tennessee, and Jacksonville with home games against Baltimore and Indianapolis thrown in as well.
Tennessee, Jacksonville, and Pittsburgh were tops in the league in rushing attempts in '07. Considering the QB situation in Baltimore and Manning returning from injury in Indy, it's possible that the Ravens and Colts will look to lean more on the running game than in the past.

The Texans will also be facing some pretty fierce pass rushers early in the season. In order to slow down the rush, it is very important for the running game to be productive. Really, it boils down to the Texans winning the battle up front against some tough, physical teams. If they can, that bodes well for the rest of the season.

The skill players get all the glory in this league, but winning still comes down to the trenches. That's where the Texans, under Kubiak & Smith, have put their $$$ & resources. It's time to see that investment pay off.

Texecutioner
08-15-2008, 12:13 PM
Tennessee, Jacksonville, and Pittsburgh were tops in the league in rushing attempts in '07. Considering the QB situation in Baltimore and Manning returning from injury in Indy, it's possible that the Ravens and Colts will look to lean more on the running game than in the past.

The Texans will also be facing some pretty fierce pass rushers early in the season. In order to slow down the rush, it is very important for the running game to be productive. Really, it boils down to the Texans winning the battle up front against some tough, physical teams. If they can, that bodes well for the rest of the season.

The skill players get all the glory in this league, but winning still comes down to the trenches. That's where the Texans, under Kubiak & Smith, have put their $$$ & resources. It's time to see that investment pay off.

I like our chances in game one. I watched the Steelers last night in their second pre season game against the Bills. Their O line looked pretty bad on run plays. They weren't opening up any holes. Big Ben looked really solid though on pass plays by moving around in the pocket. The Steelers O line will struggle this season, and I'd rather play them early on in the season rather than later in the season. I think that we will win the first game of the season.

Lucky
08-15-2008, 12:40 PM
I like our chances in game one. I watched the Steelers last night in their second pre season game against the Bills. Their O line looked pretty bad on run plays. They weren't opening up any holes.
I didn't see the game, but I suspect that the addition of Marcus Stroud will really help the Bills up front. Despite the arrival of the Great One in New York, I think the Bills are still the 2nd best team in the AFC East and very much in the mix for a wild card spot.

Bull Pen 1
08-15-2008, 01:46 PM
I guess I'm a homer, but I see us going 4 - 1, or even maybe 5 - 0. Maybe a loss to the Titans.

Texecutioner
08-15-2008, 03:57 PM
I didn't see the game, but I suspect that the addition of Marcus Stroud will really help the Bills up front. Despite the arrival of the Great One in New York, I think the Bills are still the 2nd best team in the AFC East and very much in the mix for a wild card spot.

Yeah Stroud was a really good signing. I had wanted the Texans to go after Stroud at the time.

Edwards looked pretty good last night and so did Lynch. The Bills just might be better than I thought. Lee Evans should be a lot more consistent this year as well.

thunderkyss
08-15-2008, 05:53 PM
I guess I'm a homer, but I see us going 4 - 1, or even maybe 5 - 0. Maybe a loss to the Titans.

Sweet.....

I'd be with you, but I think I'm going to try to be negative all year, regardless what happens.

My old uber-optimism hasn't gotten the results I was hoping for, so I'm going 180, and seeing how that works out.

thunderkyss
08-15-2008, 05:58 PM
I didn't see the game, but I suspect that the addition of Marcus Stroud will really help the Bills up front. Despite the arrival of the Great One in New York, I think the Bills are still the 2nd best team in the AFC East and very much in the mix for a wild card spot.

They also have the second easiest schedule against the run, and the 5th easiest against the pass, according to FantasyGuru.com