Will our tough opening schedule improve the team?

Discussion in 'Texans Talk' started by TheRealJoker, Aug 13, 2008.

  1. TheRealJoker

    TheRealJoker Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    Messages:
    3,794
    Likes Received:
    272
    Location:
    Conroe
    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.
     
  2. Hervoyel

    Hervoyel The Right Track

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2004
    Messages:
    15,563
    Likes Received:
    2,347
    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.
     
  3. gtexan02

    gtexan02 Working?

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2005
    Messages:
    15,785
    Likes Received:
    1,243
    Location:
    Boston
    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
     
  4. TheRealJoker

    TheRealJoker Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    Messages:
    3,794
    Likes Received:
    272
    Location:
    Conroe
    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.
     
  5. barrett

    barrett Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    Messages:
    2,711
    Likes Received:
    282
    Location:
    Austin
    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.
     
  6. Buffi2

    Buffi2 Site Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Messages:
    1,548
    Likes Received:
    86
    Location:
    livingston, texas
    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.
     
  7. Polo

    Polo Guest

    I don't think it matters much...
     
  8. nero THE zero

    nero THE zero Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    Messages:
    2,749
    Likes Received:
    184
    Location:
    Spring
    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.
     


  9. Texans_Chick

    Texans_Chick Utopian Dreamer

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2004
    Messages:
    7,279
    Likes Received:
    1,064
    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.
     
  10. Thorn

    Thorn Dirty Old Man

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2007
    Messages:
    24,541
    Likes Received:
    1,892
    Location:
    Houston
    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.
     
  11. The Pencil Neck

    The Pencil Neck Subscribed Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    Messages:
    21,021
    Likes Received:
    1,492
    Location:
    Moraira, Spain
    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.
     
  12. ATXtexanfan

    ATXtexanfan Site Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2007
    Messages:
    3,698
    Likes Received:
    107
    Location:
    leander, tx
    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.
     
  13. NBT

    NBT Veteran

    Joined:
    May 11, 2008
    Messages:
    241
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    S.E. Texas Coast
    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.
     
  14. b0ng

    b0ng Ooops

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    Messages:
    7,889
    Likes Received:
    613
    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.
     
  15. El Tejano

    El Tejano Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2004
    Messages:
    9,936
    Likes Received:
    447
    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.
     
  16. nunusguy

    nunusguy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    Messages:
    8,991
    Likes Received:
    244
    Location:
    Houston
    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.
     
  17. TexanSam

    TexanSam Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Messages:
    17,071
    Likes Received:
    713
    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).
     
  18. FirstTexansFan

    FirstTexansFan The Unknown Fan

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2004
    Messages:
    2,321
    Likes Received:
    381
    Location:
    New Braunfels, Tx.
    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? :)
     
  19. Texecutioner

    Texecutioner Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2008
    Messages:
    14,320
    Likes Received:
    1,018
    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.
     
  20. Thorn

    Thorn Dirty Old Man

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2007
    Messages:
    24,541
    Likes Received:
    1,892
    Location:
    Houston
    Five bucks says our defensive co will be on the fan's chopping block early this season. LOL
     

Share This Page