HOUSTON – The Houston Texans 2014 regular season schedule features back-to-back primetime games in Week 6 and 7 and three home games against teams that made the playoffs in 2013: Thursday night, Oct. 9 against the AFC South rival Indianapolis Colts, Nov. 2 against the Philadelphia Eagles and Nov. 23 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Houston will also play the Pittsburgh Steelers on the road on ESPN’s Monday Night Football on Oct. 20
Bill O’Brien begins his tenure as Houston Texans head coach with a season-opening matchup at home against Washington at noon on Sunday, Sept. 7. It marks the third time in team history and first time since 2006 that the Texans will open the season against an NFC team. The Texans are tied with the Chicago Bears for the second-longest active winning streak in season openers at four and are 7-5 all-time in the first game of the season.
On finding out about the 2014 schedule O’brien said.
“We’ve been here almost four months, so the schedule is always in the back of our minds. We’ve been evaluating our roster, working with our players, getting ready for the draft, but I think when we go home at night, we’re always waiting to see what that schedule is going to be. It’s a very exciting time of the year for us and obviously for our fans. We’re looking forward to playing that schedule.”
Road games against the Oakland Raiders on Sept. 14 and the New York Giants on Sept. 21 follow the Texans’ opener. The Texans return home in Week 4 to play the Buffalo Bills at noon on Sunday, Sept. 28 before heading north in Week 5 to play the Dallas Cowboys in another noon matchup on Oct. 5.
His reaction to playing the Dallas Cowboys Week 5 of the regular season, he added. “I think it’s great. I think Texas is such a great football state. The city of Houston is a football city and any time you have the two pro teams in the state of Texas playing each other, that’s a fantastic thing for the National Football League and great for both fan bases. It’s an exciting time for both teams.”
Houston debuts on CBS’ new Thursday night lineup at home against Indianapolis with a 7:25 p.m. kickoff on Oct. 9. The Texans then head to Pittsburgh for their Monday night tilt on Oct. 20 against the Steelers. It marks the third time in franchise history the team will play back-to-back primetime games, also doing so in 2010 and 2012.
“Any time you play primetime, it means a lot to our players. It’s an exciting time. They know it’s a national audience. For us as coaches, I think it works out fairly well because it’s a home game and then a little bit of time between traveling to go to Pittsburgh. Again, for our players, it’s a great opportunity. For us as coaches, we look at it as giving us a little bit of extra time to prepare.”
An Oct. 26 matchup in Nashville against the Tennessee Titans and Nov. 2 home game against the Philadelphia Eagles precede the Texans’ open date on Nov. 9. The Texans return from their bye week on Nov. 16 to play Cleveland on the road for the first time since a 16-6 win against the Browns in 2008. On Nov. 23, the Texans will play host to the Cincinnati Bengals in a regular season contest for the first time since 35-6 win on Oct. 26, 2008. Houston defeated Cincinnati at home in the AFC Wild Card playoff in 2011 and 2012 and haven’t lost to the Bengals at home since Nov. 3, 2002.
Four of the last five games of the regular season are against AFC South foes, beginning with a visit from Tennessee on Nov. 30. The Texans head to the road the next two weeks, playing the Jacksonville Jaguars on Dec. 7 and at Indianapolis on Dec. 14. Houston closes the season with a pair of home games for the first time since 2006, against the Baltimore Ravens on Dec. 21 and Jaguars on Dec. 28.
“Obviously the division is a very tough division. Every time we go against our division opponents, it’s going to be a grind. What’s good about that is that we’re able to finish up at home against the division. Any time that you can play at home, that’s a great thing for your players, your fans and obviously for our coaching staff. So we’re looking forward to that.”
HOUSTON TEXANS 2014 SCHEDULE
|Day||Date||Opponent||TV Network||Kickoff Time|
|Saturday||Aug. 9||at Arizona Cardinals||KTRK-TV||7:30 p.m.|
|Saturday||Aug. 16||ATLANTA FALCONS||KTRK-TV||7:00 p.m.|
|Saturday||Aug. 23||at Denver Broncos||KTRK-TV||8:00 p.m.|
|Thursday||Aug. 28||SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS||KTRK-TV||7:00 p.m.|
|Day||Date||Opponent||TV Network||Kickoff Time|
|Sunday||Sept. 7||WASHINGTON REDSKINS||FOX||Noon|
|Sunday||Sept. 14||at Oakland Raiders||CBS||3:25 p.m.|
|Sunday||Sept. 21||at New York Giants||CBS||Noon|
|Sunday||Sept. 28||BUFFALO BILLS||CBS||Noon|
|Sunday||Oct. 5||at Dallas Cowboys||CBS||Noon|
|Thursday||Oct. 9||INDIANAPOLIS COLTS#||CBS||7:25 p.m.|
|Monday||Oct. 20||at Pittsburgh Steelers#||ESPN||7:30 p.m.|
|Sunday||Oct. 26||at Tennessee Titans||CBS||Noon|
|Sunday||Nov. 2||PHILADELPHIA EAGLES||FOX||Noon|
|Sunday||Nov. 9||BYE WEEK|
|Sunday||Nov. 16||at Cleveland Browns||CBS||Noon|
|Sunday||Nov. 23||CINCINNATI BENGALS||CBS||Noon|
|Sunday||Nov. 30||TENNESSEE TITANS||CBS||Noon|
|Sunday||Dec. 7||at Jacksonville Jaguars||CBS||Noon|
|Sunday||Dec. 14||at Indianapolis Colts||CBS||Noon|
|Sunday||Dec. 21||BALTIMORE RAVENS||CBS||Noon|
|Sunday||Dec. 28||JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS||CBS||Noon|
Italic indicates games subject to flex scheduling. See the note below.
All kickoff times Central; # – Televised Nationally; Home Games in BOLD
All games are broadcasted live on Texans Radio on 610 AM and 100.3 The Bull
*Houston Texans and Charles Hampton contributed to this report.