The Houston Texans enter the 2013 season looking to win the team's third-consecutive division title. With several key players back from the injury and a new offensive toy in rookie wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, the Texans seem poised for a three-peat in the AFC South.
While the Texans are seemingly the class of the division, the inter-conference competition for Houston will be their toughest test. The Texans will play the NFC West this season, with key back-to-back games against the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers before the Texans' bye week. Houston will also face the AFC West, a division that features Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.
|1||Sept. 9||@ San Diego||10:20 p.m.||ESPN|
|2||Sept. 15||vs. Tennessee||1 p.m.||CBS|
|3||Sept. 22||@ Baltimore||1 p.m.||CBS|
|4||Sept. 29||vs. Seattle||1 p.m.||FOX|
|5||Oct. 6||@ San Francisco||8:30 p.m.||NBC|
|6||Oct. 13||vs. St. Louis||1 p.m.||CBS|
|7||Oct. 20||@ Kansas City||1 p.m.||CBS|
|8||Nov. 3||vs. Indianapolis||8:30 p.m.||NBC|
|9||Nov. 10||@ Arizona||4:25 p.m.||CBS|
|10||Nov. 17||vs. Oakland||1 p.m.||CBS|
|11||Nov. 24||vs. Jacksonville||1 p.m.||CBS|
|12||Dec. 1||vs. New England||4:25 p.m.||CBS|
|13||Dec. 5||@ Jacksonville||8:25 p.m.||NFLN|
|14||Dec. 15||@ Indianapolis||1 p.m.||CBS|
|15||Dec. 22||vs. Denver||1 p.m.||CBS|
|16||Dec. 29||@ Tennessee||1 p.m.||CBS|
Toughest out: 49ers (away)
The 49ers are considered one of the best teams in the entire NFL and have a run game that will test both the outside and inside of the Texans' defense. San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick has been a major weapon and the Texans will have to account for his arm and his feet. On defense, the 49ers keep running backs out of the endzone, so Arian Foster may have a tough time on this particular Sunday.
Must win: Titans (home)
Week 2 of the season will have to be a win for the Texans, as they enter a stretch from Weeks 3-5 where Houston will play against the defending champion Ravens, the Seahawks and the 49ers. During that stretch, the Texans could easily go 0-3, so they need to beat the division rival Titans before those contests. This game is the first divisional match-up for the Texans, and they won't play another AFC South contest until November, so its important to get an early win to keep pace.
Don't overlook: Chiefs (away)
While the Chiefs finished last in the league last season, they did send a bunch of players to the Pro Bowl. The team has talent on both sides of the ball, and new head coach Andy Reid is one of best offensive play-callers in the league. Jamaal Charles will be a tough task between the tackles, while the Texans will hope to limit Alex Smith and Dwayne Bowe in the passing game.
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