Texans’ 2012 schedule features five national TV matchups


HOUSTON – The defending AFC South champion Houston Texans will play five nationally televised games, including the first Thanksgiving game in franchise history, in the 2012 season, the NFL announced today. The Texans play on ESPN’s Monday Night Football at the New York Jets on Sept. 8 and at New England on Dec. 10, and will play on NBC’s Sunday Night Football at home against Green Bay on Oct. 14 and at Chicago on Nov. 11. Houston will play at Detroit on Thanksgiving at 11:30 a.m. CST.  

The Texans had three prime-time games in 2010 and have appeared as the nation’s featured evening matchup 11 times in the franchise’s 10 seasons. Defending division champions Green Bay (NFC North) and Baltimore (AFC North) highlight the home schedule; and Houston plays three playoff teams on the road, at Detroit, AFC champion New England and AFC West champion Denver.

The Texans open the season at Reliant Stadium for the sixth time in head coach Gary Kubiak’s seven-year tenure, on Sept. 9 at noon, against the Miami Dolphins. Houston is 6-0 all-time against Miami and has won all three matchups at home in the series. Miami last visited Houston in 2008, a 29-28 Texans win. Three of Houston’s six wins were decided in the last minute of the game.

The road slate opens with games at AFC South rival Jacksonville on Sept. 16 and at Denver on Sept. 23. The Texans, who defeated the Jaguars 20-13 on the road in 2011, are looking for back-to-back wins at EverBank Field for the first time in franchise history. Long-time nemesis, quarterback Peyton Manning will be under center for the NFL’s top rush offense in 2011 when the team travels to the Mile High City in Week 3.

Houston plays host to Tennessee at Reliant Stadium on Sept. 30 before back-to-back prime-time matchups against the Jets and Packers. Four of the last five meetings between the Texans and Titans have been decided by three points or less in Houston, including a 23-22 Texans loss last December. The Texans will be in search of their first-ever win against the Jets and lost 30-27 in their last visit to MetLife Stadium. Green Bay’s only other visit to Reliant Stadium was also a Sunday night affair, in 2004, with the Packers winning 16-13.

Houston remains at home the following week, playing host to defending AFC North champion Baltimore on Oct. 21. The Ravens defeated Houston twice last season in Baltimore, a 29-14 win in Week 6 and a 20-13 win in the AFC Divisional Playoff. Baltimore defeated Houston 34-28 in overtime in its last trip to Reliant Stadium, in Week 13 of 2010.

The Texans have an open date in Week 8 and return to action against the Buffalo Bills on Nov. 4 at Reliant Stadium. Buffalo owns a 2-0 advantage in the all-time series in Houston, winning 24-21 in their last visit in 2006. Houston heads back to Chicago for the first time since a 24-5 victory in 2004 on Sunday Night Football the following week.  

Four of Houston’s last seven games are against AFC South foes, including two of its last three games against Indianapolis. The Texans play host to Jacksonville on Nov. 18 and own a 7-3 record against the Jaguars in the all-time series at home. That game is followed by the first three-game road stretch for the Texans since the opening three weeks of the 2008 season. It begins with the Thanksgiving game at Detroit on Nov. 22 and is followed by a Dec. 2 matchup at Tennessee and the Monday Night game at Gillette Stadium against New England.

The Texans play host to Indianapolis on Dec. 16 and remain at Reliant Stadium to face the Minnesota Vikings on Dec. 23. Houston has won its last two home games against Indianapolis, season-opening wins in 2010 and 2011. The Vikings, who the Texans also play at Reliant Stadium in an August 30 preseason tilt, will make their first regular season trip to Houston since a 34-28 Minnesota overtime win in 2004.

Houston closes the season on the road at Lucas Oil Stadium on Dec. 30 against the Colts. It marks the first time since 2005 that the Texans will close out the regular season on the road. The Texans are 0-10 all-time as visitors against the Colts, including a 19-16 loss last December.

Other items of note on Houston’s 2012 schedule include:

•    The Texans will face three of the NFL’s top five offenses (New England, second; Green Bay, third; Detroit, fifth) and three of the top 10 defenses (Baltimore, third; New York Jets, fifth; Jacksonville, sixth) from a year ago.

•    Houston will face the top rushing offense (Denver) and the NFL’s second-ranked passing offense (New England) from a year ago.

•    The Texans face several individual leaders from 2011, including the NFL’s top two rushers in Jacksonville’s Maurice Jones-Drew (1,606 yards) and Baltimore’s Ray Rice (1,364 yards). Rice also led the NFL with 2,068 yards from scrimmage. Jones-Drew was second with 1,980 yards.

•    Houston will also defend against the reigning receptions leader (New England’s Wes Welker, 122) and receiving yards leader (Detroit’s Calvin Johnson, 1,681).

•    The Texans’ offense will face some of the NFL’s best defenders in New England CB Kyle Arrington and Green Bay CB Charles Woodson, who tied for the NFL lead with seven interceptions a year ago. Houston also faces NFL sack leader Jared Allen (22.0) of the Minnesota Vikings and AFC sack leader Terrell Suggs (14.0), of Baltimore.

•    Several individual AP and PFW/PFWA 2011 award winners grace the Texans’ 2012 schedule: NFL MVP, Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers; Comeback Player of the Year, Detroit QB Matthew Stafford; Defensive Player of the Year, Baltimore LB Terrell Suggs; Defensive Rookie of the Year, Denver LB Von Miller; AP Offensive Player of the Year, New Orleans QB Drew Brees.

HOUSTON TEXANS 2012 SCHEDULE

PRESEASON

REGULAR SEASON

Italics indicates kickoff times can change to 3:00 or 7:15 p.m. due to flexible scheduling, and could move from CBS or FOX to NBC

All kickoff times Central
#- Televised Nationally
Home Games in BOLD
All games are broadcasted live on 100.3 KILT FM and SportsRadio 610 AM
Spanish broadcasts on La Tremenda 1010 AM

Texans sign C Chris Myers to long-term contract


HOUSTON – The Houston Texans have re-signed Pro Bowl C to a long-term contract, it was announced today. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Myers became the first offensive lineman in franchise history to earn a trip to the Pro Bowl following last season. The eighth-year veteran served as a captain and started all 18 regular season and postseason games for Houston’s second-ranked rushing offense, which posted 11 100-yard rushing performances and a franchise-record 2,448 yards rushing (153.0 per game) in the regular season.

Myers has started 64 consecutive regular season games and two playoff games at center for the Texans since being traded to the team from Denver in 2008. The Texans have had their four best offensive campaigns with Myers anchoring the line, ranking among the NFL’s top four in total offense from 2008-10 and third among all NFL offenses with 381.0 yards per game since 2008. Houston is one of three teams to eclipse 2,000 yards rushing in each of the last two seasons, settings franchise records with 2,042 yards rushing in 2010 and with last year’s performance.

Texans hire "instant fit" Dorrell as QB coach

The Texans have hired Karl Dorrell as their new quarterbacks coach, the team announced today. He replaces Greg Knapp, who left last week to become offensive coordinator of the Oakland Raiders.

A former head coach at UCLA, Dorrell worked with Texans coach Gary Kubiak and several Texans offensive assistants in Denver from 2000-02, coaching the Broncos’ wide receivers while Kubiak was offensive coordinator. Kubiak thinks he will be an excellent fit with quarterback .

“My first thought when I’m hiring somebody at that position is with Matt,” Kubiak said. “I know their personalities will mesh easily. They’re both grinders on football, so they’ll be very compatible from that standpoint. And then the other part was obviously the fact that Karl does know my system and how I teach and what I do because he’s been with me before. He’s very familiar with a lot of people on our staff.”

Dorrell also coached in Denver with Texans offensive coordinator Rick Dennison, wide receivers coach Larry Kirksey and tight ends coach Brian Pariani. He even coached Texans defensive backs coach Vance Joseph at Colorado from 1992-93.

“This is an instant fit,” Kubiak said. “Karl walked in here today and signed the contract and I’ve (already) got him working, so it’s not like we’re having to adapt a total stranger to what we do. We’re just very fortunate to get him. I’ve been trying to get him here for a couple years, as a matter of fact, and it finally worked out.”

Dorrell was prevented from interviewing with the Texans in the past because of contract situations. He spent the last four seasons with the Miami Dolphins, coaching wide receivers from 2008-10 and quarterbacks in 2011.

Kubiak wanted his new quarterbacks coach to have play-calling experience, and Dorrell certainly fits the bill. He was the head coach at UCLA from 2003-07, going 35-27 and making a bowl game in each of his five seasons. He also was an offensive coordinator at Northern Arizona (1990-91), Colorado (1995-98) and Washington (1999).

“He’s been a coordinator in college, he’s been a head coach in college and a damn good one, and he’s worked for Bill Parcells (in Miami), who’s raised some great coaches,” Kubiak said. “He got a chance to coach the quarterbacks in Miami this past year and was very much involved in game-planning and that type of stuff. He’ll be the guy that’ll be in Matt’s headset every week, so he’ll take on the responsibility that Knapper did. I know he’s a great person and I know he’s a hell of a teacher, so (I’m) very excited to have him here in Houston.”

Dorrell, 48, helped Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore have a breakthrough season in 2011. An undrafted free agent in 2007, Moore came off the bench to start the final 13 games and posted an 87.1 passer rating, which ranked fifth in the AFC.

“In a lot of ways, he had the same situation we kind of had,” Kubiak said. “Karl’s a good football coach. Karl could coach any position you want him to coach on offense, but we just need him to go in there and do a good job with Matt and with T.J. (Yates) and the other Matt (Leinart). He’s looking forward to it and excited to get going.”

Twitter.com/NickScurfield