How much difference does the schedule make in a team’s overall performance?

BY Jeff Schneberk @Game7overtime

During a recent www.espn.com interview with Matt Schaub, the quarterback of the NFL’s Houston Texans, I starting wondering just how much the schedule a difference in determining how a team may fare throughout the season. The question was thrown at Schaub. He insisted that every team out there likes to know who they will be opening against.

In the case of Schaub and the Texans, they will open up against San Diego, in San Diego. Schaub added that he would like to have a night game or 2, maybe a Sunday nighter or a Monday night game. As it turns out, Houston will play a Thursday night match this year against the Jacksonville Jaguars, in Jacksonville.

Other highlights of the Texans’ season, every 2nd week for the first half of the season will be a home game. Starting in Week #10, they play at home 3 weeks in a row (vs. Oakland, Jacksonville and New England) and those are followed by 2 straight road games (the first is the Thursday night game in Jacksonville, then in Week 15, they head to Lucas Oil Stadium to play the Colts).

Houston ends the season in Week 17 when they head to Tennessee.

The first half of the season sees them play what will probably be their biggest test of the season, even if they were to make the playoffs. Weeks 3-5 have them playing in Baltimore against the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens, then they are at home to play Seattle in Week 4 and in Week 5 they play the team that Baltimore beat to win the Super Bowl, the San Francisco 49ers.

Houston’s bye week comes in week 8.

Schaub added that all he thinks about is “it’s all about Week 1 and we want to be at our best come Sept. 9 when we go to San Diego and then we’ll take it from there”, the rest of the schedule is something that they will take day by day.

Schaub and the Texans are looking to take the next stop after back-to-back division titles in the AFC, they’re thinking Super Bowl as they prepare in training camp.

Last season, Houston declined in almost all aspects of the game for the final few weeks of the season after blasting out of the gates with an 11-1 record.

Schaub’s play was as big a reason for the decline as any. He only had 3 TD passes in his final 6 games, which included 2 playoff dates. But the biggest problem of all is the one player who has proven worthy of playing the most important position on the team, has yet to come through when it matters the most.

This isn’t the kind of effort the Packers get from Rodgers or what the Patriots get from Brady, the Saints get from Brees or what Manning delivers for the Broncos.

This could be a make or break year for Schaub.

Schaub is still only in the same category as Matthew Stafford (DET), Jay Cutler (CHI) and Matt Ryan (ATL).

Every football fan in each of those cities are still waiting for their guy to come through.

For Texans fan, they have managed one huge accomplishment recently, and that was overcoming the Colts as kings of the AFC South. That means that title will be up for grabs at least for the next couple of years.

The less the team has to rely on Schaub, the better their overall results should be.

Follow me on Twitter at @Game7overtime.

 

 

 

 

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