HOUSTON – The two-time defending AFC South champion Houston Texans will play four nationally televised games in the 2013 regular season, including an ESPN Monday Night Football matchup at San Diego on Sept. 9 to open the season, the NFL announced Thursday.
The Texans will play on NBC Sunday Night Football at San Francisco on Oct. 6 and at Reliant Stadium against Indianapolis on Nov. 3. Houston will play at Jacksonville on Thursday night, Dec. 5 on the NFL Network, to close out its prime time slate.
Houston will also play on national television in the preseason, taking on New Orleans at Reliant Stadium on Sunday, August 25 on FOX at 3 p.m. CST. The Texans had five national games in 2012 and have appeared as the nation’s featured evening matchup 15 times heading into the franchise’s 12th season. Defending division champions New England (AFC East) and Denver (AFC West), and Wild Card participants Seattle and Indianapolis highlight the home schedule. Houston plays three playoff teams on the road: Indianapolis, Super Bowl champion Baltimore and NFC champion San Francisco.
The Texans open the season on the road for just the second time in head coach Gary Kubiak’s eight-season tenure and first time since a 38-17 loss at Pittsburgh to start the 2008 season. Houston is 0-2 all-time at San Diego and is 1-2 when opening the season on the road. The two teams also met in Week 1 of 2004, a 27-20 Chargers win at Reliant Stadium.
Reliant Stadium will see its first regular season action on Sept. 15 when the Texans play host to AFC South rival Tennessee. Houston will look for back-to-back home wins against Tennessee for the first time in franchise history.
A three-game stretch that features both Super Bowl teams and an NFC Divisional participant follows the Tennessee game. Houston will look to get its first-ever win at Baltimore against the Super Bowl champion Ravens on Sept. 22. The Texans are 0-3 all-time at M&T Bank Stadium, including a 20-13 AFC Divisional loss in the 2011 playoffs. Houston returns home against Seattle on Sept. 29 before heading to defending NFC champion San Francisco for a Sunday night affair on Oct. 6.
The Texans play their third consecutive NFC West opponent on Oct. 13, taking on the St. Louis Rams at Reliant Stadium. Houston follows that game with its first trip to Arrowhead Stadium since a 24-21 win against Kansas City in 2004 on Oct. 20.
The team’s bye week is Oct. 27.
A Sunday night matchup with Indianapolis on Nov. 3 awaits the Texans coming out of the open date. Houston has won its last three home games against the Colts, including a 29-17 Week 15 win in 2012 to clinch the AFC South title.
Houston will travel to Arizona for the second time in franchise history on Nov. 10. The Texans return home for a three-game stretch against Oakland on Nov. 17, Jacksonville on Nov. 24 and New England on Dec. 1. Houston is 6-1 at home against the Jaguars under Kubiak, including an epic 43-37 overtime win in Week 11 last year. Oakland and Houston will be meeting for the seventh time in the last eight seasons, with the Texans owning a 4-2 advantage in that time. The Texans are hoping to avenge a pair of losses at New England in 2012, the second of which was a 41-28 loss in the Divisional round of the playoffs that ended Houston’s season.
Three of Houston’s final four regular season games are on the road against AFC South opponents. The final quarter of the season begins with a Thursday night matchup at Jacksonville on Dec. 5. The Texans are 2-2 all-time in Thursday games. Houston then travels to Indianapolis on Dec. 15, where the team is still in search of its first win after 11 losses.
The Texans close out their regular season home slate against Denver on Dec. 22. Houston won its only other home game against Denver, 31-13 in 2007, and defeated the Broncos 31-25 in Denver last season. Houston closes out the season on the road at Tennessee on Dec. 29. It’s the second time in the last three seasons that Houston has played Tennessee in its regular season finale. The Titans defeated the Texans 23-22 at Reliant Stadium to close out the 2011 season.