If there were two teams disappointed in 2013, it was the Washington Redskins and the Houston Texans. They will matchup to begin the 2014 campaign at 1:00 pm EST on Sunday, Sept. 7th at NRG Stadium in Houston, and they both want to win the opener real bad after the big mess they each made of last year.
Both teams went from being top dogs in their division in 2012, to being cellar dwellers in 2013. It got so bad last year that both teams got rid of their leaders, and they each come into this season with a new coach.
Jay Gruden is now the coach in Washington, while Bill O'Brien is the guy calling the shots in Houston.
TV Info: FOX
Live Stream: NFL Sunday Ticket or ProNFL.net (free with subscription).
Washington would get a huge boost in confidence if their quarterback, Robert Griffin III, could come out the gate healthy and strong.
In 13 starts last season, Griffin completed 60.1 percent of his throws for 3,203 yards and 16 touchdowns, with 12 interceptions and ran for 489 yards and no touchdowns. Compared to his 2012 campaign, that was a huge slide. In his first season in the NFL, he threw for 20 touchdowns with just five picks and ran for 815 yards and seven scores. The Redskins are doing everything they can to get him back to that type of season, and if he shows it early, that could set the tone for the day.
The Redskins also need to get better defensively. Last season they were 30th in the NFL, allowing 478 points and they allowed opposing quarterbacks to ring up a 96.1 passer rating against their porous secondary.
The Texans have replaced their quarterback of old, Matt Schaub, with a new one in Ryan Fitzpatrick, who started nine games last season for the Tennessee Titans. The Texans need Harvard grad Fitzpatrick to play smart, but what they are truly praying for is a return to form and health for running back Arian Foster, who had 542 yards in eight games last season. In 2012 he ran for 1411 yards over 16 games, and the Texans are going to need that kind of production again if they are going to make some noise this year.
The Texans are looking like bulls on defense, and JJ Watt and first pick Jadeveon Clowney could be huge factors in this game if they can shut down Redskin running back Alfred Morris.
To catch the game online, you can check out NFL Sunday Ticket or try ProNFL.net. If you want to listen on the radio, the Texans broadcast on Sports Radio 610 AM and the Redskins broadcast on ESPN 980 AM. The game will be on the CBS Television Network with a 1 pm EST kickoff.