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Three Key Moments of the 09 Texans Schedule from

An early measuring stick for Houston will occur in Week 2, when it travels to defending division champion Tennessee. The Texans are seeking their first playoff appearance this upcoming season, and a victory here would signal that they are ready to make that step.

The Texans’ biggest free-agent signing this offseason was DE Antonio Smith. The team hopes he can form a dominant pass-rushing tandem with Pro Bowler Mario Williams and that they can neutralize prolific passing attacks. The Arizona Cardinals, Smith’s former team, will provide an early test for that strategy in Week 5.

If Houston is where it wants to be in Week 16 (in the thick of the playoff race), then its contest at Miami looms large. The conference matchup could affect postseason tie-breakers and is the type of late-season road game the Texans must win to prove they belong among the best.

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