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While the Texans and Broncos have only played one another three times, they are familiar foes. Eight members of Houston’s coaching staff either coached or played for the Broncos, including coach Gary Kubiak, offensive coordinator Rick Dennison and defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. The Texans are also familiar with Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, who faced the Texans 18 times with the Indianapolis Colts.
Houston has won its last six games with quarterback Matt Schaub under center, dating back to 2011. Included in that streak is a 27-7 win last week at Jacksonville that was spearheaded by 110 yards on the ground from running back Arian Foster and another 74 yards rushing and two touchdowns from running back Ben Tate.
The Texans defense set a franchise record by holding Jacksonville to 117 yards and leads the NFL with 196.0 yards allowed per game. Houston has yielded only one offensive touchdown and forced five turnovers in the first two games this season. Defensive end J.J. Watt is tied for the AFC lead with three sacks to go along with five passes defensed. Inside linebacker Brian Cushing leads the Texans with 18 tackles, an interception and a forced fumble.
The Broncos are coming off a 27-21 loss at Atlanta on Monday Night Football. Denver turned the ball over four times in the first quarter and dug itself a 20-0 hole in the loss.
Denver receiver Demaryius Thomas ranks second in the AFC with 188 yards receiving, and running back Willis McGahee ranks fifth in the AFC with 177 yards on the ground. Denver’s defense ranks eighth in the NFL, allowing 279.5 yards per game.
• Texans trail the all-time series 1-2 and are 0-2 all-time at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
• Last Regular Season Meeting: Denver 24, Houston 23 in Denver on Dec. 26, 2010.
• Neither team has won on the road in the series.
• Sunday’s game is the earliest the teams have played each other, with the previous three games coming in November and December.
A WIN AGAINST DENVER WOULD…
• Give Houston its first 3-0 start to a season in franchise history.
• Give Houston its first win at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in franchise history.
• Improve Houston’s all-time record against Denver to 2-2 overall and 1-2 on the road.
• Give Head Coach Gary Kubiak his 50th career win.