Who will lose first might depend more on who they are playing than how they are playing. The Texans have the rougher stretch of schedule immediately in front of them, so they are more likely to fall first.

Their first loss could come as quickly as Sunday night when they host the Packers. Of course the Packers have not been the Packers this year, but they could find themselves at any moment. And even if the Texans get past the Pack, they get the Ravens the week after that.

The Falcons, meanwhile, play the 1-3 Raiders on Sunday before an open date.

dpompei@tribune.com

Cushing injury hurts

Omar Kelly

Sun Sentinel

Both can efficiently run and pass the ball, and each squad is beginning to hit its stride on defense. But expect the Falcons to be the last to lose.

The Texans play four home games in the next five, but the Packers (2-3), who visit Houston on Sunday night, are looking to regain national respect. Houston provides that opportunity. Then the Texans host the Ravens.

Let us not forget the Texans will embark on that difficult stretch without star linebacker Brian Cushing, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in Monday night's win over the Jets.

The Falcons host the Raiders before their open date, and then play at Philadelphia before hosting the Cowboys and traveling to New Orleans. That's not an easy stretch, but it's not insurmountable.

okelly@tribune.com