During July, the Last Word On Sports NFL department has been analyzing the schedules of every team in the NFL. We will be ranking each game in order of difficulty (with one being the most difficult). This series will be split up into the eight most difficult games (ranked 1-8) and the eight easiest games (ranked 9-16) for each team. In this article, the Houston Texans most difficult games are the focus.
Houston Texans Most Difficult Games of 2017
1. Week 3 at New England Patriots
Really no surprise here. It’s the defending Super Bowl champions at their house. The Texans will have ten days to prepare after the Thursday night game against Cincinnati but still, it’s the Patriots. This is without a doubt the toughest game on the schedule.
2. Week 2 at Cincinnati Bengals
The Cincinnati Bengals are not the AFC North powerhouse that they once were. Andy Dalton is severely overrated and the defense just isn’t that scary anymore. So, why are they the second most difficult game on the schedule? Houston has to play Jacksonville week one and then has to turn right around and play again four days later. Not only is there only four days between the games, they have to travel to Cincinnati.
3. Week 16 vs Pittsburgh Steelers
This is going to be well advertised because of the J.J. Watt vs T.J. Watt match-up that may or may not even happen. The Texans get the privilege of hosting this game but it’s still the Steelers. Playoff implications will no doubt be a factor into this game and the Steelers have a tendency to crank it up towards the end of the season.
4. Week 13 at Tennessee Titans
Tennessee is Houston’s toughest opponent in the AFC South. IF anyone is going to take the crown from the Texans, it’s going to be the Titans. As previously stated, this is actually an even match-up and home field advantage will be a huge factor for the Titans this time.
5. Week 11 vs Arizona Cardinals
Many experts believed Arizona would make it to the Super Bowl last season. David Johnson is one of the best running backs and Carson Palmer is due to have a huge season. The defense is a serious threat and this should be a physical, hard-fought battle.
6. Week 8 at Seattle Seahawks
The only reason this game isn’t higher on the list is simply the fact that Houston is coming off their bye week. Seattle had an off year last season yet still made the playoffs. The 12th man makes it extremely difficult to win in Seattle and the “Legion of Boom” will not be gracious to whoever is under center for the Texans.
7. Week 17 at Indianapolis Colts
Andrew Luck is still one of the better quarterbacks but Indianapolis hasn’t done the best job of giving him the kind of defense he’ll need to be a champion. The last game of the season means there will likely be huge playoff implications. Indianapolis won’t be making the playoffs this season but a loss for the Texans here could give the division championship to the Titans.
8. Week 4 vs Tennessee Titans
The Titans are a very even match-up for the Texans. Marcus Mariota seems like he’s going to continue improving and the defense is looking strong. Combine that with DeMarco Murray and one of the NFL’s best offensive lines and this should be a tough game for Houston.
Be sure to check out the eight easiest games on the Houston Texans 2017 schedule.