Training camp is well underway for the Houston Texans and we’ve reached our first preseason game. Football is finally back and we’re just five weeks away from kicking off the regular season. What better way can fans welcome the preseason than with predicting the Houston Texans 2017 schedule.
Note: all times are Central.
Predicting The Houston Texans 2017 Schedule: Part One
Week 1: Sunday, September 10th. 12:00pm vs Jacksonville Jaguars
The Texans will kick off the 2017 season with a division opponent in the Jacksonville Jaguars. Fortunately, this game will be in Houston where the Texans have an 11-4 record against the Jaguars. Houston is also in the midst of a six-game winning streak against the Jaguars including two close wins last season with Brock Osweiler at quarterback.
There are two factors that could decide the outcome of this game. First, Houston will have a new quarterback which should lead to an improved offense. Deshaun Watson should be the starter but even if it’s Tom Savage, the offense should still perform better than last season. The other factor is how good the Jaguars defense has gotten. Adding Calais Campbell, Barry Church, and former Texan A.J. Bouye has the Jaguars defense looking pretty dominant, on paper.
Jacksonville has a tendency to lose in week one, having lost their first game of the season for the last five years. Houston has had more success in week one (minus the loss to Kansas City in 2015). None of that really matters when it comes time to play the game but Jacksonville’s offense will struggle, even with Leonard Fournette, against Houston’s defense. Victory goes to the Texans, 24-13.
Week 2: Thursday, September 14th. 7:25pm at Cincinatti Bengals
These two teams seem to be quietly building a rivalry. With the exception of 2016, it seems like every time the Texans make the postseason, it’s against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Texans have had some success against the Bengals as well, owning a 7-4 record.
This game should be a tough one for both teams. Houston will likely have a physical game against the Jaguars on September 10th. Just four days later, they will have to travel to Paul Brown Stadium for a Thursday night game against the Bengals. On the other side, Cincinnati will be coming off of what should be a physical game as well against their division rivals, the Baltimore Ravens.
The Bengals appear to have the slightest advantage simply because they don’t have to travel. They’re simply just not as dangerous as they once were and Andy Dalton is extremely overrated. This should be a defensive battle that brings victory to the Texans, 17-10.
Week 3: Sunday, September 24th. 12:00pm at New England Patriots
This is the game most Texans fans are waiting for. Last year, during the playoffs, the defense kept the Texans in a close game with the almighty Patriots. If Houston’s offense was better, they had a real chance at winning that game.
The Thursday night game could almost be a blessing in disguise here. Houston will get ten days to prepare for the Patriots while New England will be returning from a trip to New Orleans. The Patriots shouldn’t struggle in their September 17th game against the Saints but travel still plays a factor here.
It should end up being a good game but it’s never easy to beat Tom Brady. This one goes to the Patriots, 27-21.
Week 4: Sunday, October 1st. 12:00pm vs Tennessee Titans
Tennessee is arguably Houston’s greatest threat for the AFC South division crown. Not only are the Titans a big threat, they’re the Texans greatest rival, being the former Houston Oilers. Fortunately, this matchup will be at NRG Stadium.
The Texans will be coming off what will likely be a tough road game against New England. Tennessee will be a game removed from a physical matchup against the Seahawks and have to travel to Houston.
With Houston having a top three defense and Tennessee having a top three offensive line, this should be a great game. Due to home field advantage, this one goes to the Texans, 20-14.
Week 5: Sunday, October 8th. 7:30pm vs Kansas City Chiefs
This is another matchup that’s becoming somewhat of a rivalry. The Texans managed to beat the Chiefs last season 19-12. Prior to last season’s victory, however, the Chiefs owned a three-game win streak. One of those being an embarrassing playoff loss where the Texans scored zero points and allowed 30.
Kansas City will be coming off of a Monday night matchup against the Redskins at home. They will only have six days to prepare for the Texans and they have to travel to NRG for this primetime game. The Texans will be on their second consecutive home game and get a full week to prepare.
The Chiefs still have an impressive defense but the offense just isn’t scary, even if Patrick Mahomes is starting. Homefield advantage plays a big factor here, Texans 30-21.
Week 6: Sunday, October 15th. 12:00pm vs Cleveland Browns
This will be Cleveland’s first ever trip to NRG Stadium. These two teams have only met eight times and the last meeting was in 2014. Houston holds a 5-3 record over the Browns and this will be win number six.
Cleveland made a lot of moves in the draft and picked up some really good players. They’re still the Browns, however, and they won’t be able to handle Houston’s defense. It will be interesting if Brock Osweiler ends up being the starting quarterback for the Browns. No doubt the Texans would love to send him a message.
This will be the third straight home game for Houston and should be an easy win for them. Victory goes to the Texans’, 28-17.
Week 7: BYE
Week 8: Sunday, October 29th. 3:05pm at Seattle Seahawks
These two teams haven’t met since 2013 and, out of three games, Seattle owns a 2-1 record against Houston. Seattle will be coming home after a sure-to-be physical contest against the Giants on the road. The “Legion of Boom” is not as scary as they once were, but it’s still one of the best defenses in the NFL. Russell Wilson should also bounce back from what was a bit of a disappointing 2016.
The bye week will definitely help the Texans in this matchup. Houston has the better defense if it becomes a defensive battle but Seattle’s secondary could end up feasting on rookie mistakes from Watson. When it’s all said and done, this should be a close, low-scoring game. Seahawks, 16-14.
That leaves the Texan’s record at 5-2 at the half-way point of the season. We’ll continue the second half predictions here.