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Texans Open Season At NRG Stadium, Face Matt Ryan-Led Colts

Matt Ryan will make his Colts' debut at NRG Stadium against the Houston Texans to begin the 2022 season

HOUSTON -- Houston, you have an opener, and it's against a divisional rival. 

Despite the initial reports that the Texans would be facing the Kansas City Chiefs to begin the season, Houston instead will face the Indianapolis Colts in Week 1 at NRG Stadium. Kickoff is set for noon on Sept. 11 and will be televised on CBS. 

There's been bad blood between the two franchises in years past. Back in 2020, the Texans had a chance to win both games but failed to capitalize late. At home in Week 13, then-quarterback Deshaun Watson fumbled a low snap that would be recovered by linebacker Anthony Walker inside the Colts' 2 with 90 seconds left to secure Indy's 26-20 victory.

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Two weeks later, it was a similar story. Watson connected with receiver Keke Coutee in the end zone for what was expected to be a touchdown, but Bobby Okereke knocked the ball loose, causing a fumble and giving the Colts a 27-20 win.

Last season, the Colts won both games, including a 31-0 shutout in NRG Stadium. It marked the first time in the franchise's history that Houston was shut out at home. Quarterback Carson Wentz threw for 158 yards and a touchdown. 

All-Pro running back Jonathan Taylor finished 143 rushing yards and two touchdowns, averaging 4.5 yards per carry. 

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"We're just going to look at the whole situation," then-Texans coach David Culley said. "I've got to look at the video to see exactly what happened. ... I've got to look at Tyrod [Taylor] while he was in there and look at Davis [Mills] while he was in there and see where we need to go from there."

Things seem to be trending up for both teams entering 2022. The Colts elected to move off Carson Wentz, trading him offseason to the Washington Commanders. Indianapolis also upgraded at quarterback by adding former Atlanta Falcons star QB Matt Ryan in exchange for a third-round pick. 

Ryan, 37, will play his first game away from the Falcons since 2008 when he was selected third overall to replace Matt Ryan. 

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Mills is expected to be the full-time starter in 2022 after his success toward the season's end. Houston is hopeful its new offensive pieces can contend against one of the league's top defenses for 60 minutes to begin a new season. 

The Texans put an emphasis on selecting offensive players in April's draft, adding Texas A&M offensive lineman Kenyon Green, Alabama receiver John Metchie III, Florida running back Dameon Pierce and LSU offensive tackle Austin Deculus. 

Houston has lost six of its last eight games to the Colts since 2018. The Week 1 home opener marks the second-straight year the Texans have begun the season at home. In 2021, Houston defeated fellow AFC South rival Jacksonville, 37-21.