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Schedule Prediction: Breaking Down Every Texans Game

This is how we predict all 17 games will go for the Houston Texans this upcoming season.

HOUSTON -- The goal for every team should be to improve from the year before. The win-loss record says one thing, but production, level of competition and style of play are factors, too. 

On paper, the Houston Texans roster is much better than the unit that went 4-13 last season. Then again, the AFC improved so much in the past six months, are the Texans that much better off?

While the Texans appear to be a much more complete franchise entering the Lovie Smith era, the record this season probably comes down to two major things: Davis Mills must improve at quarterback and the rookie class must find success out the gate. Having a bit of luck against some teams also helps. 

The over/under for Houston, according to the odds, is 4.5 wins. Can the Texans win at least five? Here's's initial prediction prior to the start of OTAs.

Derek Stingley
Davis Mills
Brandin Cooks

Week 1 vs. Colts - Sept. 11

Last season, the Texans picked up an early season victory against a divisional rival (Jacksonville) because the quarterback (Trevor Lawrence) was still adjusting to working with his team. Matt Ryan is entering his 15th season, but building a connection with his receivers takes time. 

Call is close, but Houston at home pulls off a shocker against another AFC South rival. 

Record: 1-0

Week 2 at Broncos - Sept. 18

Much like the Colts, Denver is looking at turning the corner with a new quarterback. Unlike Ryan in Indianapolis, Russell Wilson is spending his summer days throwing the high altitude with the Broncos' receivers. 

A solid defense takes advantage of Houston big in Denver's home opener.

Record: 1-1

Week 3 at Bears - Sept. 25

Both teams drafted a receiver and two defensive backs within their first four selections. Will John Metchie play? Is Velus Jones the new No. 1 for the Bears? Which defensive back duo prevails. 

When looking at the two receiving corps, Houston holds the edge with six-time 1,000-yard option Brandin Cooks. The Texans are back over .500. 

Record: 2-1

Week 4 vs. Chargers - Oct. 2

Remember last season when Justin Herbert struggled to find consistency, thus allowing Houston to pick up perhaps the biggest upset win of the season? Yeah, that's not going to happen again after an aggressive offseason by the Chargers. 

Record: 2-2

Week 5 at Jaguars - Oct. 9

The addition of new coach Doug Pederson already makes Jacksonville a much better team on paper, but will be the offseason moves translate to the field. Both the Texans and Jaguars are looking to move out of the cellar in the AFC, but which roster is ready to contend more in the foreseeable future?

Until a receiver steps up for the Jaguars, it's easier to trust the chemistry of Mills-Cooks. Houston gets above .500 for a third time this year. 

Record: 3-2

Week 6 - Bye

Week 7 at Raiders - Oct. 23

Two former New England Patriots alums will meet in Sin City for a Week 7 showdown. One roster is looking to finish with five-plus wins. The other has a QB-WR combination that could lead them to a Super Bowl in February. 

Derek Stingley Jr. has his welcome to the NFL moment on the road against Davante Adams in a loss. 

 Record: 3-3

Week 8 vs. Titans - Oct. 30

If not for sluggish start in Week 18, the Texans would have swept the Titans in 2021 and picked up five wins. Tennessee still isn't sure how much of an impact Derrick Henry will have in the rushing game and if Robert Woods can replace the production of A.J. Brown in the passing attack. 

A strong defensive showing at home puts Houston over .500 for the fourth time. Are the Texans actually looking like playoff contenders?

Record: 4-3 

Week 9 vs. Eagles - Nov. 3 (Thursday Night Football)

The Eagles will go as far a third-year QB Jalen Hurts takes them. Last season Philadelphia featured the No. 1 rushing offense and the second-best offensive line, according to ESPN Stats and Info. Oh, did you know the Eagles added in A.J. Brown as the new No. 1 option?  

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Record: 4-4

Week 10 at New York Giants - Nov. 13

Win, loss, repeat. That's been the recipe for the Texans all season in large part due to quarterback play. Quarterback Daniel Jones doesn't seem to be the long-term option in New York, but he will have protection with the addition of rookie tackle Evan Neal from Alabama. 

This has the makings of being either one of Houston's best games of the season or a snooze-fest. We'll stay optimistic with the forward and say Mills has a career day in the Meadowlands. 

Record: 5-4

Week 11 vs. Washington Commanders - Nov. 20

Carson Wentz might be an upgrade over Taylor Heinicke, but the Commanders' defense was horrendous at times during the regular season after spending over $30 million in free agency. Washington did little to fix the issues and Houston will play at home. 

Call it another close win for the Texans. For the first time all season, they're on a winning streak. 

Record: 6-4

Week 12 at Miami Dolphins - Nov. 27

The Dolphins will go as far as Tua Tagovailoa will carry them. Having a speed demon like Tyreek Hill on the outside certainly helps. Having arguably biggest rising star in the slot with Jaylen Waddle helps even more. 

Miami at home torches Houston's secondary.

Record: 6-5

Browns-Deshaun-Watson clutch
John Metchie III
Jalen Pitre

Week 13 vs. Cleveland Browns - Dec. 4

This is the Texans' Super Bowl. Fans won't care about another thing so long as Houston defeats Deshaun Watson at home after all he put the franchise through. If Watson is suspended or injured, the Texans have a chance to take down Cleveland. 

If Watson plays, the Browns are too good to lose. Watson should play. Houston should lose. Better luck next time, Texans.

Record: 6-6

Week 14 at Dallas Cowboys - Dec. 11

The Cowboys took a step back this offseason with conflicting moves such as released La'el Collins and trading Pro Bowl receiver Amari Cooper for pennies on the dollar. That said, the roster as a whole is exceedingly better than Houston's and the game is in Arlington.  

Record: 6-7

Week 15 vs. Kansas City Chiefs - Dec. 18

If Mills defeats Kansas City and out duels Patrick Mahomes, give him a contract extension before he walks in the door Monday morning. Neither of those things will happen.

Record: 6-8

Week 16 at Tennessee Titans - Dec. 24

Tennessee lost on the road in a close matchup. This time, the Titans give their fans an early Christmas gift and eliminate all playoff conversations for Texans just in time for Santa Claus to come to town. 

Record: 6-9

Week 17 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars - Jan. 1

A new year, a new dawn and still the same two teams in the cellar of the AFC South. If Mills and the offense win the series, Houston will finish at least third in the division. Something says this is the John Metchie III breakout game. Houston wins at home to give the fans something to talk about. 

Record: 7-9

Week 18 at Indianapolis Colts - TBD

The date will change. The outcome won't. We believe Indianapolis is going to win the AFC South with Ryan at the helm and should be fighting for a higher seed. At this point, Texans fans are just happy to see the team showing real improvement and a sense of direction.