After a disappointing 2021 season, the Houston Texans are forced to start looking at 2022.
That process - which will soon include a new head coach - starts with a new schedule.
How does the scheduling format work?
Six games are made up from their AFC South opponents (home and away with the usual AFC South suspects). Four are against teams from another division within the conference (these games are on a rotating three-year cycle), with four being played against teams from the NFC (on a rotating four-year cycle). Two games are played within AFC, based on the standings of the prior year. And finally one game will be played against an NFC team, also based on the prior year.
The 2022 opponents:
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Home: Jaguars, Colts, Titans, Browns, Chargers, Chiefs, Eagles, and Washington Football Team.
Road: Jacksonville, Indianapolis, Tennessee, Dallas, New York Giants, Denver, Las Vegas, Miami, and Chicago.
Since the Texans finished third in the AFC South, that means they will play the third-place schedule, which sends them to play the NFC North Bears.
The Texans have nine road games in 2022 because in the first season of the 17-game format they had nine games at home.
Texans fans have reasons to be confident as their team will only face five current playoff teams, with the Titans on the schedule twice. The good news is, Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, and Jalen Hurts and the Eagles, will travel to Houston to face a home crowd at NRG Stadium.
The NFL is expecting to release official dates and times for the schedule in May.