Houston Texans schedule takeaways:
- The Texans face the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 1 of the NFL season.
- Their Week 10 bye is set between difficult matchups against the Tennessee Titans and Miami Dolphins (Nov. 7 and Nov. 21).
- Sportsnaut predicts the Texans will end the season with an NFL-worst 0-17 record.
The Houston Texans may have the most dysfunctional franchise in the NFL, and that’s saying something. Thus, when the Texans’ 2021 schedule released, it wasn’t exactly a cause for celebration.
It’s a difficult slate ahead for one of the NFL’s worst rosters, especially as the scandal surrounding superstar quarterback Deshaun Watson carries on.
With a small class of rookies led by Davis Mills joining the fold and minimal help arriving in free agency — seriously, what’s with the surplus of running backs? — Houston will need a miracle to not be in the NFL cellar this season. Let’s see if we can find even one win for the Texans on their 2021 schedule.
Houston Texans schedule predictions, roster outlook
Let’s take a look at the team’s complete 2021 schedule and make predictions for each game.
Texans roster outlook
All our predictions are based on the Browns keeping and starting these key players:
- QB – Tyrod Taylor
- RB – David Johnson, Mark Ingram, Phillip Lindsay, Rex Burkhead
- WR – Brandin Cooks, Andre Roberts, Randall Cobb, Nico Collins (rookie)
- TE – Jordan Akins, Brevin Jordan (rookie), Pharaoh Brown
- Defense – Texans not ranked in top 20 this week
Houston is going to face an uphill climb on offense. If the veterans from this skill position group were from five years ago, maybe we’d have something to be excited about. Alas, that’s not the case.
Any offense being operated by Tyrod Taylor is going to have serious limitations when it comes to creating explosive plays in the passing game. Combine that with a bad defense, and the Texans’ outlook isn’t great.
Houston Texans 2021 preseason schedule
|Saturday, Aug. 14||@ Green Bay Packers||8:00 PM||ABC13|
|Saturday, Aug. 21||@ Dallas Cowboys||8:00 PM||ABC13|
|Saturday, Aug. 28||vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers||8:00 PM||ABC13|
This season the NFL is lowering the amount of preseason games to three per team, and instead expanding the regular season to 17 games, rather than the traditional 16 games.
Week 1 – vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
|Sunday, Sept. 12||1:00 PM||CBS|
- Spread: Jaguars -2.5 (via DraftKings)
- Moneyline: Jaguars -148; Texans +123
- Over/Under: 45.5
This is probably the closest Houston will get to sniffing victory all season, and it’s unfortunate that Week 1 happens to be the time for it. Alas, this chance will fall by the wayside, as the Jaguars’ weapons on offense and Trevor Lawrence are too much for the Texans to handle.
- Week 1 prediction: Jaguars 35, Texans 23
Week 2 – @ Cleveland Browns
|Sunday, Sept. 19||1:00 PM||CBS|
Who on the Texans’ front seven is going to be able to hang with a Browns offensive line that returns all five starters from 2020’s unit, which ranked No. 1 in Pro Football Focus’ rankings? Stopping Cleveland’s backfield juggernaut of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt is an impossibility with the way Houston’s roster is currently constructed.
- Week 2 prediction: Browns 48, Texans 3
Week 3 – vs. Carolina Panthers (TNF)
|Thursday, Sept. 23||8:20 PM||NFLN|
If Houston can play some ball control on offense and force Sam Darnold into some interceptions, maybe hope exists for that elusive victory. But no, Darnold is in a much better situation than he was with the New York Jets, and should light up the Texans without much issue.
- Week 3 prediction: Panthers 28, Texans 16
Week 4 – @ Buffalo Bills
|Sunday, Oct. 3||1:00 PM||CBS|
We may see the legitimate self-actualization of Josh Allen as a football player in this one. The Buffalo Bills QB is going to have darn near a perfect 158.3 passer rating as he carves up Houston at home.
- Week 4 prediction: Bills 56, Texans 10
Week 5 – vs. New England Patriots
|Sunday, Oct. 10||1:00 PM||CBS|
New Texans general manager Nick Caserio has been aggressive in free agency, but so has his former boss in New England, Bill Belichick. Caserio’s moves were far less splashy than Belichick’s, and the gap across these rosters will be painfully evident in Houston.
- Week 5 prediction: Patriots 28, Texans 0
Week 6 – @ Indianapolis Colts
|Sunday, Oct. 17||1:00 PM||CBS|
Even if Carson Wentz doesn’t prove to be the quarterback who can get the Colts over the hump, he still will have no trouble dismantling this hapless Texans defense.
- Week 6 prediction: Colts 35, Texans 16
Week 7 – @ Arizona Cardinals
|Sunday, Oct. 24||4:25 PM||CBS|
Kyler Murray should have little trouble breaking contain and ripping off multiple big gains as a rusher for Arizona. This is the J.J. Watt Revenge Game, too. You can bet the longtime Texans face of the franchise will love to stick it to his former team after they failed him throughout his prime.
- Week 7 prediction: Cardinals 34, Texans 17
Week 8 – vs. Los Angeles Rams
|Sunday, Oct. 31||1:00 PM||FOX|
Los Angeles’ tempo on offense, and elite defensive superstars in Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey alone are enough to overwhelm the home team. These Texans will get absolutely rolled by the combined minds of Rams QB Matthew Stafford and coach Sean McVay.
- Week 8 prediction: Rams 48, Texans 12
Week 9 – @ Miami Dolphins
|Sunday, Nov. 7||1:00 PM||CBS|
This one has shutout written all over it. Dolphins coach Brian Flores is going to completely smother Houston’s offense, and his sophomore signal-caller Tua Tagovailoa will be able to build some confidence with some big plays.
- Week 9 prediction: Dolphins 24, Texans 0
WEEK 10 BYE
Week 11 – @ Tennessee Titans
|Sunday, Nov. 21||1:00 PM||CBS|
The Texans lost by one possession in each of their two meetings with the Titans last season. However, Watson had to throw for 700 yards just to keep Houston competitive. Without him, there’s zero chance the Texans pull this out on the road.
- Week 11 prediction: Titans 49, Texans 25
Week 12 – vs. New York Jets
|Date||Time (ET)||TV Info:|
|Sunday, Nov. 28||1:00 PM||CBS|
Not a great matchup personnel-wise for Houston, but then again, what is? Zach Wilson should sling it all over the yard, as Jets receivers Corey Davis, Elijah Moore and Denzel Mims overwhelm the Texans’ defensive backfield in a rout.
- Week 12 prediction: Jets 38, Texans 17
Week 13 – vs. Indianapolis Colts
|Sunday, Dec. 5||1:00 PM||CBS|
There’s just no timeline of reality that even hints the Texans will win a single game in the AFC South in 2021. Whether it’s at NRG Stadium, a rival’s venue or on the Moon, Houston has no shot of even going 1-5 in division games. The Colts are going to walk all over them in both meetings.
- Week 13 prediction: Colts 36, Texans 13
Week 14 – vs. Seattle Seahawks
|Sunday, Dec. 12||1:00 PM||FOX|
The Russell Wilson controversy could cause the Seahawks to have a bit of a letdown here, but nothing catastrophic to the point of taking a crazy “L.” Wilson will make enough plays, and Seattle’s defense can feast on poor competition as it did down the stretch in 2020.
- Week 14 prediction: Seahawks 35, Texans 10
Week 15 – @ Jacksonville Jaguars
|Sunday, Dec. 19||1:00 PM||CBS|
How do you think this one’s going to turn out in Duval County? Whether it’s Tyrod Taylor or rookie Davis Mills at quarterback for Houston, the chances of emerging from Jacksonville victorious are slim to none.
- Week 15 prediction: Jaguars 41, Texans 24
Week 16 – vs. Los Angeles Chargers
|Sunday, Dec. 26||1:00 PM||CBS|
Scary to think that Justin Herbert only figures to improve in Year 2, and has a presumably better head coach In Brandon Staley, who presided over the Rams’ No. 1 defense last year. Houston, we have a problem here. Several actually.
- Week 16 prediction: Chargers 51, Texans 6
Week 17 – @ San Francisco 49ers
|Sunday, Jan. 2||4:05 PM||CBS|
With so many key players returning from injury, the 49ers should be back in the thick of the playoff race after a Super Bowl hangover. They’ll be locked in, and even this “trap game” outside the NFC West won’t derail San Francisco as it pursues a postseason return.
- Week 17 prediction: 49ers 35, Texans 14
Week 18 – vs. Tennessee Titans
|Sunday, Jan. 9||1:00 PM||CBS|
For the Texans to score 24 points in any game this season, they’ll need garbage time to get it done. This projection suggests Tennessee pounces all over Houston in the early going, then takes its foot off the gas as the hosts score meaningless points to make the score more respectable.
- Week 18 prediction: Titans 34, Texans 24