Without going into too much detail, I’m going to predict the outcome of each game on the Texans schedule this season, starting with the first eight games. During the season, I will post more in depth predictions for each matchup on the week of the upcoming game. So between now and then, my opinions may change. Finishing with a 9-7 record last season, the Texans will look to improve on that to clinch their first playoff berth in franchise history. To do this, the team will need to improve against other teams in the division, as they went only 1-5 against them in 2009. This is what I will leave you with as far as my predictions for wins and losses.
Game 1 – Indianapolis Colts – This is sure to be a highly anticipated matchup for the regular season opener. The Texans have been playing the Colts very close in their last few games together. But I believe the Colts hold the advantage when it comes to starting off the season running at 100% efficiency. The Texans have yet to show that, and it will cost them. Loss (0-1)
Game 2 – @ Washington Redskins – In part 2 of the Kubiak-Shanahan series, Houston travels to D.C. to face an improving Redskins team. With the addition of Donovan McNabb (Who I think is underrated by many) and Willie Parker, the ‘Skins should be a bit more elevated on offense this season. Even though I believe that they will certainly play better this season than last, you’re not going to see much by week 2. Win (1-1)
Game 3 – Dallas Cowboys – This has probably been the single most anticipated matchup for the Texans in eight years ever since the Texans won their first ever game at Reliant Stadium, wrecking the Cowboys 19-10. There’s no doubt that Reliant Stadium will be full and rocking. It’s unfortunate that this game will not be nationally televised, as it should be the best showing by the 12th man for your average regular season game this season. But the Cowboys are a good team, and don’t forget that. It should be a shootout. Loss (1-2)
Game 4 – @ Oakland Raiders – Oh, the Oakland Raiders. For the first time in many years, I can say that I’m impressed with some of the moves they’ve made this offseason. This team is improving on defense, and is cutting dead weight (Such as JaMarcus Russell, who was quite heavy). But as ugly as the scenery around the stadium is and the man that resides within its lairs, the Texans will find a way to escape hell with a victory. Win (2-2)
Game 5 – New York Giants – The New York Giants were a disappointment last season, finishing only 8-8. This included a very embarrassing Giants Stadium finale blowout loss to the Panthers at the end of last season. With the return of linebacker Brian Cushing to the Texans, the Giants shouldn’t have much of a running game which happened to take a step back in 2009. A good matchup to watch will be CB Kareem Jackson on WR Steve Smith. Win (3-2)
Game 6 – Kansas City Chiefs – The Chiefs make their first trip back to Reliant Stadium since 2007, a game in which they lost 20-3. Without making too many improvements this offseason, the Chiefs should be easy game for the Texans. This should be good for Houston, taking a 3 game win streak into the bye week. Win (4-2)
Game 7 – @ Indianapolis Colts – With both teams coming off bye weeks, the Texans take a trip to Indianapolis on Monday Night Football. With the Texans possibly losing the first matchup, the team will look to even the series at one a piece. Even in Indy, both teams have been playing each other closely the past few seasons, and the Colts typically don’t get a big boost from being in the spotlight either. I’m going to go out and say that the Texans go in and upset the Colts, winning their first game at Indy in franchise history. Win (5-2)
Game 8 – San Diego Chargers – Most people consider the Chargers to be one of the top teams in the AFC each year. But if you’re a Chargers fan, you know that each year since Nov Turner took over as head coach, the team hasn’t been progressing much. If anything, they’ve been taking steps back. You can basically consider Turner to be same class of coach as Gary Kubiak, but with far less resources and talented prospects. Regardless, the Chargers are still a good team, and it will be a tough game for the Texans to get. Houston’s win streak ends at four. Loss (5-3)
So coming out of game 8, the Texans are a solid 5-3. If they can keep it up, they could be playing games weeks into January. The Texans have finished their seasons strong under Kubiak, and if they have a first half as successful as this one, then there should be high expectations for the team going into the second half of the season.