Indianapolis Colts (2-14)
Jacksonville Jaguars (5-11)
Tennessee Titans (9-7)
New England Patriots (13-3)
New York Jets (8-8)
Chicago Bears (8-8)
Detroit Lions (10-6)
Kansas City Chiefs (7-9)
Home games are always more difficult to analyze simply because of the fact that you lose the home-field advantage. However, looking at
the matchups that the Texans had this past season I believe that we can claim victories against the Colts, Jagaurs, and Titans on the road.
On the road the Texans are 0-1 against the New England Patriots. However, that was before the era of the “Bulls on Parade”. The Giants proved that the Patriots are mortal and that solid pass defense combined with a stout pass-rush can spell victory. Still, though, this game will be played on Patriots turf and, therefore, I have to give this game to the Patriots.
Against the New York Jets the Texans are 0-3 while on the road. The last time these two teams met, in November of 2010, the Jets squeaked by the Texans 30-27. This time the Jets may not be so lucky. With the improved defense, solid running game, and play-action plays the Texans could finally win against the Jets. Home-field advantage will be huge for the Jets and QB Mark Sanchez appears to be coming into his prime. This game will be close but I am giving this one to the Jets.
It will have been eight years since the Texans and Bears last met in Chicago. Back then the Texans manhandled the Bears winning the game 24-5. Jay Cutler is under the gun for the Bears with an arm that seems to be in decline. The Bears defense is mediocre, ranking 17th overall this last season, and could be overcome with the Texans run game. While this game will not be an easy one I am going to give this one to the Texans.
Much like the Bears, the Texans last visited Detroit eight years ago. Unlike the Bears, however, the Lions defeated the Texans 28-16. The Lions defense is not much to speak about, ranked 23rd in the league, but their offense was ranked fifth in the league. This could spell trouble for the Texans as the Lions fans can get rather boisterous. The Texans should be able to handle the Lions defense with no problem but the passing game could spell trouble for Jonathan Joseph and Co. I have to give this one to the Lions.
Lastly, the Texans get to visit Kansas City where they are 1-0. The Chiefs completely deflated this season, finishing 27th in the league in offense. While they managed to put together a defense ranked 11th in the league they still finished the season with a losing record. Kansas City is not one of those cities that teams fear visiting, and for good reason. The Texans should be able to walk into K.C. and manhandle the Chiefs…victory Texans.
With these road games the Texans could achieve a 5-3 record on the road. Combined with their 6-2 home record the Texans could possibly win 11 games next season. Their draft and off-season acquisitions will only contribute to their ability to play well against the better teams and could improve this record.
Look for big things from the Texans in the 2012-13 season. They have a defense that is just beginning to roll and will be a formidable force for a few years. The offense still needs some cleaning up but, because of the run game, has not suffered as much as it could have.
I expect the Texans to reach the playoffs again next season and clinch home-field advantage as well!