Way Too Early Texans Season Projections
The Texans 2015 schedule was released earlier in the week. Here are some notable quick takes right off the bat before I post the way too early win predictions:
First off, the Texans will not travel west of Houston the entire regular season. Not that traveling in the NFL makes a huge difference given the time space between games, but it is a very slight advantage of not having to travel far.
Secondly, the Texans will play 14 games at 1 p.m. This is mainly due to not traveling west, but it also unfortunately means that there is only two primetime games. This is not ideal for fans, but this could be beneficial to unexperienced quarterbacks, who tend to collapse under nation-wide coverage. The first primetime game is a Thursday Night home game against the Indianapolis Colts. The second game is in week 10 on Monday Night Football against the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Texans will finish their season with three divisional games. This will provide lots of excitement as the Texans are expected to be in the divisional hunt in 2015 at the end of the year. The matchup with the Colts in Week 15 will most likely have a massive impact on the playoffs. The last games are potential “trap” games against the Titans and Jaguars.
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Way Too Early Season Predictions (Note: this will be updated after the NFL draft and training camp):
Week 1: Kansas City Chiefs (Home) 20-17, 1-0
The Texans first game is at home against a good defense. Hopefully whoever the starting quarterback is will be composed in the season opener. The chances of a win are much higher with running back Arian Foster healthy and he should be early in the season. Las Vegas currently has the Texans as the 1.5 point favorites.
Week 2: Carolina Panthers (Road) 13-17, 1-1
Back to back tough defensive teams to open the season. I fully expect the Texans to struggle on the road against tough defenses due to bad quarterback play. Quarterback Cam Newton and company should prove too much in week 2.
Week 3: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Home) 24-14, 2-1
Rookie quarterbacks traveling to Reliant Stadium is always a good mix. Defensive end J.J. Watt and the rest of the defense will gladly welcome Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota to the NFL.
Week 4: Atlanta Falcons (Road) 21-20, 3-1
This is easily one of my favorite games of the season. The Falcons and Texans couldn’t be more opposites in every aspect of football. This is a great opportunity to build momentum for a young offense on the road.
Week 5: Indianapolis Colts (Home) 17-27, 3-2
The first divisional game will be tough, especially coming off of a road matchup to play on a Thursday. Only having two or three days to prepare for quarterback Andrew Luck sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.
Week 6: Jacksonville Jaguars (Road) 30-17, 4-2
On the other hand, the Texans can do a lot with extra time to watch film on Jags quarterback Blake Bortles. In order to win the division, the Texans must take care of the Jaguars and Titans.
Week 7: Miami Dolphins (Road) 14-21, 4-3
The Dolphins are a team that I don’t like to see on the Texans schedule. Ryan Tannehill is emerging as a solid passer and the Dolphins made a lot of solid moves this offseason. Back to back road games aren’t fun either.
Week 8: Tennessee Titans (Home) 21-17, 5-3
This was the perfect draw after playing back to back road games. The Titans did not make any scary offseason moves and don’t appear to be contenders in 2015 even with Mariota.
Week 9: Bye Week
Week 10: Cincinnati Bengals (Road) 21-27, 5-4
The only Monday Night game of the year is not an easy one. At least the Texans have a bye week leading into the game but running back Jeremy Hill and receiver A.J. Green are a lot to manage on the road in Cincy.
Week 11: New York Jets (Home) 17-14, 6-4
The Jets might be a completely different team after this draft if they manage to get Mariota. The New York defense is powerful but they lack the quarterback and running back to win road games.
Week 12: New Orleans Saints (Home) 21-24, 6-5
The next four weeks starting with the Saints are incredibly difficult games. The Saints have restructured the entire team and the draft will tell a lot about the future of this Saints team. This will be a very key game at home in the Texans hopes to make the playoffs.
Week 13: Buffalo Bills (Road) 10-13, 6-6
This Buffalo team has a top-three defense and they are very young on offense. Not to mention, playing in Buffalo in December.
Week 14: New England Patriots (Home) 21-28, 6-7
The defending Super Bowl champs are in town. Gronk stayed healthy, Tom Brady is still Tom Brady, and as long as Bill Belichick is coaching, they should be the favorites to win. This will be a fun game given the relationships between the Pats and coach O’Brien, nose tackle Vince Wilfork and quarterbacks Ryan Mallett and Brian Hoyer.
Week 15: Indianapolis Colts (Road) 21-31, 6-8
This is the last of the losing streak I promise. This is a very difficult stretch in the schedule.
Week 16: Tennessee Titans (Road) 28-21, 7-8
The last two games are always important, but this years they are extra important. The tough scheduling from week 12 to week 15 makes these games must wins against divisional opponents.
Week 17: Jacksonville Jaguars (Home) 28-14, 8-8
Going 8-8 would be a disappointing season for a team that has some potential. I still believe the Texans are either a superstar away or a quarterback away from being legit contenders. Maybe Ryan Mallett proves his upside, but I think the Texans will be in a similar position next year as they are now.