Aug 30, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) falls out of bounds in the end zone after a touchdown catch attempt against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
Paul Parkinson, Staff Writer
Kansas City, at Carolina, Tampa Bay
Prediction: The Texans start off with a tough home game against KC. Last year, the Chiefs didn’t have any threats at wide receiver, but bringing in Jeremy Maclin helps a team who already has a dynamic running back in Jamaal Charles. Losing Foster for this game will really hurt the Texans, as we don’t really know what to expect from the passing game so far. It should be close, but I think the Texans lose the season opener.
While the loss of Foster for the first half of the season will be tough for Houston, but not nearly as tough as the loss of Kelvin Benjamin of Carolina for the season. Benjamin was the only threatening receiver for the Panthers, and will really hurt the passing game. This time, Houston emerges victorious.
Two words: Rookie. Quarterback. Jamies Winston is going to get a warm “Howdy” from J.J. Watt and Co. this game, and the Houston offense will pick up the pieces as the Texans roll to their second win of the season.
Record for the month: 2-1
at Atlanta, Indianapolis, at Jacksonville, at Miami
Prediction: Matt Ryan to Julio Jones is a deadly combination. Unfortunately for Atlanta, the Texans secondary has looked fantastic this preseason, and has a good chance to shut down the passing game. With no running backs worth mentioning and lots of O-line holes, the Texans defense should be able to have their way. The offense should be able to do enough to lock this one up.
I just mentioned that the Texans secondary has looked great, but I don’t like the chances against Andrew Luck. The Colts should have at least three good receiving options on the field at all times, and the HOU corners are going to have to bring their A game. But without Foster, Houston’s chances of controlling possession are pretty low. Colts top the Texans yet again.
Moving on to Jacksonville, the Texans should have a better day. While I’m a huge fan of Gus Bradley, his team is still rebuilding and is very raw. Still, this game will probably be closer than the Jags blowouts of years past. But the Texans defense asserts their dominance and lets the offense clean up for another road win.
The second Texans game in Florida is a bit more challenging. Ryan Tannehill has been the talk of the offseason, and while the team has some young players, they’ve started to develop into a good squad. With the addition of Ndamukong Suh, this should be a tough test for the Houston offense. Texans lose their first road game of the season.
Record for the month: 2-2
Record overall: 4-3
Tennessee, BYE WEEK, at Cincinnati, New York Jets, New Orleans
Prediction: The second rookie quarterback on the schedule, Marcus Mariota will get hammered this game by this HOU defense, and there shouldn’t be many points allowed by Houston in this game. The Titans defense isn’t exactly elite, letting the offense show a little more “oomph” and building confidence going into the bye week.
This is the projected week that Arian Foster will return. So he sends a reminder to the Bengals and the rest of the league by going off this game, both on the ground and through the air. The Texans defense shakes up Andy Dalton, and Vince Wilfork shows why he was brought in by shutting down the run game. Texans win again.
Against the Jets? At home? With Foster? This game should be a breeze for the Texans, but I believe the Jets will have a sneaky good defense this year. In a closer game than anyone would expect, the low scoring affair will leave Texans on top.
The game against New Orleans will be a good game to watch. Drew Brees is a great quarterback, and the Saints will want to take a win out of Houston in this week. But the Texans will want it just as bad, and this should be another close game. At this point, with all the success the Texans have had, I think their luck finally catches up with them, and they lose in another nail-biter.
Record for the month: 3-1
Overall record: 7-4
at Buffalo, New England, at Indianapolis, at Tennessee
Prediction: It’s never good to play at Buffalo in December, and it’s going to show in this game. Tyrod Taylor is a threat both through the air and on the ground, and I think the Bills run game proves to be too much for the Texans to handle. The Houston offense will struggle too, and leave the Texans unable to get the road win.
New England. Oh boy. Tom Terrific will come out on to the field and give this defense a true test. The only way the Texans will be able to grab this one is if the offense can consistently move the ball and control the clock, without committing turnovers. Unfortunately, this is too much to ask, and the Texans drop their third straight.
The Texans have never won a game in Indianapolis. Never. I don’t that changes this year, as Andrew Luck is primed for a record breaking season. But the Texans will put up a good fight, and come back to nearly get their first win in the city. This one will be close, but Texans continue their December skid.
…which promptly ends with a matchup against the Titans. The defense comes out storming, with the loss from the past few weeks fresh in their minds. The Texans terrorize on defense, and the offense renews with a shot at a wild card spot. Texans club the Titans, and move on to the last game of the regular season.
Record for the month: 1-3
Overall record: 8-7
Prediction: The Texans will be fighting for a playoff spot, and at home, they should be able to show the Jaguars what a playoff team looks like. The defense plays fantastic and the offense even gets rolling a bit too, leaving Texan fans happy with another division win.
Record for the month: 1-0
Overall Record: 9-7
Next: Our next full season prediction...