The Texans and 2016 opponents established their first 90 man rosters and completed OTAs and minicamps. Roster tweaking continues, but each team’s core strengths and weaknesses are clear. Time for some very early 2016 game-by-game predictions.
More authoritative predictions will be made as the rosters are trimmed to the initial 53 man limits and on a week-by-week basis as the season progresses. Today’s prediction sets an early benchmark and is a basis for more detailed analysis of each game as the regular season nears.
Las Vegas sets the early over/under at 8 1/2 wins. I predict 10 wins. Here are the Vegas game-by-game point spreads and my predictions as rosters stand today.
Chicago Bears – The Bears are improved both offensively and defensively, but there will be some growing pains early for them. The Texans offense will also be inconsistent this first game, but the defense will dominate. Line – Texans -5 Prediction – Texans win 24-10
Kansas City Chiefs – Kansas City dominated both 2015 meetings, two of Brian Hoyer‘s worst games. The Texans offense will make a big step between games 1 and 2 as Brock Osweiler proves to be a definite upgrade at quarterback, winning the day for Houston. Line – Pick ’em / Prediction – Texans win 20-17
@New England Patriots – It will be a close game with Jimmy Garoppolo at the helm; a little less so if Tom Brady somehow plays in this game. Either way New England at New England is a big hill to climb. Line – Texans +3 / Prediction – Texans lose 27-17
Tennessee Titans – Tennessee has an improved team, but it is a least one free agent period and draft away from contending in the AFC South. The Texans take out their frustrations from the New England loss in this one. Line – Texans -7 / Prediction – Texans win 35-10
@Minnesota Vikings – This is an interesting match-up between the quarterback that the Texans could have had in the 2014 draft, Teddy Bridgewater, and the one they ended up with, Brock Osweiler. This game will be close and could go either way. Line – Texans +6 / Prediction – Texans lose 20-17
Indianapolis Colts – The Colts added linemen to protect Andrew Luck. How good are those linemen? Not good enough to compensate for the Colts suspect defense. Line – Texans -1.5 / Prediction – Texans win 28-17
@Denver Broncos – The Osweiler Bowl pits a vengeful Bronco defense against a maturing Osweiler and his improving offensive line. Both defenses dominate. Expect the more effective pass rush to win the game on Monday Night. Line – Texans +6.5 / Prediction – Texans lose 16-14
Detroit Lions – The Lions will struggle to replace Calvin Johnson. Without the most dynamic receiver of this generation out there, the Texans defense will contain the Lions and the Texans offense will make plays against a hit or miss Lions defense. Line – Texans -4 / Prediction – Texans win 27-20
At the halfway point the Texans will be 5-3. Click to the next page for the predictions for the second half of the season.