5. New England Patriots
Outside of the Texans’ three division rivals, there are only six teams that Houston has faced a double-digit number of times in the regular season and/or postseason.
Those six teams are the Cleveland Browns (10 regular season meetings), Baltimore Ravens (10 regular season meetings and one playoff meeting), Kansas City Chiefs (10 regular season meetings and one playoff meeting), Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders (11 regular season meetings and one playoff meeting), Cincinnati Bengals (10 regular season meetings and two playoff meetings), and New England Patriots (10 regular season meetings and two playoff meetings).
Their records against those six teams are as follows: Browns (7-3 regular season), Ravens (2-8 regular season and 0-1 postseason), Chiefs (5-5 regular season and 0-1 postseason), Raiders (7-4 regular season and 1-0 postseason), Bengals (6-4 regular season and 2-0 postseason), and Patriots (2-8 regular season and 0-2 postseason).
What do these numbers tell us, and how do they inform this ranking?
Well, they tell us that of the teams the Texans have faced the most over the years outside of the AFC South, they’ve had little trouble dispatching the Browns, Raiders, and Bengals. They’ve split their regular season all-time series with the Chiefs, and though the lone playoff meeting between these teams ended in heartbreak for the Texans last year, it was at least very competitive for a while.
Houston has been neither dominant nor competitive even against the Ravens or Patriots though from a historical standpoint. The 2-8 record against both clubs is clearly root cause for frustration if you’re a Texans fan looking at these two bullies in the AFC.
While Baltimore certainly deserved a spot in our Honorable Mentions section, we have to give the edge to New England — not only because of the extra playoff loss, but also because of the ties between Bill Belichick and Bill O’Brien.