9. Week 10 @ Cincinnati Bengals
The Cincinnati Bengals have been one of the dominant NFL teams in the 2020s, and there's no reason that should change in the 2023-2024 campaign. If anything, they've gotten better, as Cincinnati has retained most of their top contributors and upgraded the roster around them.
One of the best defenses in the league will make life difficult for C.J. Stroud or whichever quarterback Houston has behind center, and like the New York Jets, these Bengals are a bonafide playoff contender in the AFC.
Simply put, the Houston Texans at this stage of their retooling process are not ready to enter the upper echelon of NFL clubs. The Cincinnati Bengals have been in that pinnacle for the better part of the last three seasons.
Despite a potentially tough outcome, this game is one that will serve as an excellent road test and beneficial experience for a young Houston Texans squad.