American Football

What to Love and Hate About Every Game on the Houston Texans Schedule

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Facing a top tier set of opponents makes for a much harder road

The Houston Texans enter the 2024 season as one of the top contenders, but also have one of the hardest schedules in the league. The recent NFL schedule release debuts the top matchups throughout the season. Houston will be featured in six nationally televised games, making them appointment worthy TV throughout the season. There’s something to love about Houston being back in the spotlight, but there’s also enough about this schedule that will make the road back to the playoffs an uphill battle.

Week 1: At Indianapolis Colts – Sunday 12PM CST

Love: A rusty Indianapolis Colts offense that hasn’t gelled yet would be fantastic to play. Playing Week 1 away is also ideal; knock out a travel weekend before it exhausts the players and is a burden. A quick win away starts the ball rolling for the Texans in the statistically easiest quarter of their schedule.

Hate: When healthy, the Colts are an extremely hard team to beat. Jonathan Taylor, AD Mitchell, Michael Pittman, and a fully returned Anthony Richardson could be a monster to play against early. Especially considering Houston will be flying blind against a Colts team Houston frankly doesn’t know much about with Richardson at the helm.

Week 2: Vs. Chicago Bears – Sunday Night Football

Love: Playing Caleb Williams EARLY. Houston will have one week of film on the new Chicago Bears offense, which will help limit the surprises that the Bears can throw at Houston. Chicago will run a fairly similar scheme and offense to the one shown in Week One, giving the Texans a steep advantage on Sunday Night Football against a team with as many new names as any in the league.

Hate: The enigma of the Bears. New players abound will mean the Texans are fairly flying blind into this game. Don’t be surprised if Houston struggles in the first half as they analyze on the fly what Chicago has planned in thus far. D’Andre Swift will also be a problem for a new Texans defense line.

Week 3: At Minnesota Vikings – Sunday 12PM CST

Love: Early matchup against the Minnesota Vikings bodes well for Houston. Vikings should be either 1-1 or 0-2 after games against the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers. If there’s a QB controversy, Houston has the ability to punch down on a team in their stadium who is in disarray.

Hate: Minnesota has one of the better rosters in the league sans QB. If they are healthy and ready to go, playing in Minnesota will be an overlooked game by many.

Week 4: Vs. Jacksonville Jaguars – Sunday 12PM CST

Love: Getting into the meat of the season. I enjoy sprinting in AFC South rivals throughout the season. I’ve found NFL packs most divisional games in the end of the season, so playing the Jacksonville Jaguars this early feels favorable to Houston. Jacksonville had the worst offseason of the divisional rivals.

Hate: Jacksonville is one of the teams that starts hot and fades as the season goes. Just last year Jacksonville started 1-2 then ripped off five wins in a row. Playing a determined Jags team early will be a difficult matchup early in the season.

Week 5: Vs. Buffalo Bills – Sunday 12PM CST

Love: Not a prime time game. I’d rather keep this game as low emotionally for the Bills as possible. You know that entire Buffalo Bills defense will want to lay out Diggs as retribution for his locker room acidity. Also this game being at home and not away with the possibility of it being in the winter is a plus.

Hate: Lack of importance. This game being early takes much of the oomph out of the matchup. Two teams who will be competing for playoff contention facing off this early decreases the value.

Week 6: At New England Patriots – Sunday 12PM CST

Love: Not playing this game in December. If the Drake Maye project isn’t working, Houston could be witness to a four-way QB battle between Maye, veteran Jacoby Brissett, Bailey Zappe, or Joe Milton

Hate: A new-New England Patriots. Patriots absolutely crushed the draft and could be one of the most overlooked teams in the league.

Week 7: At Green Bay Packers – Sunday 12PM CST

Love: Not playing this game in December. Houston got away with avoiding two extremely frigid opponents in back to back games. The Green Bay Packers will be a great team making this a fun matchup mid season.

Hate: the only back-to-back away games are a doozy. Getting to Green Bay from Houston is tough flight. It’s also the start of a series string of games that will decide the season.

Week 8: Vs Indianapolis Colts – Sunday 12PM CST

Love: Finishing off the Colts early. Houston plays Indianapolis twice before they even meet the Titans. This offense has the ability to be a juggernaut and one that caused Houston plenty of trouble late. Avoiding a massive game with them later in the season is fortuitous.

Hate: Ideally this game would have been a bye. Houston will need a win before turning into their prime time run. This game may be overlooked due to the nature of the schedule and what comes ahead.

Week 9: At New York Jets – Thursday Night Football

Love: Prime Time against the New York Jets. No one knows who the Jets will be in 2024. They could be a dumpster fire if Aaron Rogers gets hurt again. This will also be C.J. Stroud’s revenge game after his worst performance of last season.

Hate: Playing away on a long flight and short week. Traveling for TNF never bodes well even if the Jets don’t have too crazy of a home field advantage.

Week 10: Vs. Detroit Lions – Sunday Night Football

Love: This game should purely be fun. A prime time matchup against two unfamiliar foes. Houston should be rocking for this one.

Hate: The meat of the schedule has Houston in the spotlight. This game will absolutely be a turning point of the season to identify where Houston stacks up against the powerhouses in the NFL.

Week 11: At Dallas Cowboys – Monday Night Football

Love: Bragging rights. Let the nation know who is the best team in Texas.

Hate: Three primetime games in a row is a lot of spotlight. If the other two don’t go well, the national media will be hammering C.J. Stroud and DeMeco Ryans. The NFL loves creating these “narratives” throughout the season where they shift the national attention to a specific team. Obviously, mid season in 2024 will be all eyes on Houston. MNF also hurts Texans fans from turning this into a neutral site game.

Also – the fact that this game isn’t on Thanksgiving is a crime. Do better.

Week 12: Vs. Tennessee Titans

Love: Meeting the Tennessee Titans late. Titans have an older offense and could be banged up heading into this game considering they have a Week Five bye.

Hate: If Will Levis is rolling. Titans have several easy opponents heading into this game and could be on a hot streak. Would also prefer for this to be an away game and the last game of the season to be in Houston.

Week 13: At Jacksonville Jaguars – Sunday 12PM CST

Love: Knocking out another away game before the bye. Team can rest up afterwards. The Texans have won the game before the bye each of the last two seasons.

Hate: Jacksonville comes off their bye week to play Houston. They’ll have a full two weeks of prep before facing the Texans

BYE WEEK – WEEK 14

Week 15: Vs. Miami Dolphins – Sunday 12PM CST

Love: The mere fact we’re playing the Miami Dolphins late. They’ve fallen down the stretch each of the last three season. This is possibly the most ideal time

Hate: The beginning of a juggernaut of AFC opponents. This game could very well decide AFC Playoff positioning as much as any game this late in the season Houston has.

Week 16: At Kansas City Chiefs – Saturday 12PM CST

Love: Playoff implications. Hopefully this game impacts seeding within the AFC Playoff picture. It’s going to be prime-time watching as both teams jockey for positioning.

Hate: Everything. Kansas City at home in December is a recipe for disaster. It’s the Red Bull Vodka of games. If any game on this schedule screams “loss”, it’s playing the Kansas City Chiefs at home late in the season; oh, it’s also on short rest.

Week 17: Vs Baltimore Ravens – Wednesday, Christmas Day 3:30PM. CST

Love: Isn’t this fun? A fascinating rematch of the AFC Divisional Round. Who knows, could Lamar Jackson be injured by now? If so, this very well could be a quite different game than currently billed.

Hate: Not the last week of the season. If this was Week 18, Houston easily could be in a perilous situation facing one of the best rosters in the league. The Baltimore Ravens caused rifts in the Texans defense that they spent the entire offseason mending. It’s a marquee matchup that will decide much of how the entire season falls into place.

Week 18: At Tennessee Titans – TBD

Love: Ending the season with divisional rival. We expect Tennessee to don the Oilers uniforms against Houston, giving the Texans all the more to play for. Of the divisional rivals to play this season, I want to play the Titans the last week.

Hate: Tennessee is most likely competing for a Wild Card spot than outright competing for the division. Though in the AFC South your guess is as good as mine. Even so, the Titans will be in the mix for a playoff birth for the first time since 2021 and first with a new head coach. Could they be this year’s version of the 2023 Houston Texans?

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