Houston Texans: What will their 2020 record be?

Texans GM Bill O'Brien walking the sidelines
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Ricky Dimon

NFL

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Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports--just about any and all you can think of!--and coaching tennis in Atlanta, Ga. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me.

The Houston Texans reached the playoffs six of the past nine years, have won their wild-card game on four of those six occasions, but have never advanced to the AFC Championship. They were on their way to doing so in 2019 after seizing an improbable 24-0 lead over the Kansas City Chiefs during divisional-round action, but the visitors got outscored 51-7 the rest of the way.

Will Houston be able to recover? The offseason suggests the answer may be “no,” as head coach Bill O’Brien curiously traded away star receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Additionally, the Texans’ 2020 schedule features a brutal opening stretch in which they are not favored in any game until Week 5. In fact, they are underdogs by a combined 20 points in their first three outings.

Week 1: @ Kansas City Chiefs

It begins with Houston being a +10 underdog at Kansas City on the opening Thursday night contest. Simply covering the spread against the defending Super Bowl champions would be a huge success. Loss

Week 2: vs. Baltimore Ravens

At least the Texans get to play at home in Week 2, but it still does not get much easier. They go from facing the team that won it all to the team that was favored to win it all when last year’s playoffs began. Loss

Week 3: @ Pittsburgh Steelers

After getting 10 points against the Chiefs, Houston is currently a +5 underdog against both Baltimore and Pittsburgh. Ben Roethlisberger should remain healthy by Week 3 and will undoubtedly take care of business at home. Loss

Week 4: vs. Minnesota Vikings

The line for this one is currently a pick ‘em. Although that may not be ideal for a home game, it sure beats being a massive underdog! Deshaun Watson will make sure his squad does not fall to 0-4. Win

Week 5: vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

At long last the schedule gets much easier—albeit briefly—for the Texans. A much-needed AFC South date comes in Week 5 and they will take full advantage of visiting Jacksonville. Win

Week 6: @ Tennessee Titans

This particular AFC South opponent, however, is a much different story. Tennessee powered into the AFC title game last season and Derrick Henry is not going to slow down in 2020. Loss

Week 7: vs. Green Bay Packers

I think it is fair to give the Texans one out of two when it comes to their home games against NFC North titans Minnesota and Green Bay. Aaron Rodgers will be able to gut out a road victory. Loss

Week 8: BYE

Week 9: @ Jacksonville Jaguars

If Gardner Minshew continues to be at least decent under center, the Jaguars won’t be terrible. They should be good enough to earn a split of two contests against Houston. Loss

Week 10: @ Cleveland Browns

The Texans return from their bye week with two consecutive road games. Neither one is especially daunting, but at the same time both could just as easily be lost…. And they probably will be. Loss

Week 11: vs. New England Patriots

For abundantly obvious reasons, these aren’t the same New England Patriots. The Tom Brady era is over and it is safe to say that Watson should be able to get the best of Jarrett Stidham. Win

Week 12: @ Detroit Lions

Beating New England is big even if it isn’t the same kind of New England squad. A hangover of sorts will come in the form of a relatively disappointing setback at a mediocre Detroit club. Loss

Week 13: vs. Indianapolis Colts

After going up against Matthew Stafford in Week 12, Houston runs into another veteran quarterback in Philip Rivers here. At home, J.J. Watt (if he is still healthy by this point) and the defense will be too much for Rivers. Win

Week 14: @ Chicago Bears

The Texans—specifically Watson and Watt—are good enough to pick up at least one respectable road win. Watt will badger Mitchell Trubisky or whoever is playing QB in Chicago. Win

Week 15: @ Indianapolis Colts

Like the case with Houston vs. Jacksonville, this AFC South matchup will likely be split in 2020. Rivers will be able to win more than a few games during his first season in Indianapolis. Loss

Week 16: vs. Cincinnati Bengals

The Texans wrap up their season with two straight home games, the first of which should not be a problem. Joe Burrow may make the Bengals better in 2020…but that is not saying a lot. Win

Week 17: vs. Tennessee Titans

Unless the Titans have already clinched the division and are locked into their playoff seed, this is going to be another difficult one for Houston. A trying 2020 campaign will likely end in appropriate fashion. Loss

The Texans are going to start out 0-3 (possibly even 0-4) and at that point there will be no recovering. Watson is without question an electrifying quarterback, but losing Hopkins will be tough even for him. With a weakened roster, O’Brien’s coaching ineptitude will be exposed even more than it was last year. A rare losing season is coming up in Houston.

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