Bill O'Brien has taken the Texans on a nightmarish roller coaster over the past calendar year, but they do enter the 2020 season having just won another AFC South title and a game in the playoffs. Gone is DeAndre Hopkins. But Brandin Cooks and Randall Cobb will now be featured in Deshaun Watson's passing game. Defenders were picked in Rounds 2, 3, and 4 in the draft, and some offensive line depth was added later. Will the wild roster reshuffling lead to Houston advancing further in the playoffs this season?
What we can answer for you is exactly how the Texans schedule will play out -- week by week. Below, we'll break down the 2020 schedule by week and pinpoint all of the prime-time games to keep an eye on. We'll also dive into Houston's strength of schedule, what we project as their toughest stretch of games, and more. Without further ado, let's dive right into it.
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- Week 1, Sep. 10: at Chiefs (Thursday Night Football), 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC
- Week 2, Sep. 20: vs. Ravens, 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS
- Week 3, Sep. 27: at Steelers, 1 p.m. ET, CBS
- Week 4, Oct. 4: vs. Vikings, 1 p.m. ET, Fox
- Week 5, Oct. 11: vs. Jaguars, 1 p.m. ET, CBS
- Week 6, Oct. 18: at Titans, 1 p.m. ET, CBS
- Week 7, Oct. 25: vs. Packers, 1 p.m. ET, Fox
- Week 8: BYE
- Week 9, Nov. 8: at Jaguars, 1 p.m. ET, CBS
- Week 10, Nov. 15: at Browns, 1 p.m. ET, Fox
- Week 11, Nov. 22: vs. Patriots, 1 p.m. ET, CBS
- Week 12, Nov. 26: at Lions (Thanksgiving Day), 12:30 ET, CBS
- Week 13, Dec. 6: vs. Colts, 1 p.m. ET, CBS
- Week 14, Dec. 13: at Bears, 1 p.m. ET, CBS
- Week 15, Dec. 19/20: at Colts, TBD
- Week 16, Dec. 27: vs. Bengals, 1 p.m. ET, CBS
- Week 17, Jan. 3: vs. Titans, 1 p.m. ET, CBS
The Texans will look to knock off the defending Super Bowl champions on the road in Week 1. The following week, Houston will host Lamar Jackson and the Ravens. It will be an exciting game between two of the NFL's most promising young quarterbacks. Everyone is curious to see how the new-look Houston offense will come together.
Houston will begin the season at a dead sprint. Six of their first seven games come against playoff teams. Following the two aforementioned games against the Chiefs and Ravens, the team has away games against the Steelers and Titans. They also have home games against the Vikings, Jaguars and Packers.
A Week 8 bye will allow the team to re-group and turn their attention to the second half of the season, which should be much more gracious to them.
As noted above in the schedule breakdown, the Texans will be playing one prime-time game in 2020. It will be on the road. They will also have a Thanksgiving Day game and all eyes will be on them during that time slot. In 2019, Houston played in three prime-time games. They visited the Saints in Week 1 on Monday Night Football, hosted the Colts on Thursday Night Football, and upended the Patriots on Sunday Night Football in early December.
Strength of schedule
Earlier this offseason, John Breech broke down the 2020 strength of schedule for all 32 NFL teams based on combined opponent winning percentage in 2019. The Texans' strength of schedule is tied for the eighth-highest in 2020. For a complete look at every team's strength of schedule, .
However, when basing strength of schedule on the over/under win totals for each team's opponents during the 2020 season at William Hill, the Texans go from facing the eighth-toughest schedule in the league to being tied for the 16th-easiest. For a complete look at every team's strength of schedule using this methodology, check out Jared Dubin's full breakdown here.