Houston Texans 2020 Schedule: A run-through of the key matchups

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

The Houston Texans released their 2020 regular-season schedule Thursday night. Let’s take a look at the biggest takeaways from their schedule.

With everything up in the air right now due to COVID-19 no one knows if the NFL season will start on time, but if it does the Houston Texans will face one of the tougher schedules in the league that includes seven games against teams that made the playoffs in 2019. Take a look at the Houston Texans 2020 schedule below (all times Central):

Week 1: at Kansas City – Sep. 10 (Thursday) at 7:20 p.m.

Week 2: vs Baltimore – Sep. 20 at 3:25 p.m.

Week 3: at Pittsburgh – Sep. 27 at Noon

Week 4: vs Minnesota – Oct. 4 at Noon

Week 5: vs Jacksonville – Oct. 11 at Noon

Week 6: at Tennessee – Oct. 18 at Noon

Week 7: vs Green Bay – Oct. 25 at Noon

Week 8: Bye Week

Week 9: at Jacksonville – Nov. 8 at Noon

Week 10: at Cleveland – Nov. 15 at Noon

Week 11: vs New England – Nov. 22 at Noon

Week 12: at Detroit – Nov. 26 (Thanksgiving Day) at 11:30 a.m.

Week 13: vs Indianapolis – Dec. 6 at Noon

Week 14: at Chicago – Dec. 13 at Noon

Week 15: at Indianapolis – Dec. 19/20 and time TBD

Week 16: vs Cincinnati – Dec. 27 at Noon

Week 17: vs Tennessee – Jan. 3 at Noon

The Texans open up the season against arguably the two best teams in the NFL in the Chiefs and Ravens. Last season the Texans went a combined 1-2 against these teams and were outscored 116 to 69 in those three games. Having to face the league’s two most explosive offense’s, led by Patrick Mahomes, the 2018 MVP and Super Bowl LIV MVP, and Lamar Jackson, the reigning NFL MVP, in back-to-back games to open the season is as brutal as it gets, especially for a Houston defense who struggled mightily last season, especially against the pass.

On the bright side, the Texans open up the season with a prime-time game and Deshaun Watson has shined in recent prime-time games.  In prime-time games last season, Watson threw for 800 yards and eight touchdowns while also rushing for a touchdown and catching a touchdown pass. Another positive is that the Texans play the Cheifs on Thursday night. This will give Houston plenty of time to prepare for their matchup against the Ravens in Week 2.

Week 3 will be a special for J.J. Watt as he will be reunited with his brothers’ Derek Watt and T.J. Watt as the Texans will travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers. This is a very winnable game for Houston, but the challenge will be to not fall behind early especially since this game is being played at Heinz Field, one of the most electric atmospheres in the NFL.

The Texans enter an important stretch over Weeks 4 through 6 that will be key for Houston to get back on the right track if they do indeed struggle in their first three games of the season. Having back-to-back home games against Vikings and Jaguars is a great opportunity for Houston to take care of business at home and pick up two wins. Week 6 against the Titans will probably be the Texans’ biggest test of this three-week stretch and will play a big role in determining who sits in the driver’s seat in the AFC South early on in the season.

Week 7 will be another big test for the Texans as they take on Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. The biggest question will be whether or not the Houston defense, whose secondary struggled against elite quarterbacks throughout the 2019 season, can slow down Rodgers.

The Week 8 bye will give the Texans much needed rest and allow them to regroup after making it through one of the most difficult first halves of the season in the NFL in which five out of the seven teams they faced were playoff teams in 2019.

After the bye week, Houston plays three of its next four games on the road with its only home game over this stretch being against the Patriots. The Texans are very capable of winning all four of these games and should be the favorites in all of these games. With that being said it is important that the Texans do not overlook any of these games and go into these games overconfident, especially the latter two of these games against the Patriots and Lions.

The next three games are very interesting as the Texans face the Colts, their division rival, twice in

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three weeks with a game against the Bears sandwiched in between. The games against the Colts will obviously be very important in determining the standings in the AFC South, but the game against the Bears is even more intriguing. Going to Chicago in December should never be overlooked even though the Texans are the better team. If Houston puts all their focus on the Colts over this three-week stretch then this game against the Bears will be a trap game and the Texans could easily end up losing a game that should have won.

Week 16 features Joe Burrow and the Bengals coming to town. Although the Bengals had an excellent draft and addressed many of their needs the Texans should take care of business.

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Week 17, the final week of the regular season, may end up being the battle for the AFC South crown as the Texans take on the Titans. The good thing is this game is at home and NRG stadium should be rocking as the Texans look to win their third straight division title.

What’s going to be your favorite matchup?  Feel free to sound off in the comments section below.