Let’s just cut to the chase and say we project a 9-7 season from the Houston Texans in 2017. Why expect anything different? That’s the record this franchise has finished with the past three years. Here are the Texans’ likely results.
In my mind, the most interesting quarterback battle in training camps later this summer was going to be with the Houston Texans between incumbent starter but inexperienced Tom Savage – who got beaten out for the No. 1 job at Rutgers! – and rookie first-round pick Deshaun Watson. I believed Watson, former Clemson star and two-time Heisman finalist, would win the gig.
However, Texans beat writer John McClain of the Houston Chronicle says there is no competition – I know McClain a bit and he is completely plugged into this team. Here is what McClain said recently: “There is no true competition. Savage is the starter, and he'll remain the starter until injured or proven ineffective during the regular season. So while GM Rick Smith has said Watson will compete for the job, it won't be the typical competition that entails the splitting of first-team reps with a winner announced before Week 1."
After trading up in the first round to select Watson, giving Cleveland the No. 25 overall pick in 2017 and the Texans’ 2018 first-rounder, Smith and head coach Bill O’Brien reiterated that Savage is still their starting QB. O'Brien has said he feels "comfortable" with Savage starting in 2017 and that Watson will have a lot to learn before he's ready to be an NFL starter. I’m still not buying it.
Savage replaced an ineffective Brock Osweiler late last season and Houston went 1-1 in his two starts. Savage has thrown 92 passes in his career, completing 56 of them for 588 yards, no touchdowns, and one interception. He hasn’t proven able to stay healthy, either.
If the Texans could get just median-level play from their QB, they could win double-digit games and the AFC South a third straight year (9-7 might do it again, though) with a great defense. But as things stand now, they have the worst QB situation in the division – even worse than Jacksonville with Blake Bortles. Houston is +200 on NFL futures to win the South, the same price as Indianapolis.
Capper’s Projected Record: 9-7 (yep again)
Texans Regular-Season Schedule (All times Eastern)
Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 10, Jacksonville, 1 p.m.
Houston opens at home for the 12th time in 16 years. The Texans are 7-4 in the previous 11 and -4.5 on NFL odds. WIN
Week 2: Thursday, Sept. 14, at Cincinnati, 8:25 p.m.
The Texans have won five of the last six regular-season meetings with the Bengals. It was 12-10 in Week 16 last year, which clinched the AFC South title for Houston. LOSS
Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 24, at New England, 1 p.m.
Extra time to prepare for Tom Brady & Co. is never a bad thing. The Texans have lost six straight games at New England, dating to 2006. LOSS
Week 4: Sunday, Oct. 1, Tennessee, 1 p.m.
The Texans are looking for six consecutive wins at home against the Titans for the first time in team history. It was 27-20 last year, also in Week 4. WIN
Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 8, Kansas City, 8:30 p.m.
These teams played Week 2 last year in Houston and the Texans won 19-12. Osweiler threw two picks but the Texans recovered three Chiefs fumbles. WIN
Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 15, Cleveland, 1 p.m.
Could this be a trap game for Houston ahead of its bye week? Will Osweiler be starting for the Browns? WIN
Week 7: BYE
Good spot for the bye off a likely win and ahead of the toughest road game left on the schedule.
Week 8: Sunday, Oct. 29, at Seattle, 4:05 p.m.
Tough to see either Savage or Watson putting up many points on that Seattle defense. Houston last faced Seattle in Week 4 of the 2013 season. LOSS
Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 5, Indianapolis, 1 p.m.
The Texans swept the season series with the Colts for the first time in franchise history in 2016. WIN
Week 10: Sunday, Nov. 12, at Los Angeles Rams, 4:05 p.m.
The total for this game probably is about 37. Could be one of the ugliest offensive games of 2017. WIN
Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 19, Arizona, 1 p.m.
The Texans have not faced the Cardinals during the regular season since Week 10 in 2013. WIN
Week 12: Monday, Nov. 27, at Baltimore, 8:30 p.m.
Lone MNF game of the season for Texans and could be the team’s best chance to play in wintry weather. Texans beat Ravens in last meeting, 25-13 in 2014. LOSS
Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 3, at Tennessee, 1 p.m.
Savage was out injured in Week 17 last year when Houston lost 24-17 in Nashville, but the game meant nothing for the Texans. LOSS
Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 10, San Francisco, 1 p.m.
I’m calling it now: Houston’s lone shutout of the 2017 season comes against the 49ers. WIN
Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 17, at Jacksonville, 1 p.m.
Houston is 6-0 vs. the Jags under Bill O’Brien and the Texans’ eight road wins against Jacksonville are the most in franchise history against any opponent. LOSS
Week 16: Monday, Dec. 25, Pittsburgh, 4:30 p.m.
This is one of two games on Christmas and is televised by NBC. These teams haven’t met since midway through the 2014 season. WIN
Week 17: Sunday, Dec. 31, at Indianapolis, 1 p.m.
The Texans are looking for three straight wins in Indianapolis for the first time ever. It was 22-17 last year even though Osweiler was terrible. Houston rushed for 185 yards. LOSS
Make Sure To Check Out Houston Texans Full Schedule Analysis