To say the Texans are in the middle of a rebuild might not do the organization justice. In many ways, they’re in limbo at this point. The Texans had four all-star players on their squad, namely Deshaun Watson, DeAndre Hopkins, JJ Watt and Jadeveon Clowney. Now only Watson remains, but he faces problems off the field, and his future with the team is on hold.
As such, it’s hard to say for sure how the Texans will navigate their upcoming schedule. It’s going to be tough anyway, but tough with Watson at the helm is one thing. Difficult with Tyrod Taylor and Davis Mills at the helm? This is another.
Additionally, due to poor decisions made by the previous regime, the team didn’t have a lot of interim capital to upgrade their roster. Instead, they focused on signing as many mid-level free agents as possible to increase depth and competition for starting spots on both sides of the ball. Could this work for Texans? Maybe, but they’re still a long way from the team that so recently won a playoff game against the Buffalo Bills in the 2020 playoffs.
Here’s a full breakdown of the Texans’ 2021 schedule, including dates, start times, and analysis.
NFL OFF-SEASON 2021:
Draft notes team by team | Latest power rankings
2021 Texans Calendar
The Texans’ schedule will be announced as part of the NFL Schedule’s release on Wednesday, May 12 at 8 p.m. ET. These are the teams they need to play in the 2021 NFL season.
|Carolina Panthers||Arizona Cardinals|
|Indianapolis Colts||Buffalo Bills|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||Cleveland Browns|
|Los Angeles Chargers||Indianapolis Colts|
|Los Angeles Rams||Jacksonville Jaguars|
|New England Patriots||Miami dolphins|
|New York Jets||San Francisco 49ers|
|Seattle Seahawks||Tennessee Titans|
The Texans have had one of the most brutal starts to the 2020 season for any team. Five of the first seven opponents they faced made the playoffs in the 20s, including the Chiefs, Ravens, Steelers, Titans and Packers. So, it’s no surprise that they stumbled to a 1-6 start with their only win over the lowly Jaguars.
Houston finished with the third worst record in the NFL, but Bill O’Brien had traded his 2020 first-round pick to the Dolphins, so the Texans didn’t have the No.3 pick to meet some of their needs.
There isn’t much good news regarding the Texans’ schedule in 21. They have eight games against teams that made the playoffs last year and one game against a Dolphins team that had 10 wins. Their schedule will be tough no matter how it goes, especially since some of the teams they face, namely the Jets and 49ers, are expected to be improved this year.
MORE: Calendar strength for all 32 teams in 2021
The strength of the Texans calendar
Based on last year’s records, the Texans have the 15th toughest schedule in the NFL (.504). But as mentioned above, it could be even more difficult for them as they look to the future.
The Jets and 49ers appear to be better with new quarterbacks in the fold, and the game against the Patriots could be tough as well. The Texans beat New England last season, so Bill Belichick won’t want revenge. His team also have a new first-round quarterback, so the Texans may struggle with this game even at home.
It wouldn’t surprise anyone to see the Texans wrestle out of the gate again, especially after the team were largely unable to upgrade their roster due to a shortage of available resources during the 2021 offseason. can’t play in the middle of his problems off the field, so the Texans could hit rock bottom.
Most difficult tests: There are a lot of tough tests for the Texans this season. Their road encounters with the Bills, Colts and Browns should be tough, as these three playoff teams from last year only improved their rosters in various areas during the offseason. With the Texans only regressing, they will struggle against these teams, especially in the harsh environments of Buffalo and Cleveland.
At home, things are a little better. Still, facing the well-rounded Rams won’t be easy on their lackluster defense. The same can be said of the Seahawks led by Russell Wilson. As mentioned, the Patriots could prove to be troublesome for them as well. The Texans were last in the NFL in run defense last season, and the Patriots expect to be a dominant ground team with Damien Harris, Rhamondre Stevenson and Sony Michel in the fold with two TEs.
The biggest breaks: The truth is, there aren’t many breaks in the Texans’ schedule. Hosting the Jaguars, Jets and Panthers is probably the easiest three games on their schedule this year. The Jaguars and Jets both trust rookie quarterbacks who are talented but will be fit for the NFL. Plus, neither team has a very good defense, so the Texans at least have a chance.
Meanwhile, the Panthers have a better team overall, but Sam Darnold hasn’t been a strong starter at QB to kick off his career. If he struggles to adjust to the Panthers’ system, it could position the Texans to steal a game. But still, these games are not freebies.
Conclusion: There’s not much to like about the Texans’ schedule. It’s not the toughest in the NFL, but the Texans are one of the worst teams in the league. As such, it will be difficult for them to compete with most teams, let alone when half of the games on their schedule are against teams that made the playoffs last year.
Maybe David Culley will find a way to make the most of this Texan crew. Maybe Nick Caserio’s free will will make a difference. Still, at the end of the day, the Texans just aren’t a good team right now, so you’re not going to find many winnable games in their schedule.
Record prediction: 2-15