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Upstart Texans Must Navigate Daunting December Schedule in 2024

Last season, the Houston Texans were supposed to be in a rebuild. Instead, they shocked the league, changing their NFL lines for 2024. The Texans won the AFC South last season and are the clear favorite to do so again, with odds set at +110.

However, after C.J. Stroud and Will Anderson Jr. won Offensive and Defensive Rookie of the Year awards, respectively, and first-time head coach DeMeco Ryans led the Texans to a playoff win, the league was put on notice. Teams will now give the Texans their best shot, knowing how tough this matchup will be going forward.

Upstart Texans Must Navigate Daunting December Schedule in 2024
Quarterback C.J. Stroud #7 of the Houston Texan/Carr/Getty Images/AFP

With that in mind, and now with the Texans seen as the favorite in the AFC South, they made sure to have a productive offseason. They traded for wide receiver Stefon Diggs and added more pieces on both sides of the ball to cement themselves as the front-runners in their division.


Not Breezy But A Easy Enough Start

While the Texans don’t have the easiest schedule, they should have at least some success through the first eight weeks. For better or worse, there is a chance that they are favored in nearly every game through the first eight weeks.

The Texans will start the season on the road against the division-rival Indianapolis Colts, which will be a tough matchup. The Texans are 2-point favorites, but they did have to face the Colts in Week 18 last season, with the AFC South title on the line. Furthermore, the Colts should have Anthony Richardson starting at quarterback. Richardson only made four starts as a rookie last season, but he had some incredible moments before getting hurt.

The Texans start their season by facing three young quarterbacks, which should benefit Ryan’s defense. After facing the Colts and Richardson, the Texans host the 2024 first overall pick, Caleb Williams, and the Chicago Bears. The Texans then go on the road to face the Minnesota Vikings, who could have their own rookie quarterback starting in J.J. McCarthy.


Weeks 4 and 5 will be much tougher tests, but both games will be played in Houston. The Texans will face another division rival in the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 4. The Jaguars’ late-season collapse in 2023 was one of the biggest reasons for the Texans winning the division, and they will likely try to rectify that.

Then, in Week 5, Diggs’ former team, the Buffalo Bills, will come to Houston. While the Bills are still a playoff team without their former star receiver, Diggs will be motivated to win against a team that traded him.

The run of facing young quarterbacks continues in Weeks 6 and 7 but with different potential outcomes. The Texans travel to face the New England Patriots, who could be starting rookie quarterback Drake Maye, the No. 3 overall pick. The Patriots are still rebuilding, giving the Texans the advantage no matter who starts.

The following week, facing Jordan Love and the Green Bay Packers will be completely different. The Packers were a playoff team last season and Love showed he was one of the best young up-and-coming quarterbacks alongside Stroud. This might be one of the few games in the opening eight weeks that the Texans are not favored, having to go to Lambeau Field.

Finally, in Week 8, the Texans play the Colts again, this time at home. If they lose the Week 1 matchup, this is the perfect time for revenge, and if they win, the Texans can solidify their place in the AFC South. Through the first eight weeks, only two opponents feel like locks in the playoffs, which should lead to the Texans getting some wins.



Ready or Not, Prime Time Awaits Texans

The Texans will face a few more playoff teams between Weeks 9 and 13 leading up to their bye week. That stretch starts with the New York Jets. Assuming that Aaron Rodgers is healthy, the Jets’ offense should be much better than last season, while and the defense remains elite, giving them a legitimate chance to make the playoffs. The Texans will also be on the road, which could make this game more challenging.

This is followed by facing one of the best teams in the NFC, the Detroit Lions. The Lions made it to the NFC Championship Game last season and got better this offseason. If the Texans want to become a Super Bowl contender, this is a game they have to win, and it is also played in Houston.


Those two games will be played on prime-time television, and so will the Texans’ game against their in-state rivals, the Dallas Cowboys, in Week 12. Despite a lackluster offseason, the Cowboys still won the NFC East last season and went 12-5. This could be a game in which Stroud establishes himself as the best quarterback in Texas.

The final two games before the bye week are against division rivals. In Week 12, the Texans face the Tennessee Titans, which BetUS odds list as the division’s worst team. It won’t be an easy game, but the Texans still have more talent than the Titans. The Texans then head to Jacksonville for a rematch with the Jaguars. These two teams should be in the running to win the AFC South, so this could be a crucial matchup.


Super Bowl Contenders With No Rest

The Texans can run into trouble after the bye in Week 14. Following the bye, they could be facing three potential playoff teams in 10 days. On Dec. 15, the Texans host the Miami Dolphins. Given that the Dolphins have had late-season collapses in the last two years, this could be a game in which the Texans are favored at home.

However, the Texans will face two legitimate Super Bowl contenders in Weeks 16 and 17: the Kansas City Chiefs and the Baltimore Ravens. To make matters worse, the Texans face the Chiefs on the road on Dec. 21 and then the Ravens at home on Christmas Day (Dec. 25). Due to the caliber of each opponent and the lack of rest, they likely won’t win either game.

To close the season, the Texans hit the road against the Titans, who are still outmatched, before making their second straight playoff berth.


Season Prediction for Texans

There are a lot of high hopes for the Texans this season. They are favored to win the AFC South, with NFL odds of them making the playoffs at -190. Both seem like bets that the team should be able to hit, along with them hitting the over on their win total at 9½, with the odds set at -145.

Part of that is because of the first half of the season, in which the most challenging teams the Texans will face are the Bills and Packers. After that, facing the Jets and Cowboys are two winnable games for them.



Odds and information are accurate at the time of writing. Please check with official sources for the latest updates before placing any bets.


Question Of The Day

Do the Texans have a good chance of winning the AFC South this season?

After surprising the NFL and winning the AFC South last season, the Texans are now favored to repeat. They got better this offseason, which should help them win the division in back-to-back seasons.

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