The 2017 Houston Texans schedule has been released and will pit the Texans in some tough stretches that should be overcome.
For the last three seasons, 9-7 has been good enough for the Houston Texans. With back-to-back AFC South championships under the team’s belt, the Texans have managed to take hold of the weakest division in football.
Playing against the Jacksonville Jaguars (seven wins the last two seasons, combined), a slowly rebuilding Tennessee Titans team (10 wins the last two seasons, combined), and a struggling Indianapolis Colts squad (8-8 the last two years) has helped the Texans slip by. 9-7 has been good enough even if it isn’t a truly impressive record.
Last year it was all about the quarterback play. After starting the season 3-1 and building it out to a 5-3 record at the Week 9 bye, the Texans looked to be certain winners. Quarterback Brock Osweiler was struggling, but he was serviceable. The stellar defense (first in yards allowed, 11th in points allowed in 2016) was still smothering teams and players like DeAndre Hopkins and Lamar Miller were proving capable of taking games over.
In those first eight games, the Texans only lost to the undefeated Minnesota Vikings, the New England Patriots, and the Denver Broncos. While the wheels fell off for the Vikings later in the season, those losses were not threatening in any way. 5-3 was a respectable record to emerge from the first half of the season win. Beating the Kansas City Chiefs and Detroit Lions were both strong wins for the Texans in the first half of the season as both would become playoff teams.
The second half of 2016 led to just a 4-4 record, however. Sweeping the Jacksonville Jaguars, getting the second win against the Indianapolis Colts, and eking out a 12-10 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals were all important. By the time a Week 17 clash with the Titans rolled around, the Texans didn’t even need the win to head to the playoffs (the Texans lost).
But a three-game stretch from Week 11 to Week 13 jeopardized everything. The Texans lost to the Oakland Raiders, the San Diego Chargers, and the Green Bay Packers in succession. The wheels came off at quarterback during a close 21-20 win over the Jags two weeks later.
Somehow, miraculously, the Houston Texans lucked into playing the Derek Carr-less Oakland Raiders in the first round of the playoffs. The Texans notched a 27-14 victory before ultimately falling to the Patriots 16-34 in the divisional round.
Now they look ahead, which they can officially do now. Here’s the Houston Texans schedule for 2017:
The goal for 2017 will be to put together a few streaks that can get the team above 9-7 for the first time in three seasons. Streaks almost derailed the 2016 season. If the Texans can get at least one more win in 2017 than in 2016, the team should be able to make the playoffs again. That is the goal.
Capitalizing on a championship-level defense is the goal for this season and the next couple. If the Texans can field even a slightly competent quarterback, that should be possible. But, like every other team, it all comes down to that one position. With that defense and competent quarterbacking, the Texans can beat anybody, regardless of schedule streaks.