Houston Texans open again in prime time, have long road stretch

J.J. Watt and the Texans have a favorable schedule late in the season with four home games in the final six weeks. Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

The NFL has released its 2019 regular-season schedule. Here's a look at what's in store for the Houston Texans.

Game-by-game prediction

Texans reporter Sarah Barshop is predicting a 9-7 finish:

Sept. 9: at New Orleans, Loss

Sept. 15: vs. Jacksonville, Win

Sept. 22: at Los Angeles Chargers, Loss

Sept. 29: vs. Carolina, Win

Oct. 6: vs. Atlanta, Win

Oct. 13: at Kansas City, Loss

Oct. 20: at Indianapolis, Loss

Oct. 27: vs. Oakland, Win

Nov. 3: at Jacksonville (London), Win

Nov. 17: at Baltimore, Loss

Nov. 21: vs. Indianapolis, Loss

Dec. 1: vs. New England, Loss

Dec. 8: vs. Denver, Win

Dec. 15: at Tennessee, Win

Dec. 22: at Tampa Bay, Win

Dec. 29: vs. Tennessee, Win

Strength of schedule: .527, 4th


For just the sixth time in the team’s 18-year history, the Texans will open the season on the road. They will do so on Monday Night Football, which will be just the third time in franchise history that they start their season in prime time. Starting in Week 3, the Texans will play four of five games -- including a trip to London -- on the road. That stretch will include trips to Kansas City, Indianapolis, London and Baltimore and one home game (Week 8) against the Raiders. The Texans will be rewarded for that stretch with three straight home games in Weeks 12-14. This will be the third consecutive season when Houston has played three straight games at NRG.

Division games matter

Texans coach Bill O’Brien likes to talk about the importance of winning in the division for his team to be AFC South champs at the end of the season. In 2018, Houston went 4-2 in the division. The Texans’ games in the AFC South are fairly spread out in 2019, as they do not play any games in the division in back-to-back weeks. There could be two meaningful matchups late in the season if the Texans and Titans are still fighting for the AFC South: Week 15 in Tennessee and then the season finale in Houston.

Another early test

After traveling to New England to play the Patriots in the season opener a year ago, the Texans will start their 2019 season in New Orleans. The Saints are coming off an excellent 13-3 season and will be a tough opener for the Texans.