By FRED FAOUR
One of the most pointless exercises that occurs when the NFL schedule comes out is to go game by game and predict a record. Considering the draft has not even happened and injuries will impact everything, it makes no sense to do it right now.
But we will do it anyway. Why? Well why does the sun come up in the morning? Why is Mike Florio such a troll? Why do dogs circle before they poop? No one knows the real answers to these pressing questions. They just happen. It’s like getting married. You know it’s a bad idea, but everybody expects you to do it…So we will.
First off, here is a look at the schedule:
|Sunday||Sept. 10||JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS||Noon|
|Thursday||Sept. 14||at Cincinnati Bengals||7:25 p.m.|
|Sunday||Sept. 24||at New England Patriots||Noon|
|Sunday||Oct. 1||TENNESSEE TITANS||Noon|
|Sunday||Oct. 8||KANSAS CITY CHIEFS||7:30 p.m.|
|Sunday||Oct. 15||CLEVELAND BROWNS||Noon|
|Sunday||Oct. 29||at Seattle Seahawks||3:05 p.m.|
|Sunday||Nov. 5||INDIANAPOLIS COLTS||Noon|
|Sunday||Nov. 12||at Los Angeles Rams||3:05 p.m.|
|Sunday||Nov. 19||ARIZONA CARDINALS||Noon|
|Monday||Nov. 27||at Baltimore Ravens||7:30 p.m.|
|Sunday||Dec. 3||at Tennessee Titans||Noon|
|Sunday||Dec. 10||SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS||Noon|
|Sunday||Dec. 17||at Jacksonville Jaguars||Noon|
|Monday||Dec. 25||PITTSBURGH STEELERS||3:30 p.m.|
|Sunday||Dec. 31||at Indianapolis Colts|
And now here is how the Texans season plays out…
Week 1, JACKSONVILLE
Bill O’Brien is 6-0 against Jacksonville. The Jags are improving, but as long as turnover machine Blake Bortles is at QB, the Texans are still superior. All Tom Savage has to do to outplay his predecessor — the Ostrich — is throw for 100 yards and not turn the ball over. Easy, right?
The Texans pretty much have their way with the Bengals every year. Andy Dalton tends to play his worst against his hometown team. It’s like somebody slips him the date rape drug the night before every time. Savage is ineffective for a half before pulling his pinkie and being lost for the season. Brandon Weeden is effective in a close win for the Texans.
Week 3, at NEW ENGLAND
Hopes are high after the 2-0 start. This is the year the Texans finally get over the hump in Foxboro. Forget that combined 88-22 score that the Pats have hung on the Texans in the Bill O’Brien era. O’Brien fancies himself as a Bill Belichick type. You know, minus the knowledge, talent, intelligence and Tom Brady.
Will Fuller drops a sure TD pass late that keeps the score from being 42-21 (Patriots, of course). The Patriots could bring Jamarcus Russell out of retirement to play QB and still win big.
Week 4, TENNESSEE
After a week of teeth gnashing in the wake of another ass-kicking in New England, the Texans bounce back and knock off the improved Titans. Weeden is hurt late in the game and the reigns are handed over to (Fill in the blank — Deshaun Watson/Deshone Kizer/Mitch Trubiskey/Pat Mahomes/Brady Kaaya).
Week 5, KANSAS CITY
The Chiefs are better than the Texans. Andy Reid is a better coach the O’Brien. But J.J. Watt finally starts looking like the old J.J. and the defense scrapes out a surprising win. Killen’s runs out of meat and is forced to close for a week after Reid stops in.
Week 6, CLEVELAND
What is the best thing you can see on your schedule when it is released? A home game against Cleveland. Lose this and O’Brien will be flipping burgers at McDonald’s and asking if you want fries with that.
Week 7, BYE
The Texans enjoy their off week with a 5-1 mark and high hopes. The to-be-named rookie QB is looking good. The Texans are favored (minus-3) vs. the bye for the first time in the O’Brien era.
Week 8, at SEATTLE
Once again, the confidence from that 5-1 start leads to thoughts of a big road win. It doesn’t happen. That “creak, creak, creak” sound you hear is Russell Wilson bending the Texans over the side of the bed and having his way with them.
Week 9, INDIANAPOLIS
By now, Andrew Luck has been sacked 57 times and is beaten up and ineffective. The rest of the Colts can’t get it done because…well, only five or six of them belong in the NFL to begin with. Still the Colts find a way to win nine or ten games. Just not this one.
Week 10, at LOS ANGELES
Wade Phillips in his first year with a new defense is one of the safest bets in sports. Of course, that will be mitigated by Jared Goff playing QB on offense, but Goff is still likely to be better than anything the Texans trot out at the position. Which is really sad. Son of Bum shuts down the Texans then brags about it on Twitter afterward.
Week 11, ARIZONA
The bloom kind of came off the Cards last year, and they might be closer to that ineffective squad than the one that made the NFC Championship game two years ago. The Texans sack Carson Palmer 26 times and knock him into retirement.
Week 12, at BALTIMORE
All systems are go, right? The Texans are riding high again. But they have never won in Baltimore. The Ravens punch them harder than Ray Rice swinging in an elevator.
Week 13, at TENNESSEE
Still not sold on the Titans coaching staff or front office. But hard not to be sold on their quarterback, especially if he is still healthy at this stage of the season. Things start to unravel for Houston here. Marcus Mariota wins it late with a TD pass to himself once he realizes he has no other quality receivers.
Week 14, SAN FRANCISCO
The Brian Hoyer revenge tour makes a stop in NRG stadium. Revenge is a dish best served cold. Hoyer is a dish best served never at all. Texans rebound.
Week 15, at JACKSONVILLE
By now, the Jags will be playing better football and winning a few games. They might even be better than Houston at this stage. But Bortles gonna Bortle…
Week 16, PITTSBURGH
The Texans decide to open the roof in hopes of baking the Steelers in their black jerseys in Houston’s 100-degree winter heat. Instead, they just piss off all the Steelers fans in the stadium wearing black. Big Ben treats the Texans like a girl in a bar bathroom.
Week 17, at INDIANAPOLIS
By now, Andrew Luck is in a wheelchair. He still throws for 400 yards and insures the Texans fulfill O’Brien’s 9-7 destiny.
There you have it. Another 9-7 because….well, they have done that all three years in the O’Brien era. They win a three-way tiebreaker with the Colts and Titans, host the Broncos in the first round, win, head to Foxboro where the season comes to an end. Again.
Some other random thoughts:
Best road trip: Seattle. Yeah, it will be raining constantly and the Texans will get slaughtered, but legal weed.
Best game to buy tickets to see a Texans win: Cleveland, of course.
Best game to avoid if you hate opposing fans taking over your stadium: The Steelers. It will not be pretty.
Best game to pass out drunk and miss watching: New England.