Tougher matchups, including an NFL first, highlight Houston Texans’ 2024 schedule

Fresh off of a division title and playoff win in 2023, the youthful Texans are expected to take another step forward

HOUSTON, TX - NOVEMBER 05: C.J. Stroud #7 of the Houston Texans celebrates after a score against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half at NRG Stadium on November 5, 2023 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images) (Cooper Neill, 2023 Cooper Neill)

SAN ANTONIO – It was not long ago — a little more than a year — when the Houston Texans were one of the National Football League’s favorite punching bags.

They seemingly cycled through players quicker than the average NFL career length (3.3 years) and did the same with front office personnel. Even head coaches were getting a tap on the shoulder sooner than anyone could have imagined.

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Perhaps the most quintessential Houston Texans moment came in the 2022 finale against the Indianapolis Colts. The Texans, firmly in the driver’s seat for the No. 1 pick with one more loss to their division rivals, refused to lose. They cobbled together a fourth-quarter, come-from-behind victory that stunned NFL Draft prognosticators and gave head coach Lovie Smith the last laugh on his way out the door.

Since then, Houston has undergone an extreme makeover. The Texans pulled off a risky trade to select two franchise cornerstones in the 2023 NFL Draft. Houston improved to the point where it won yet another road season finale nine months later at Indianapolis. This time, it cinched the Texans an AFC South division title.

One year after playing its first 16 games of 2023 at the break of noon each Sunday, Houston appears due for its arrival as a franchise with four primetime games in 2024.

The NFL announced its regular season schedules for all 32 teams on Wednesday night. Let’s take a non-scientific look at all 17 games for the Texans.

Week 1 — Sunday, Sept. 8 at Indianapolis, noon, CBS

Clearly, the NFL is out of ideas. All it can do is schedule the Texans and Colts in Indianapolis to start or end a season.

While Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud is on his way to superstardom, this will be a test to see where Indianapolis quarterback Anthony Richardson stands after missing much of his rookie season due to injury.

Week 2 — Sunday, Sept. 15 vs. Chicago, 7:20 p.m., NBC

The Texans will go under the bright lights of NBC’s Sunday Night Football for the first time since the 2019 season when they beat the Tom Brady and Bill Belichick-led New England Patriots. To give you an idea of how long ago that was, Belichick has since left the Patriots and Brady weirdly volunteered himself to get roasted by professional comedians.

2024 No. 1 overall pick Caleb Williams will also attempt something no Chicago Bears quarterback has ever done: lead the Bears to victory.

Week 3 — Sunday, Sept. 22 at Minnesota, noon, CBS

Houston made several waves in free agency this offseason, including the signing of pass rusher Danielle Hunter. Hunter, who attended Morton Ranch High School in nearby Katy, spent his entire nine-year NFL career with Minnesota. Maybe he’ll have this game circled on his personal calendar. Who knows?

Week 4 — Sunday, Sept. 29 vs. Jacksonville, noon, CBS

Sometimes, life isn’t fair in the NFL. Few teams understand this feeling more than the Jacksonville Jaguars do.

After the Jaguars complete the month of September, they will have played three of their first four games this season on the road at Miami, at Buffalo and at Houston — all playoff teams in 2023.

Making matters worse, just two of Jacksonville’s first seven games will be in Jacksonville.

Week 5 — Sunday, Oct. 6 vs. Buffalo, noon, CBS

New Texans wide receiver Stefon Diggs is likely looking forward to having a big game against Buffalo, one of his two former teams.

Hopefully, he won’t get lost on the way to NRG Stadium.

Week 6 — Sunday, Oct. 13 at New England, noon, CBS

Houston will get its first look at a New England team without Bill Belichick for the first time this century. Replacing Belichick is Jerod Mayo, a former Patriots linebacker who became an assistant coach under Belichick before his promotion to the top job.

Week 7 — Sunday, Oct. 20 at Green Bay, noon, CBS

It appears the Packers have had another master stroke of luck with their latest starting quarterback.

Jordan Love engineered a three-game winning streak to end the 2023 regular season and net Green Bay an NFC Wild Card playoff berth. Love and the Pack shocked the Cowboys with a win in the Wild Card round and lost to the San Francisco 49ers, the eventual NFC Champion, by three points in round two.

Week 8 — Sunday, Oct. 27 vs. Indianapolis, noon, CBS

The Texans’ Oct. 27 home game against the Colts will be a first in team history. Houston will celebrate former wide receiver Andre Johnson, who will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame later this summer.

Johnson is the first Texans draft pick to get the call from the hall.

Week 9 — Thursday, Oct. 31 at New York Jets, 7:15 p.m., Amazon Prime Video

Last season, the Texans’ offense never fully got off the ground against the Jets, resulting in a 30-6 stinker that also had Stroud leave the game late with a concussion.

Nothing would be scarier than another flat-footed effort versus New York. On Halloween night, of all nights.

Week 10 — Sunday, Nov. 10 vs. Detroit, 7:20 p.m., NBC

Houston and Detroit facing off on Sunday Night Football is yet another sign of the times. Both franchises have long been known for losing, not winning. Somehow, the Lions are on a bigger upward swing than the Texans.

The Lions are coming off a season that had them a half away from a rematch with the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl after blowing a 24-7 halftime lead to the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game.

Additionally, quarterback Jared Goff became an even richer man.

Week 11 — Monday, Nov. 18 at Dallas, 7:15 p.m., ESPN

If Texans-Cowboys is anything like last year’s seven-game American League Championship Series between the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers, then we could be in for some fireworks.

Some around the state might feel conflicted about choosing a side in this Lone Star rivalry. Let diehard football fan Hank Hill serve as a guide for your emotions.

Week 12 — Sunday, Nov. 24 vs. Tennessee Titans, noon, CBS

The Texans, Titans and the NFL came to a “compromise” last month regarding Houston’s desire to use Columbia Blue, a longtime part of Tennessee’s color scheme dating back to the franchise’s time as the Houston Oilers.

Of course, Houstonians of a certain age don’t need another reason to boo the Titans.

Week 13 — Sunday, Dec. 1 at Jacksonville, noon, Fox

The Jaguars, Europe’s favorite NFL team, appeared to be in control of the AFC South just a few short years ago. Jacksonville is just 17-16 over its last two regular seasons as quarterback Trevor Lawrence enters the fourth year of his five-year rookie contract.

Week 15 — Sunday, Dec. 15 vs. Miami, noon, CBS

The Dolphins and Texans will be billed as a game with two dynamic quarterbacks in Stroud and Miami’s Tua Tagovailoa, who have plenty of offensive weapons at their disposal.

Some of the names in this game include a treasure trove of household names, consistent performers and emerging stars: Tyreek Hill, Stefon Diggs, Odell Beckham Jr., Joe Mixon, Raheem Mostert, Tank Dell, De’Von Achane.

Both defenses will need to stay hydrated in this one.

Week 16 — Saturday, Dec. 21 at Kansas City, noon, NBC

This will be Houston’s biggest test of the season. It will face the defending Super Bowl champions in one of the loudest stadiums in the NFL in what could be winter-like conditions by late December.

The Texans, located in a warmer city in an even warmer climate-controlled domed stadium, will need all the chilly weather practice they can get.

Week 17 — Wednesday, Dec. 25 vs. Baltimore, 3:30 p.m., Netflix

Houston will be part of a landmark day in NFL history. The league announced streaming service Netflix will carry live NFL games on Christmas Day for the first time ever, which this year includes Texans-Ravens and Chiefs-Steelers.

It doesn’t get much better than Stroud going toe-to-toe with two-time NFL MVP Lamar Jackson.

Week 18 — Date, time and TV designation at Tennesee Titans are TBD

The Titans are going through an obvious rebuild after they parted ways with former head coach Mike Vrabel, quarterback Ryan Tannehill and running back Derrick Henry.

There is one likely scenario where the Texans could lose this game: They’ve locked up the division and a high playoff seed.

About the Author

Nate Kotisso joined KSAT as a digital journalist in 2024. He previously worked as a newspaper reporter in the Rio Grande Valley for more than two years and spent nearly three years as a digital producer at the CBS station in Oklahoma City.

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