1. @ Pittsburgh: I've been calling this one a win since the schedule came out, and I'm growing increasingly sure that it's a fairly ludicrous position to take. While I'm not nearly as bullish on this as I once was, I'm sticking to my guns. Texans win.
2. Baltimore: Home opener against a stout defense. I still, however, do not believe in their offense, though that opinion could change if a certain drama queen ends up in Maryland. Still, I'm calling another "W." 2-0.
3. @ Tennessee: Last year, I felt sure the Titans were headed for six (6) wins. They proved me wrong. This year, they will belatedly prove me right. I swear it. And the Texans shall take care of business on this fateful September afternoon in Nashville. 3-0. I'm getting dizzy.
4. @ Jacksonville: The Jags were underrated last year; this season, could they be overrated? Maybe, but they're going to end our dreams of 19-0 before October begins. Your Houston Texans shall be 3-1.
5. Indianapolis: Knee issue or no knee issue, he's still Peyton Manning. Crap. The hometown team drops to 3-2.
6. Miami: The Texans should win this game going away, but remember how the Fins almost stole one here in 2007? And this Miami team should be far better than last year's edition. Trap game? Methinks so. Your Texans are on a three-game skid and stand at 3-3.
7. Detroit: The losing streak ends, and the Texans get back above .500 in a game that makes everyone breathe a bit easier around Reliant Park.
8. BYE, and it couldn't come at a better time.
9. @ Minnesota: Unfortunately, the Vikes are coming off a bye this week as well. On the plus side, I figure there's a decent chance that Tarvaris Jackson has Minnesota fans wishing they'd offered a second-rounder for Sage and/or Adrian Peterson crumbling under the strain of forty (40) carries per game. Call me a putz, but I see a hard-fought win here. 5-3, baby.
10. Cincinnatti: Should be a win, right? I agree, but it's going to be closer than people think as Carson Palmer strafes the Houston secondary and Chad Johnson begins wondering aloud what Andre Johnson did to merit all the positive attention and love amongst his peers. Here's a hint, Chad--'Dre's not a narcissistic tumor. Look into it. Texans in a nail-biter to go six (6) up and three (3) down.
11. @ Indianapolis: I am going to start taking applications for membership in the Houston chapter of the Jim Sorgi Fan Club. Together, perhaps we can run Peyton Manning and his incessant winning habit out of the NFL. Texans fall to 6-4.
12. @ Cleveland: The Browns (and Derek Anderson) aren't sneaking up on anyone this year, but they've still got an awful lot of talent. Love to pick the Texans to win this one on the road, but I can't. 6-5.
13. Jacksonville: First MNF game in franchise history, and I think it's going to be a lot like the first Sunday Night game in franchise history. In a word: EPIC. Big-time win to up the record to 7-5, and the dream stays alive.
14. @ Green Bay: The Texans have no business winning this game. Short week, on the road, likely inclement weather...no way. I also think, however, that 'Sconsin is going to be the site of the most insufferable and season-affecting soap opera this side of a certain prima donna's reign of terror in Philly a few years back. Tough call, so I'll give the home team the benefit of the doubt and predict a Texans' loss. 7-6.
15. Tennessee: Ambush. Postseason hopes take a HUGE hit, if they don't evaporate completely. I curse Bud Adams, swear eternal hatred of every town that ends in "-ville," and pass out in a pool of my own sick.
16. @ Oakland: Unless JaMarcus Russell figures out a way to eat Super Mario, boa constrictor style, I like the Texans in this one. Houston's 8-7, and they're praying for meltdowns from a handful of AFC teams.
17. @ Chicago: This is going to be a tough year to be a Bears fan, I think. But at least they won't have to worry about playoff hopes being dashed in the final week of the season, unlike fans of a certain team that will be called "expansion" no more. A win to close the season for the good guys, and a 9-7 record. Playoff berth? Not this year, I'm afraid.