Last night, the 2020 NFL schedule was revealed. Each week nicely laid out. Prime-time games announced. Everyone is now aware which week each team will play.
We’ve known the Texans’ opponents for the 2020 NFL season for awhile now. They were always going to play the other AFC teams that finished first in their divisions in 2019, the rest of the AFC North, the NFC North, and each of the other AFC South teams twice. We just didn’t know when. Now we know everything.
For this week’s groupthink, I asked the masthead a very simple question: Now that the Texans’ 2020 schedule is out, which game are you most excited for?
The final game of the season, because it’s the one closest to Bill O’Brien getting fired.
Beyond that, I was very disappointed to see the NFL is robbing the rest of the country of Deshaun Watson in prime time on Sunday or Monday night. That’s just a damn shame. Aside from that Week 17 game, I’m also greatly looking forward to the opening night road trip to Kansas City. Pre-Deshaun, I would just treat this as watching a snuff film with one eye closed, most of my body hidden behind the couch - but through DW4 all things are possible. Mahomes versus Watson, playoff rematch, prime time, the ENERGY of a new season - sign me up.
I also am greatly looking forward to the Thanksgiving game in Detroit. I’m a sucker for Thanksgiving. I enjoy tinkering in the kitchen while watching football. This will ensure I’m up and food is prepped early enough to focus on the game itself before a blissful near-death eating experience later.
Mine is also Week 17 against the BE-SFs. I can totally see this being a fight for the 7th (hurls) seed, and the game itself will be the precise reason why there shouldn’t be a 7th seed.
But who cares? There ain’t gonna be no football this year.
If I have to narrow it down to one game, it’ll be the season opener. The Chiefs will come out of the gates looking to set the tone for a repeat Super Bowl bid. Not to mention we now have to look forward to Clyde Edwards-Helaire being added to an already potent offense.
It’s one of the toughest tests in what could possibly be the toughest stretch of games this franchise has ever seen. If David were to take down Goliath, Godzilla, Mothra, and Rodan to start the season, maybe we can start to heal again. I’m about 40% fear and 60% excitement with this team right now.
I’m excited about the Patriots game. Bill Belichick has outsmarted the NFL and has been planning on tanking this season for Trevor Lawrence ever since Lawrence was born. While the team still has talent on the defensive side of the ball, the offense, led by Jared Stidham, will be atrocious. Belichick has no intention of winning that game. He has no intention of winning any game. He’ll take the season off, draft the next QB GOAT, and be back on top in a year. In the meantime, BOB will earn another notch on his belt and beat his master yet again. He’ll think he’s on top of the world.
Because I said this, I fully expect to get embarrassed that game. Belichick will turn Stidham into the next Steve Young and order will be restored as he beats up on his disciple yet again. The End.
If my name was Patrick Mahomes, I’d be looking forward to Week One like an 8-year old on Christmas Eve. After his Chiefs demolished the Texans in the NFL Playoffs, and Houston’s utter failure to do anything to improve their pass defense - unless you count cutting starting safety Tashaun Gipson an improvement, which it isn’t - Mahomes might just set some Opening Day and Thursday Night Football records for passing yards, passing touchdowns, and more. Add to that Bill O’Brien’s inability to have the team ready to roll at kickoff in a season opener during any point in his coaching tenure, his penchant for getting destroyed in night/nationally televised games. and his proven ability to get pantsed by Andy Reed when it matters, this one will be ugly with a capital “ugh!”.
In fact, the first game that actually seems like the Texans should get a win is Week Three against T.J. Watt, Derek Watt and the Pittsburgh Steelers. With the “War of the Watts” hype (you heard it here first), J.J. should rise to the occasion and school his little brothers in what a Hall of Famer looks like while Deshaun Watson and the newly forged Houston offense finally hit a rhythm somewhere in the third quarter for the first time in 2020. Watt singlehandedly stifles the Steelers’ offensive and Watson ignites the Texans to put up 28 second half points. Texans win 31-17.
The first month of the season is hell. But there are layers to this inferno. Opening night against Kansas City when Houston trots out the same passing defense that had 51 points put on them. Baltimore at home to re-stage last season’s out-talent, outscheme, outplayed affair. At Pittsburgh, before Ben Roethlisberger lands on Injured Reserve. And then Minnesota at home, where Kirk Cousins will try to throw exactly 12 passes and win in an offense designed by Gary Kubiak.
Then Houston gets a nice tune-up against against Jacksonville in Week Five. Then on October 18th the Texans make the trip to Nashville. At this point, Houston may be 2-3, 1-4, or 3-2. Who knows? But they’ll probably have their backs against the wall, trying to dig themselves out of a hole.
I still have my doubts on this whole vertical Bill O’Brien passing offense thing even though it’s the correct path for this offense and has been for the last two seasons. Brandin Cooks. Will Fuller. Kenny Stills, Randall Cobb. Speed, speed, speed. I get it. But Tim Kelly is Bill O’Brien. He’s spent his entire career working for him. I doubt Kelly is going to be the architect to some major offensive revolution. He’s a tentacle budding off of Bill O’Brien’s right nipple.
I do think if Houston is in a hole, the vertical passing offense will come out, and the team would start doing the things they should have been doing every week for the last two seasons. In Tennessee. To save the season. Against Ryan Tannehill’s regression, Derrick Henry’s cutbacks, their brutal outside zone blocking offensive line, Anthony Weaver versus play-action god Arthur Smith, and what may end up becoming a Jadeveon Clowney revenge game is everything I could possibly want in a football game. I’ll have to find a new Logan’s Roadhouse to get kicked out of to watch this one.
What about you? Which Texans game in 2020 are you most looking forward to?