Houston Texans game predictions

September, 2, 2014

ESPN.com Houston Texans reporter Tania Ganguli makes her game-by-game picks for the 2014 season.

Week 1: Washington Redskins

Washington safety Brandon Meriweather will be suspended for this game, aiding the Texans' offense, which will still be figuring itself out at this point. Defensively, I like Houston's chances against Washington's offense, led by a quarterback still learning to play in the pocket. Prediction: Win

Week 2: at Oakland Raiders

The Texans will face ghosts of quarterbacks past this week, playing a team that has former Texans quarterback Matt Schaub and the younger brother of former Texans quarterback David Carr. The younger Carr, Derek, was declared the Raiders' starter in the preseason. He's still learning, though, and the Texans will prevail here to repeat last season's 2-0 start. Prediction: Win

Week 3: at New York Giants

After a 2-0 start that leads to positive vibes throughout NRG Park, the Texans stumble during their next road trip. This year, though, a more mentally tough team won't crumble after its first loss. Prediction: Loss

Week 4: Buffalo Bills

Texans coach Bill O'Brien's best friend, Bills head coach Doug Marrone, comes to town. So does DeAndre Hopkins' former teammate, Sammy Watkins. As dynamic as Watkins is, the Bills' quarterback situation will make things difficult on him. And the Texans' pass rush will make things difficult on his quarterback. Prediction: Win

Week 5: at Dallas Cowboys

These games are a rare intrastate treat. The Cowboys' defensive line struggled in the preseason, which will make things easier on the Texans' offense. Running back Arian Foster will have a nice day, provided he's still healthy. Prediction: Win

Week 6: Indianapolis Colts

A 4-1 start has visions of a worst-to-first transition dancing through Texans fans' collective heads. Now, though, the team hits a tough stretch. This game is a Thursday night game. The Indianapolis Colts are still the best team in the division and will show it in Houston. Prediction: Loss

Week 7: at Pittsburgh Steelers

Any discipline for running backs Le'Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount, stemming from the pair's marijuana arrest, will be long gone by now. This one will be within the Texans' grasp, but they won't get there. Prediction: Loss

Week 8: at Tennessee Titans

I do think Houston will field a better team than Tennessee, but this third road trip in four weeks will be tough on the Texans. They'll drop to 0-2 in the division and an even record here. Prediction: Loss

Week 9: Philadelphia Eagles

The Texans face the NFC East and this is that division's best team. The Eagles' defense will be terrific against the Texans, and despite their offensive issues, they'll take this one. Prediction: Loss

Week 11: at Cleveland Browns

There will be a subset of Texans fans who will feel conflicted today if Johnny Manziel has won the Browns' starting quarterback job by now. If he has, the Texans' defense will feast on him. Prediction: Win

Week 12: Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals are strong in a lot of places. Their defensive line is fantastic, highlighted by tackle Geno Atkins. Quarterback Andy Dalton is serviceable and helped immensely by the guy he throws to, A.J. Green. This is one of the Texans' toughest opponents this year. Prediction: Loss

Week 13: Tennessee Titans

This time the Texans will show that they are in fact a better team. They'll beat Tennessee to split with them and notch their first divisional win. Now comes the bulk of Houston's divisional schedule. Prediction: Win

Week 14: at Jacksonville Jaguars

Having come together nicely over the past two months, the Texans' offense shows hope for the future late in the season. They'll follow their first divisional win with their second, this one on the road. Prediction: Win

Week 15: at Indianapolis Colts

The divisional winning streak stops here. The Colts win this game and continue their reign. Prediction: Loss

Week 16: Baltimore Ravens

Finally we get to the Gary Kubiak revenge game. Kubiak and his sidekick, former Texans offensive coordinator Rick Dennison, return to Houston to face a team that fired them. While criticized for being predictable and boring in his play calling in Houston, Kubiak's offense is considered diverse in Baltimore. Prediction: Loss

Week 17: Jacksonville Jaguars

O'Brien will call on the Texans' sense of pride here. With a 7-8 record, the Texans aren't likely to be in playoff contention, but they'll want to finish the season well. While the Jaguars have improved all season, the Texans have, too. Prediction: Win

Predicted Record: 8-8

Tania Ganguli

ESPN Houston Texans reporter



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