The Houston Texans will kick off the 2017 season on their home turf at NRG Stadium on Sept. 10 against their AFC South rival, the Jacksonville Jaguars. The following week, they will make their first of four national television appearances on Sept. 14 at Cincinnati, which is a Thursday night game on NFL Network.
Houston’s other national television appearances will take place at home against Kansas City (Oct.8), at Baltimore (Nov. 27) and at home against Pittsburgh (Dec. 25).
The game against the Chiefs (NBC) and Ravens (ESPN) are in prime time while the Steelers’ game will take place on Monday afternoon on Christmas day and will be televised on NBC.
The Texans didn’t fare too well in prime time last year, as they finished with a 2-3 record in night games in 2016. Their two victories came at home against Indianapolis in overtime and Cincinnati. Houston’s lost all their night games on the road last season, falling to New England, Denver, and Oakland.
Jacksonville will be the first of six AFC South games the Texans, who have won back-to-back division titles, will play this season.
Since Bill O’Brien took over as the head coach, Houston has dominated division opponents, holding an impressive 14-4 record in those games. O’Brien is 6-0 against Jacksonville, 5-1 against Tennessee, and 3-3 against Indianapolis.
For the 12th time in their brief 16-year history, the Texans will begin their season at home; and it’s worth noting they have a 7-4 record in season-openers.
Houston will wrap up the regular season on Dec. 31 at Indianapolis, a team the Texans swept for the first time in franchise history last season. This will also be the eighth time Houston has ended the regular season against a divisional opponent.
Although the Texans won the AFC South last season and will have to face all divisional winners from the AFC conference, they will only face four teams – New England, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, and Seattle – that qualified for the playoffs last season.
The NFL’s schedule makers also didn’t force Houston to play three consecutive road games in 2017. However, they will get three home games in a row against Tennessee, Kansas City, and Cleveland before heading into their bye week.
The Texans will play four of six games at NRG Stadium before their bye week, but will only play four of their final 10 games at home.
Their most fearsome opponent on the schedule appears to be the Patriots, the defending Super Bowl champions. In Week 3, Houston will travel to Gillette Stadium on Sept. 24 with the intention of winning for the first time at Foxborough. The Texans currently hold an overall 1-8 record against New England.
Houston’s non-conference division opponent for 2017 is the NFC West. The Texans will travel to Los Angles and Seattle to play the Rams and Seahawks. Houston will host San Francisco and Arizona.
Depending on how next season goes for the Texans, there is a possibility some of their games could be flexed to different times. From Weeks 5 to 10, games can be flexed from afternoon games to night games or vise versa.
Some games will be cross-flexed between CBS and FOX, although CBS primarily televises AFC teams.
From Weeks 11 to 17, only the games on NBC can be flexed. All games played on Thursday, Saturday, or Monday are set in stone.