Houston Texans schedule 2024: Takeaways, predictions

Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud looks to improve in Year 2 after leading Houston to the second round of the playoffs as a rookie. Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports

HOUSTON -- The Houston Texans' 2024 schedule was released along with the rest of the NFL slate Wednesday.

The Texans' 2024 season begins where they clinched the 2023 AFC South title, as they travel to face the Indianapolis Colts. Year 2 for coach DeMeco Ryans and quarterback C.J. Stroud comes with high expectations after their notable offseason.

National attention will be on the Texans, highlighted by their Christmas matchup versus the Baltimore Ravens, led by two-time MVP quarterback Lamar Jackson. And the Saturday before, they'll travel to Kansas City to face the defending champion Chiefs and three-time Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes.

Here's what's in store for the Texans:

Texans 2024 regular-season schedule

Week 1: Sept. 8 at Indianapolis

Week 2: Sept. 15 vs. Chicago (SNF)

Week 3: Sept. 22 at Minnesota

Week 4: Sept. 29 vs. Jacksonville

Week 5: Oct. 6 vs. Buffalo

Week 6: Oct. 13 at New England

Week 7: Oct. 20 at Green Bay

Week 8: Oct. 27 vs. Indianapolis

Week 9: Oct. 31 at N.Y. Jets (TNF)

Week 10: Nov. 10 vs. Detroit (SNF)

Week 11: Nov. 18 at Dallas (MNF)

Week 12: Nov. 24 vs. Tennessee

Week 13: Dec. 1 at Jacksonville

Week 14: BYE

Week 15: Dec. 15 vs. Miami

Week 16: Dec. 21 at Kansas City (Saturday)

Week 17: Dec. 25 vs. Baltimore (Netflix)

Week 18: Jan. 4 or 5 at Tennessee*

*Date for Week 18 is to be determined

Strength of schedule: The Texans are tied for the fourth-hardest schedule in the league (opponents had a .526 winning percentage in 2023).
Over/Under: 9.5

Biggest takeaway

The Texans have gone prime time. From 2021 to 2023, they had only three standalone games, but they have six this season. After reaching the divisional round in Stroud's rookie season, the Texans retooled their roster in the offseason in hopes of taking the next step. They added Pro Bowlers in wide receiver Stefon Diggs, running back Joe Mixon, and defensive end Danielle Hunter to compete in the tough AFC. The Texans have high expectations and the NFL believes the national audience wants to see how they handle it.

Revenge game

Week 17 against the Ravens has a bunch of story angles. The game is being streamed on Netflix, the first time the NFL has had a live game on that service. It's a Christmas game being played on Wednesday, a rarity. But this is a revenge game to see if the Texans can truly compete in the AFC. The Texans' 2023 season began and ended with a loss to the Ravens, with Houston being outscored 59-19. Also, Jackson is 4-0 against the Texans in his career, with the Ravens outscoring them 133-42 in those contests. Overall, the Texans have been dominated by the Ravens, as they're 2-12 against Baltimore.

Bold prediction

The Texans don't win the AFC South. Houston has improved and should reach 10 wins, but their first-place schedule will be challenging. They're facing seven teams that made the playoffs last season, three that reached the conference championship round, and the defending Super Bowl champs. The rest of the AFC South had an aggressive offseason and should be better. So that first-place schedule could cost the Texans some games that will prevent them from repeating.