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Houston Texans' schedule 2020: Superstar September QB matchups

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The Texans' biggest can't-miss game on the 2020 schedule (0:46)

Sarah Barshop says the Texans won't have to wait long for their most intriguing matchup with a Week 1 date against the Chiefs. (0:46)

The Houston Texans' schedule for 2020 was released Thursday.

The regular season kicks off with the Kansas City Chiefs hosting the Texans on Thursday, Sept. 10 (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC). The opening doubleheader for Monday Night Football on Sept. 14 will feature the Pittsburgh Steelers at the New York Giants (7:10 p.m. ET, ESPN) and the Tennessee Titans at the Denver Broncos (10:20 p.m. ET).

Check out the full week-by-week schedule here. Here’s what is in store for the Texans:

Game-by-game prediction

Texans reporter Sarah Barshop is predicting a 9-7 finish:

Sept. 10: at Kansas City Chiefs, Loss

Sept. 20: vs. Baltimore Ravens, Loss

Sept. 27: at Pittsburgh Steelers, Win

Oct. 4: vs. Minnesota Vikings, Loss

Oct. 11: vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, Win

Oct. 18: at Tennessee Titans, Loss

Oct. 25: vs. Green Bay Packers, Loss

Nov. 1: Bye

Nov. 8: at Jacksonville Jaguars, Win

Nov. 15: at Cleveland Browns, Win

Nov. 22: vs. New England Patriots, Win

Nov. 26: at Detroit Lions, Win

Dec. 6: vs. Indianapolis Colts, Win

Dec. 13: at Chicago Bears, Loss

Dec. 19 or 20: at Indianapolis Colts, Loss

Dec. 27: vs. Cincinnati Bengals, Win

Jan. 3: vs. Tennessee Titans, Win

Strength of schedule: .518 (eighth hardest)

Breakdown

For the second year in a row, the Texans will open in a prime-time game, this time against the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. Houston is 2-1 in season-opening prime-time games. The Texans will play seven games against teams that made the playoffs in 2019: Baltimore, Green Bay, Kansas City, New England, Minnesota and Tennessee (twice). Houston will play the Lions on Thanksgiving for the second time in franchise history and the first time since beating Detroit in overtime in 2012. Although Houston opens with a big national TV game against the Chiefs, that is its only scheduled night game of the season. Houston won’t play on Monday Night Football for the first time since 2011.

Superstar QB matchups

Quarterback Deshaun Watson will go head-to-head with two of the premier players at his position in 2020 early in the season, with games against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs (Week 1) and Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens (Week 2). The Texans went 1-1 against the same two teams during the 2019 regular season and lost to the Chiefs in the divisional round of the playoffs, blowing a 24-0 lead. The Texans have the hardest strength of schedule in the first four weeks this season based on their opponents' 2019 records. Houston's first four opponents (Chiefs, Ravens, Steelers, Vikings) went a combined 44-20 last season.

Family reunion

While J.J. Watt got to play against brother Derek in 2019, the three Watt brothers will get an even bigger reunion next season. In March, fullback Derek Watt signed a three-year contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers, joining T.J. Watt, who is coming off a breakout season on the Steelers’ defensive line. All three are scheduled to play in the same game in Week 3. J.J.’s Texans beat Derek’s Chargers in 2019, and the Steelers and Chargers have split the two matchups since T.J. was drafted.