2015 Houston Texans game-by-game predictions

Last year I undershot, predicting 8-8 while the Houston Texans went 9-7 despite dramatic quarterback turmoil. I expect the Texans to be better this year with Brian Hoyer at the helm and with a defense that will be better overall than it was last season, but that won't change their record.

Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 13, Kansas City, 1 p.m.

This will mark Jadeveon Clowney's triumphant return which, at the very least, will give the Chiefs something to think about. The Texans won their opener last season and will again. Texans 16, Chiefs 3. Record: 1-0.

Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 20, at Carolina, 1 p.m.

I picked the Texans to lose this one early, and will again. The Panthers have some issues, but will be better than they were last season, and will give the Texans an early wake-up call. Panthers 24, Texans 20. Record: 1-1.

Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 27, Tampa Bay, 1 p.m.

A rookie quarterback will be no match for the Texans' defense. They'll get back on track here in emphatic fashion. We'll predict J.J. Watt's first touchdown in this game. Why not? Texans 17, Buccaneers 3. Record: 2-1.

Week 4: Sunday, Oct. 4, at Atlanta, 1 p.m.

The Texans could get back Arian Foster for this game, which would be a major development and be of major assistance to an offense that will already be clicking better than it did in in September. But that might be a tough ask. Under new head coach Dan Quinn, the Falcons squeak by here. Falcons 17, Texans 10. Record 2-2.

Week 5: Thursday, Oct. 8, Indianapolis, 8:25 p.m.

Does anyone truly believe Andre Johnson's constant insistence that he isn't interested in revenge? I'll say I don't. The short week will be tough on the Texans. Colts 28, Texans 17. Record: 2-3.

Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 18, at Jacksonville, 1 p.m.

Jacksonville's defense is good and getting better, but the Texans will win this divisional game in an ugly defensive struggle. Plus, J.J. Watt gets a safety. Texans 9, Jaguars 8. Record: 3-3.

Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 25, at Miami, 1 p.m.

Miami's big spending in free agency has helped its defense. And while the Dolphins have still have some issues on offense, they have an enviable quarterback situation. Dolphins 17, Texans 13. Record: 3-4

Week 8: Sunday, Nov. 1, Tennessee, 1 p.m.

Marcus Mariota's first try against the Texans' defense will not go well. Texans 26, Titans 3. Record: 4-4.

Week 9: Bye

Week 10: Monday, Nov. 16, at Cincinnati, 8:30 p.m.

The Texans do not have a history of prime time success, but they do have a history of success against the Bengals. Coming off their bye week, well rested, they'll handle this one. If he wasn't already weeks ago, Foster will definitely be back by now and Clowney will be hitting a bit of a rhythm. Texans 21, Bengals 13. Record: 5-4.

Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 22, New York Jets, 1 p.m.

The return of Mike Maccagnan and Ryan Fitzpatrick in what will be another revenge game everyone will pretend isn't one. Fitzpatrick reportedly said he learned more under Bill O'Brien and George Godsey than he did at any other point in his career. Texans 17, Jets 10. Record: 6-4.

Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 29, New Orleans, 1 p.m.

A visit from this preseason opponent will surprise the Texans in a bad way. I initially predicted the Texans lose a winnable game here, and I continue that prediction. Saints 21, Texans 20. Record 6-5.

Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 6, at Buffalo, 1 p.m.

The Bills defense is outstanding, but their offensive problems will do them in against the Texans. It'll take a defensive touchdown, but Houston will come out ahead Texans 13, Bills 6. Record: 7-5.

Week 14: Sunday Dec. 13, New England, 1 p.m.

Patriots South will take on the regular Patriots and the original will show it's not ready to pass the torch yet. Bolstered by facing his mentor, Brian Hoyer will have a career game and the Texans will lose a high-scoring affair. Patriots 35, Texans 27. Record 7-6.

Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 20, at Indianapolis, 1 p.m.

This is not the year. The Colts will complete another sweep of the Texans, though it won't be easy, and will continue their undefeated record over the Texans in Indianapolis. Colts 17, Texans 10. Record: 7-7.

Week 16: Sunday, Dec. 27, at Tennessee, 1 p.m.

The schedule ends gently for the Texans, who face two divisional opponents. They're better now than they were at the start of the season, though they've lost two in a row to very talented opponents. Texans 24, Titans 13. Record: 8-7.

Week 17: Sunday, Jan. 3, Jacksonville, 1 p.m.

A record just over .500 wasn't enough to get the Texans into the playoffs last season, but it could be this season. Texans 30, Jaguars 24. Record: 9-7