When the Texans schedule was announced on Thursday, the first thing I looked at was the number of Texans primetime/national television games (there are four - Dallas, Miami, Tennessee and Jets - only one on road). The second thing I looked at was the quarterback roster and when the Texans face said quarterbacks. So, here's the schedule in terms of the quarterbacks the Texans face in 2018.
Now, the first five teams to pick in the 2018 NFL Draft are on the Texans 2018 schedule (Browns, Giants, Jets, Broncos and Colts). A minimum of two of those teams will select a quarterback in the first round and the Bills will eye a quarterback with one of their two first round picks as well. So, this list of quarterbacks is fluid with a rookie or two on the docket once the season arrives. Either way, it starts in New England where No. 12 awaits.
Week 1 - September 9 - Sunday 12 PM
@ New England
Drafted 2000, 6th round
Five Super Bowl Championships
Eight Super Bowl Appearances
2017 NFL MVP
Led Patriots to seven consecutive AFC Championship appearances
25-35 for 378 yards and five touchdowns in last meeting with Texans (9/24/2017) Never lost in Foxboro to the Texans In 16 starts in 2017 - 66.3% completion, 4,577 yards, 32 TD and 8 INTOverall: Nothing like ripping the band aid off early in the season facing the GOAT in his home building to start 2018. Let's go get it on, compete and see what kind of team this can be.
Week 2 - September 16 - Sunday 12 PM
Drafted 2015, 1st round, 2nd overall
In his three year career, he's only started three games against the Texans (1-2 in those games)
20-22 in 42 career starts, 1-1 in playoff games Led the Titans to a Wild Card victory and AFC Divisional Playoff round
15-23 for 150 yards and one TD, one TD rushing in last meeting with the Texans (12/3/2017) In 15 starts in 2017 - 62.0% completion for 3,232 yards, 13 TD and 15 INTOverall: Mariota will be driving a new offense for a new coaching staff with new offensive pieces around him. The Texans defense will need to prepare for a much different looking Titans offense under new offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur.
Week 3 - September 23 - Sunday 12 PM
vs. New York Giants
Drafted 2004, 1st round, 1st overall
Two Super Bowl Championships
Four-time Pro Bowler
Has never lost to the Texans (3-0)
21-28 for 234 yards and two touchdowns in last meeting with Texans (9/21/2014)
111-103 in 214 career starts
In 15 starts in 2017 - 61.6% completion for 3,468 yards, 19 TD and 13 INT
Overall: Manning should be the starter for this team and the last time he faced the Texans (in Week 3 as well), he was outstanding for the first time in that season.
Week 4 - September 30 - Sunday 12 PM
Drafted 2012, 1st round, 1st overall
Three-time Pro Bowler
Missed entire 2017 season
Has only played twice against Texans in last three years
43-27 in 70 career starts (5-3 against the Texans)
24-45 for 276 yards, two TD and two INT in last meeting with the Texans (12/11/2016)Overall: All signs lead to Luck being under center, but if he's not ultimately ready to go, it'll be Jacoby Brissett who is 3-0 as a starter against the Texans.
Week 5 - October 7 - Sunday 7:20 PM
One time Pro Bowler
Drafted 2016, 4th round
Never faced the Texans
22-10 in 32 career starts, lost his only playoff game start In 16 starts in 2017 - 62.9% completion for 3,324 yards, 22 TD and 13 INTOverall: Oh. Boy. Sunday Night Football with two of the hottest young quarterbacks in the NFL going toe-to-toe in our building? Sign me up.
Week 6 - October 14 - Sunday 12 PM
Drafted 2014, 5th round
Signed with Buffalo as a free agent this offseason Never faced the Texans Has three career starts: 2-1 Lost his only playoff start in 2015 (v. Steelers)
Overall: McCarron should be the starter in Week 6, but if the Bills start slow, there's a chance the Texans will face a rookie quarterback. Either way, McCarron or a rookie will face the Texans defense for the first time.
Week 7 - October 21 - Sunday 12 PM
Drafted 2014, 1st round
Led the Jaguars to the AFC Championship in 2017
21-29 for 326 yards and three TD in last meeting with Texans (12/17/2017)
21-40 in 61 career starts, 11-34 in his first three seasons (2-6 against Texans) In 16 starts in 2017 - 60.2% completion for 3,687 yards, 21 TD and 13 INTOverall: Bortles went to work on the Texans defense last year in December in the matchup in Duval County, so it's time for a little payback... hopefully.
Week 8 - October 25 - Thursday 7:20 PM
Drafted 2012, 1st round
Missed all of 2017 with an injury
18-19 for 282 yards and four touchdowns in last meeting with Texans (10/25/2015) Overall record as a starter: 37-40Overall: Presumably, this should be Tannehill under center but there's no guarantee that a rookie won't be in the fold by late October for Adam Gase's Dolphins. Maybe it'll be Brock... nope, not going there.
Week 9 - November 4 - Sunday 3:05 PM
Undrafted 2012 (Texans)
Never faced the Texans - started ten games for the Texans in 2013 2014 Signed with the Broncos this offseason after leading Vikings to NFC Championship game
20-18 in 38 career starts
In 14 starts in 2017 (Minnesota) - 67.6% completion for 3,547 yards, 22 TD and 7 INTOverall: The Texans and Keenum know each other well and the Texans will be coming off of a mini-bye. I wouldn't imagine that Keenum would be supplanted by a rookie at this point in the season, but it bears watching on draft weekend.
Week 10 - November 11 - BYE WEEK
Week 11 - November 18 - Sunday 12 PM
Drafted 2005, 1st round, 1st overall
Traded to the Redskins in the offseason
Three-time Pro Bowler
29-37 for 324 yards and three touchdowns in last meeting with the Texans (10/8/2017)
88-62-1 in 151 career starts
In 15 starts in 2017 (Kansas City) - 67.5% completion for 4,042 yards, 26 TD and 5 INT
Overall: Smith was playing at an MVP level last year when he put on a show against the Texans depleted defense in primetime. The Texans will have two weeks to prepare for Smith in his new environment.
Week 12 - November 26 - Monday 7:15 PM
Overall: Monday Night Football. At home. Against the Titans?!?! Yep yep!!
Week 13 - December 2 - Sunday 12 PM
Drafted 2011, 6th round
One-time Pro Bowler
Traded to Cleveland in the offseason
11-21 for 211 yards and three TD, one TD rushing in last meeting with the Texans (12/6/2015)
22-20 in 42 career starts
In 14 starts in 2017 (Buffalo) - 62.6% completion for 2,799 yards, 14 TD and 4 INT (ran for 427 yards)
Overall: The Browns will draft a quarterback. So, let's put it this way. If Taylor is starting in December, it probably means that the Browns are winning games and are going to be a tough out. If the rookie is in the lineup by this point, the Browns season could have headed in the opposite direction.
Week 14 - December 9 - Sunday 12 PM
Andrew LuckOverall: For the first time since 2012, the Texans will play the Colts at NRG Stadium in December. The last time Luck was under center in his hometown, the Texans came from behind in the last two minutes for a win.
Week 15 - December 15 - Saturday TBD
@ New York Jets
Drafted 2002, 3rd round
13-27 for 158 yards, one TD and one interception in last meeting with Texans (11/4/2007) In 13 starts in 2017 - 67.3% completion for 2,926 yards, 18 TD and 9 INT
Overall: The Jets quarterback situation by Week 15 is anyone's guess. My guess is that it's a rookie leading the way, but we'll know more on draft weekend. Think Josh Allen or Josh Rosen or Baker Mayfield... or Teddy Bridgewater or McCown. Who knows?
Week 16 - December 23 - Sunday 12 PM
Drafted 2016 - 1st round
One time Pro Bowler
Never faced the Texans
Injured late in the 2017 season after MVP-caliber campaign
18-11 in 29 career starts
In 13 starts in 2017 - 60.2% completion for 3,296 yards, 33 TD and 7 INT
Overall: This could be a wildly intriguing game or it could mean nothing. If either team has a playoff spot locked up, it could be a "rest the starters" sort of game. If there's something on the line, it's going to be a must-watch matchup with Wentz and Deshaun Watson.
Week 17 - December 30 - Sunday 12 PM
Blake BortlesOverall: We meet again, Mr. Bortles. Could the division title be up for grabs in this finale? Watson vs. Bortles for the AFC South? That would be bananas (cue Gwen Stefani music).
Other QB Notes
-- Texans face two Super Bowl winning quarterbacks (Brady & Manning) and both in the month of September.
-- The Texans will face three of the four championship game starters (would've been four for four had Carson Wentz been healthy).
-- The Texans will face five of the six AFC playoff quarterbacks in 2017 (Ben Roethlisberger only one they won't face) - two of which are playing with different teams in 2018.
-- The Texans will, presumably, face a former Texans quarterback for the first time (Keenum).
-- Andrew Luck has never faced a Texans defense that included both Jadeveon Clowney and J.J. Watt. Clowney missed both games in 2014. Luck missed both in 2015. Watt missed both games in 2016 and both Luck and Watt missed both games in 2017.
-- The Texans will face three former number one overall draft selections (Smith, Manning and Luck). The Texans will face six former top three picks in the draft (Smith, Manning, Luck, Mariota, Wentz and Bortles). That number will probably increase given the team's drafting quarterbacks in this year's draft.
-- The Texans face four quarterbacks that played their high school football in the state of Texas (Luck, Keenum, Tannehill and McCown).
-- The Texans face seven quarterbacks that earned trips to the Pro Bowl in their careers (Brady, Luck, Manning, Prescott, Wentz, Taylor and Smith).
Check out the opposing quarterbacks the Texans will likely face in 2018. (Photos via AP Images)