The Texans will play 14 teams in 17 games in the 2022 season. As such, I decided to take a look at a key or fun matchup in each of those contests in the new season. Let's start with that team up north.
Dallas - WR Brandin Cooks and company against Pro Bowl CB Trevon Diggs - Diggs had a Pro Bowl season in 2021 for the Cowboys and should want to lock horns with Cooks all day long. They won't always be matched up one-on-one but it doesn't matter. When Diggs faces the 6-4, 215 lb. Nico Collins, it'll be a fun matchup too.
Philadelphia - Greater Houston homeboy QB Jalen Hurts coming back home - Hurts played his high school football at Channelview HS for his father. This will be the first time that Hurts has played back in Houston since high school. In his first two seasons in the league, Hurts has done nothing but improve and that should make for a difficult matchup some time in 2022.
Washington - Commander Carson for the third time - QB Carson Wentz wasn't outstanding for the Colts against the Texans in two wins in 2021. But, BUT, he was much better in those wins than he was the rest of the season for Indianapolis. Because of those issues in other games, Wentz was traded to Washington where he, and the Commanders, will travel to Houston in 2022.
New York Giants - Texans DE Jon Greenard against Giants LT Andrew Thomas - World's Largest Cocktail Party reunion - These two faced each other back in college in Duval County when Greenard was a Gator and Thomas was a Georgia Bulldog. These two went at it in 2019 when Thomas' Dawgs knocked off Greenard's Gators 24-17. The Fall is a great time for reunions and these two will have theirs in MetLife Stadium in 2022.
Cleveland - Browns Pro Bowl edge Myles Garrett v. Texans Pro Bowl LT Laremy Tunsil - Best on best, simple as that.
Chicago - Texans linebackers v. QB Justin Fields off schedule work - Fields flashed a bit during his rookie year and most of those bursts occurred when he took off with the football in his hands out of the pocket. The Texans linebacking corps will have its hands full with the dynamic former Ohio State star.
Indianapolis - JT28 - Can I tell you how scared I get when Jonathan Taylor gets the ball in his hands? Against the Texans? A LOT! In four games against the Texans…
Game one - averaged seven yards per carry on 13 carries and a receiving touchdown
Game two - 83 yards and a touchdown on the ground and four receptions
Game three - 145 yards on ten carries and two touchdowns
Game four - 143 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
Yeah, that would make anyone nervous.
Tennessee - The King…and an angry A.J. Brown - The Texans avoided seeing The Rush King Derrick Henry in 2021, but he's coming back with a vengeance in 2022. Not to mention, heading into OTA/minicamps, star WR A.J. Brown removed the word Tennessee and any mention of the Titans from his social media. I guess that's a modern day way of saying "I'm mad." Well, if Henry's back and Brown's going to play with a chip on his shoulder this season, that's not, well, good. At all.
Jacksonville - New look Jaguars receivers v. Texans revamped secondary - ultimately, It's hard to exactly say how different each unit is going to be, but it's clear they'll be different. The Texans will have at least two new starters in the secondary and the Jaguars could have as many as three new starters at receiver. The Jaguars spent handsomely to upgrade that unit around Marvin Jones Jr. and it should be a better all-around unit. The Texans secondary must make similar upgrades, in a different way, of course.
Miami - Tyreek…again - Thankfully, the NFL's ultimate Weapon X moved from one of the best teams in the league. Unfortunately, the Chiefs traded Tyreek Hill to the Dolphins, a team that the Texans still face in 2022. Hill, Jaylen Waddle and Mike Gesicki, et al. will make up a mean, MEAN explosive pass catching machine. It's Hill's addition to the group in south Florida, though, that changes things exponentially.
Kansas City - No Tyreek…finally - Yes, the Texans will face Tyreek Hill as noted in the matchup above but it won't be for Kansas City, thankfully. This Chiefs offense will finally take on a little different look and the Texans won't have to handle Patrick Mahomes AND Travis Kelce AND Tyreek Hill. GM Brett Veach and HBC Andy Reid have signed a few different options to put alongside Mahomes/Kelce to ATTEMPT to make that offense as dangerous as it was with Hill.
Las Vegas - Maxx and Chandler v. Texans tackles/tight ends - Maxx is Pro Bowl star edge rusher Maxx Crosby and Chandler is one of the shiny new toys in the Desert - Pro Bowl edge rusher Chandler Jones. Tunsil and company will have a time with this pass rushing duo, now together in Las Vegas. The Texans won't be alone in that vein as these two could wreck a lot of shop off the edge as Raiders.
Denver - The Texans defense against Mr. Unlimited…again - The Broncos won Super Bowls with John Elway and Peyton Manning at quarterback, both of them at the end of magnificent Hall of Fame careers. This offseason, they traded for a superstar in his prime and the Broncos may never be the same. QB Russell Wilson can completely, and totally, change the course of the Broncos franchise. The Texans have never beaten a Wilson-led team (2013, 2017, 2021) and he now leads as talented an offense as he's ever led.
Los Angeles Chargers - The Sequel? - The Texans ran the ball as well against the Chargers in Houston's Day-after-Christmas win in 2021 as they had in the previous two seasons. The Chargers fortified that defense up front, trading for Pro Bowl star DE Khalil Mack, and will more than likely add another stout defender in the Draft. It wasn't just the Texans that ran the ball on the Chargers that forced them to see the light but the Texans flashed that big 'ol light directly into their eyes.