The Texans' 2021 regular season schedule kicks off with a home opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars for the second time in franchise history (2017). The Texans own a 14-5 record (.737) in home contests against Jacksonville and have won nine of the past 11 games. In Week 1 home openers, Houston is 7-5 (.583), including victories in five of the past seven games. Additionally, Culley will look to become the third coach in franchise history to win his first game at the helm of the Texans (Dom Capers in 2002 and Bill O'Brien in 2014).
Houston's first road game will be in Week 2 when it travels to Cleveland for a matchup with the Browns on September 19. It marks the second time in franchise history that the Texans will play on the road in Cleveland in consecutive seasons (2007-08). The trip to Cleveland is followed by a primetime game on Thursday Night Football in Week 3 at home vs. the Carolina Panthers on September 23. The home game against Carolina was added to the 2021 regular season as the additional 17th game and will be the first time the Texans have played an NFC South team on Thursday Night Football. Houston currently owns a 2-1 record against NFC teams on Thursday, which includes a 41-25 win at Detroit last season.
In Week 4, Houston will travel to take on the Buffalo Bills before returning to NRG Stadium to host the New England Patriots on October 10. This season marks the seventh-consecutive year Houston has faced New England in the regular season and the Texans enter the matchup having won two straight games against the Patriots for the first time in franchise history. Houston will play every team in the AFC East for the seventh time in team history and face off against AFC East opponents in consecutive weeks for the first time since 2015 (Weeks 13-14).
Houston will go on the road for two consecutive away games in Weeks 6-7 as it takes on the Indianapolis Colts before traveling to face the Arizona Cardinals on October 24. The Texans will face all four NFC West teams for the fifth time in franchise history and the first since 2017. Houston is 2-2 all-time against Arizona and won its last meeting against the Cardinals, which was a 31-21 victory at home in 2017. The Texans return home in Week 8 to face the Los Angeles Rams in their first home contest against the Rams since 2013.
In Week 9, the Texans go on the road to play the Miami Dolphins on November 7. Houston holds an 8-1 all-time record against the Dolphins, which is the best winning percentage (.888) against any opponent in franchise history. Houston's matchup against Miami in Week 9 is immediately followed by a bye in Week 10, which is the third Week 10 bye in the past four seasons.
Houston comes off of the bye and goes on the road to face the Tennessee Titans in Week 11 on November 21. The Texans then come back home for three-straight games, which marks the fourth time in the past five years (2017-19) Houston has had three-consecutive home games. In Week 12, Houston will look to win it's fourth-consecutive game against the New York Jets, dating back to 2012. The Texans will look to improve upon their 35 wins against the AFC South in the past 10 years when they play the Indianapolis Colts in Week 13 on December 5. The Texans' 35 wins against their division since 2011 are tied for the ninth-most in the NFL over that span. Houston wraps up its three-game homestand with a Week 14 contest against the Seattle Seahawks on December 12.
The Texans then travel to take on the Jaguars in Week 15 and currently hold a three-game winning streak at Jacksonville. In Week 16, Houston will host the Chargers for the first time since the franchise's move to Los Angeles. The Texans will play their final road game of the season in Week 17 as they face the San Francisco 49ers and make their first-ever regular season appearance at Levi's Stadium, which was opened in 2014. In the NFL's debut Week 18 slate, Houston finishes the season at home against the Tennessee Titans on January 9. The Texans close out the regular season against a divisional opponent for the 15th time in franchise history and the 12th year in a row. Houston also faced Tennessee in Week 17 of the 2019 and 2020 seasons.
Houston will open the preseason on the road against Green Bay for the second preseason matchup between the two teams (2019) before traveling to the in-state rival Dallas Cowboys in Week 2. This will mark the 12th preseason matchup between the two Texas franchises (2003-05, 2007-08, 2010, 2013, 2015-16, 2018-19). Houston will return to NRG Stadium for the final preseason game in Week 3 against the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Saturday, August 28. The Texans will face the defending Super Bowl champions in the preseason for the fourth time in franchise history (2003, 2010 and 2017).