The schedule for the 2020 NFL season was released Thursday evening and is set to start on Sept. 10 when the Houston Texans travel to Kansas City, Mo. and take on the defending Super Bowl Champion Chiefs with kickoff slated for 7:20 p.m.
It will be the first opportunity for Sealy High alum Ricky Seals-Jones to square off against his hometown team since he traveled to Houston as a member of the Arizona Cardinals in Week 11 of the 2017 season.
The Chiefs ended the Texans’ season in the divisional round of the playoffs last year with a 51-31 marathon match after Houston secured its fourth playoff victory in franchise history in overtime fashion over the Buffalo Bills.
The route to the 2020 postseason will begin in the preseason where the Texans will have tune-up games on the road against the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints in Weeks 1 and 3 and will host the Seattle Seahawks and Dallas Cowboys in Weeks 2 and 4.
To begin the regular season, Houston will similarly alternate between home and away games through the first four games. After the trip to Kansas City, the Texans will host the Baltimore Ravens then travel to Pittsburgh to square off with the Steelers before returning home for another meeting with the Vikings, who own a 4-0 record in the history of the matchup.
That opening stretch to the season also serves as Houston’s warmup before facing consecutive conference opponents from the AFC South in Weeks 5 and 6.
The Texans will host the Jacksonville Jaguars before going to Tennessee to face the Titans, the two teams Houston swept in conference play last season.
The Texans will return home to play the Green Bay Packers before their bye week in Week 8 which allows them an extra week of rest before the second meeting with the Jaguars on Nov. 8, this one in Jacksonville. After another away game in Cleveland, Houston will host the New England Patriots for the second year in a row although this time Tom Brady won’t be under center for the visitors.
In Week 12, the Texans will play just their second Thanksgiving Day game in franchise history and it will also be a rematch of the 2012 meeting with the Detroit Lions that changed the rule books.
Then-Houston running back Justin Forsett took a carry up the middle and bounced off a defender and although it very clearly appeared that his elbow hit the turf, he hopped up and ran the rest of the length of the field for an 81-yard score.
Lions head coach Jim Schwartz quickly threw his challenge flag on the field to review the play but the year prior, the league had put in an automatic challenge rule that all scoring plays would be reviewed and any challenge flag thrown on a scoring play would result in a 15-yard penalty and nullification of the review, allowing the play to stand.
The Texans went on to beat Detroit, 34-31, in overtime to move to 11-1 for the first time in franchise history although they eventually fell to Patriots in the divisional round of the playoffs.
After that will be a pair of meetings with the Indianapolis Colts over a three-week span with a contest against the Chicago Bears in the Windy City sandwiched in the middle. Last year, Houston split the season series with the Colts.
To end the regular season, the Texans host the Cincinnati Bengals and No. 1 overall draft pick Joe Burrow before the final conference tilt of the season with the Titans to tie up any loose ends in the playoff picture.