The 2012 schedule is out and everyone is taking a crack at the impossible: trying to predict records before the draft.
I can't resist getting in on the game. I'm going to go through the schedule of all four teams in the AFC South and try to find the probable wins and losses, as well as map out a best and worst-case scenario.
Up next is the Houston Texans. Games that I project to be sure losses (less than a 20 percent chance to win) are in bold italics. Games that are sure wins (80 percent chance to win) are in bold. Afterward, I'll pick a best-case scenario build around the Texans winning 75 percent of the toss-up games.
Week 1: Miami W
I don't believe in Miami and especially not in Week 1 on the road against a good Houston team that should be healthy and at full strength
Week 2: @ Jacksonville W
I expect Houston to dominate this game, but it's hard to ever call a division road game a lock.
Week 3: @ Denver L
The Texans' track record against Peyton Manning is pretty bad. Pulling this out would be a major statement win.
Week 4: Tennessee W
The Titans and Texans always play hard-fought games. I love the Texans at home.
Week 5: @ New York Jets (Monday Night Football) W
How many games do the Texans win in 2012?
I think the Texans are better than the Jets by a wide margin. It's that simple.
Week 6: Green Bay (Sunday Night Football) L
I'm not going to pick against Aaron Rodgers at all this year. Winnable game for Houston, but I think the NFC as a whole is a better conference.
Week 7: Baltimore W
The Texans will get revenge for a playoff defeat and run their record to 5-2
Week 8: Bye
Week 9: Buffalo W
Mario Williams is not going to have a happy return trip to Reliant Stadium
Week 10: @ Chicago (Sunday Night Football) L
This is a potentially chilly night matchup against the Bears. The Texans could win, but I'm not going to expect it.
Week 11: Jacksonville W
This is the only sure win in a string of tough games.
Week 12: @ Detroit (Thanksgiving) L
If this weren't on Thanksgiving, I would like Houston's chances more.
Week 13: @ Tennessee L
If the Texans win this game, they win the AFC South.
Week 14: @ New England (Monday Night Football) L
I'm not ready to go against Brady in a Monday Night game at home. The loss drops Houston to 7-6
Week 15: Indianapolis W
The rough patch is over and the Texans curb-stomp the Colts as they make a sprint for the playoffs.
Week 16: Minnesota W
The Vikings simply aren't very good. Houston runs the string to 9-6.
Week 17: @ Indianapolis W
The Texans have never won in Indianapolis. The only way that streak remains intact this year is if they already have a playoff spot sewn up.
I don't expect smooth sailing for the Texans. I do think they'll regress on defense, while still being a formidable opponent. I think they skate into the playoffs at 10-6, but wouldn't be surprised by anything in the in eight to 11-win range. This team has gone backwards a little bit, but I still think they are the class of the AFC South.
Projected record: 10-6
Sure Wins: 5
Sure Losses: 2
Best-Case Scenario: 12-4
Worst-Case Scenario: 7-9