While we all predicted a two-score win last week, the Broncos shot themselves in the foot an incredible number of times and left more points out there than they ended up scoring to lose to the Seattle Seahawks by a single point. It was quite a shocking, and disappointing, end to Week 1.
As for score predictions in this game, all of us are still feeling good about a bounce-back win for the Broncos. It just varies by how convincing we expect this win to be. Collectively, the final score average from our staff predicts a Broncos 28-16 win over the Texans at home.
Here is how we see things playing out individually.
Broncos 35, Texans 16
I might be one of the future who think the Broncos are going to come out and dominate in this game. After watching the tape all week, the players have got to know they should have won last week by multiple scores. I would expect them to fight even harder for it this week and vindicate the kind of team they think they are by whipping a bad team at home. - Tim Lynch
Broncos 24, Texans 17
The Broncos look like a good football team that made a handful of mistakes. If they are able to clean those up (much like the defense did between halves of their first game), this should be a fairly straightforward win for the home team. The Broncos offense looks like the kind of offense that will be able to put up big numbers once they get the kinks worked out and start hitting on all cylinders. - Sadaraine
Broncos 27, Texans 13
Still feeling the sting of a loss in which they were clearly the better team, and amped up for their home opener, the Broncos start building on the good from Week 1 and start correcting the bad. That expresses itself in a downtick in penalties, an uptick in red zone effectiveness, and a defense that gets stronger throughout the game as it adjusts to the absence of Justin Simmons. The Texans score one TD on a busted coverage and tack on a couple of field goals, but Denver’s offense starts generating points to go with all those yards and the home team wins handily. - Taylor Kothe
Broncos 27, Texans 17
Week 1 was not what any of us expected. Sloppy was the word that stood out most. Bad penalties, turnovers, porous defense, weak special teams play. It was not fun. Still, just one play stood between the Broncos winning and losing. Houston might be a better team than Seattle, but this should be the bounce back game that Denver is looking for. Expect Russell Wilson to target his wide receivers more, and the run game will go through Javonte Williams in most situations. Even the loss of Justin Simmons shouldn’t be too troublesome for the defense. It won’t be perfect, and the starters will still be adjusting to game speed, but it will be a win. - Adam Malnati
Broncos 24, Texans 17
Nathaniel Hackett will set himself apart from the previous coaching staff as he and the Broncos learn from their mistakes and take a positive step forward. Pat Surtain II takes control of the secondary unit in Simmons’ absence and aids in shutting down Mills and the Texans’ passing game. And it’s time for Javonte Williams to remind us why he’s so key in the red zone. - Ross Allen
Broncos 30, Texans 17
The one-point loss at Seattle was approximately a foot away from being a 2- to 3-score win for the Broncos if you add up all inches short at the goal line. I had this circled as a potential upset in the preseason, as on paper the Texans are easy to look past. Following the eye opening Week 1 experience, though, the team be all business for the home opener. - Nick Burch
Broncos 31, Texans 16
The Colts generated 517 yards of total offense against the Texans defense last week. A couple turnovers, particularly a failed 4th and goal attempt, and settling for field goals limited them to 20 points. Red zone offense will be a point of emphasis for the Broncos this week, and I think Hackett is determined to get Russ comfortable and in a groove, along with a faster pace of play. If this team is for real, they’ll make a statement at home and find a way to get Brandon McManus more work on extra point attempts than field goals. - Chad Workman
Broncos 27, Texans 17
Wilson and the Broncos offense moved the ball at will against Seattle. We’ll something similar on Sunday against the Texans, the difference is Denver will get in the end zone. The Broncos defense will also look to carry over how it played in the second half, albeit without Simmons. There’s going to be a lot of energy on Sunday at Mile High and the Broncos make it a memorable home opener for Wilson. - Ian St. Clair