MNF Preview: Texans vs Jets
This week’s match-up between the Houston Texans at the New York Jets just might end up being the most lopsided Monday Night game yet this season. The Jets are coming off a horrendous week where they lost 34-0 to the San Francisco 49ers. They recently lost two of their best players in cornerback Darrelle Revis and wide receiver Santonio Holmes. The Texans on the other hand, are enjoying their best start in franchise history, and are doing it behind a balanced attack and solid defense. They are averaging a league best 31.5 points a game, and are allowing only 182.8 yards a game through the air. The New York defense will have to take it upon itself to keep this game close; if NY has a turnover or mental lapse early, the game could be over early.
The Houston offense has been successful so far thanks to a well-balanced attack. Quarterback Matt Schaub has completed 67 percent of his passes this season, with seven touchdowns and only one interception. He not only has a tremendous deep threat in Andre Johnson (who AccuScore projects will get 68 receiving yards), but also some help on the ground with running backs Arian Foster and Ben Tate. To top it all off, there is tight end Owen Daniels who has 19 receptions so far this year, a team high.
In last week’s game against the Titans, Johnson finished with three receptions for 56 yards. New York has been allowing an average of just 198 yards passing per game (top five in the league), but will have their hands full dealing with Johnson along with the running attack. The most important match-up of the game will be how well the Jets front seven contains Arian Foster. He is averaging 95 rushing yards per, and will be facing a defense that has had trouble stopping the run (31st in run defense, allowing 172.8 yards). Foster has scored in every game this season, and I am expecting that trend to continue in Week 5. AccuScore projects a 110-yard game for Foster.
New York will face a Houston defense that is much improved from previous seasons, a unit that leads the AFC in yards allowed per game (183 yards). Although AccuScore’s simulations project 209 yards for Sanchez, it is tough to imagine he has a good game all of a sudden. He has already thrown for less than 150 yards on two occasions, and has four interceptions to five touchdowns. Sanchez is a traditional quarterback who needs weapons around him to be successful; the Jets have no receiving threats, a below-average offensive line, and practically zero running game.
AccuScore simulations project a Houston win approximately 72 percent of the time. New York is coming off a horrible loss, and a team that desperate should be ready to play hard from the outset. The line for this game is HOU -9, and the simulations project a higher probability that the Jets cover the spread. Houston is just too balanced, and the Jets don’t have the necessary weapons to compete. AccuScore predicts a 26-18 Houston win (26.1-17.6); I’m predicting a 24-10 final score in favor of Houston.
Originally written for AccuScore