It's been an awfully long week in the non-blogging realm, and you know the drill by now, so let's get to it. Three things written in the stars to happen on Sunday when San Francisco rolls into Reliant:
1. In the last two weeks, Matt Schaub has thrown for 763 yards, 6 TDs, and 2 INTs. It says here that, upon completion of Sunday's game, his totals for the last three weeks will be 1,078 yards, 9 TDs, and 3 INTs. Of the 315 passing yards he's going to post on Sunday, 112 of them and 1 TD will be to Andre Johnson, who should victimize whichever DB has the misfortune to cover him (Nate Clements?). The other two passing TDs will be to Kevin Walter and Owen Daniels.
2. The Niners are pretty stout against the run, giving up just 3.3 YPC. Steve Slaton's not going to skew that average much, but I think we're seen the evolution of his role in this offense the past two weeks as the team has featured him much more prominently in the passing game. I've said it once, and I'll say it again: Slaton can be our Brian Westbrook. The latest justification for that comparison will come on Sunday when Slaton racks up another 72 receiving yards. And no fumbles.
3. All the Michael Crabtree buzz? It's going to be a complete non-issue, as the Texans will pressure Shaun Hill better than they have any QB all year. Your Houston Texans will tally three (3) sacks of Hill and hit him a handful of times more. Antonio Smith gets off the sack schneid this week.
PUT YOUR NAME ON IT: Seeing as how they won last week, the season-long pattern says the Texans lose this week. And notwithstanding that nasty loss to the Falcons, the Niners seem like exactly the type of hard-nosed team that will hit the Texans in the mouth. Logic dictates that this one's a loss, and I called it as such before the season started.
Logic's great and all, but I've gone back and forth on this one all week. Quite simply, if the Texans really are more than a .500 team, this is the kind of game they should win. If they're not--if they're merely an inconsistent team that's going to be infinitely more valuable for fantasy purposes than real games--they lose, and they lose ugly. I want to believe that the Texans are better than 8-8. I want to believe that the defense has found some semblance of consistency. I want to believe that the offense is every bit the juggernaut it has appeared to be since the debacle against the Jets (though you'd have to throw that first half against the Cardinals in there too). I want to believe. So I will. 49ers 17, Texans 24.