My apologies for the lateness of the post; it was a rather busy Friday, and the spirits and I traded voicemails before finally getting to a chance to commune this evening. Predictions about tomorrow's contest in Jersey await beyond the jump.
1. As good as the Jets defensive unit is, it's in the middle of the pack in terms of pass defense. If the Houston offense is going to score points, odds are that it'll come via the air, because the Jets play the run about as well as anyone. Darrelle Revis will neutralize Andre Johnson, though not to the degree he did last year; 'Dre manages to get loose for five catches for 54 yards. Kevin Walter will be the beneficiary of the focus on 'Dre; put K-Dub down for seven catches for 79 yards and a TD.
2. As alluded to above, Arian Foster is in for a frustrating day running the ball. Assuming Kubiak and Dennison give the ball to him, I mean. Truly, if ever there was a time for the screen to make a triumphant return to the Houston playbook, tomorrow is it. The Jets will hold Foster to less than 80 yards rushing, but he'll make a bigger impact that usual in the passing game, particularly considering the pressure Matt Schaub will be under all afternoon. I believe Foster contributes 79 yards receiving, including a TD reception.
3. Kareem Jackson snags his third interception of the season. Sure, he'll also give up (with the help of, or lack thereof, Eugene Wilson) at least two receptions of more than 30 yards. He will have that pick, though. I also see Brian Cushing forcing a fumble, albeit one that's recovered by the Jets. Small victories.
PUT YOUR NAME ON IT: Remember when your Houston Texans hosted the New York Jets to kick off their 2009 season? No? Well, by way of refresher, it was an egg of sufficient proportion that it demanded a two-part PGB (Part I here; Part II here). While some of the faces have changed (Dunta Robinson gone, Kris Jenkins injured/out for the year, Arian Foster doing his damndest to erase the horrors of Steve Slaton's 2009 campaign from our collective memory, and the like), and there has been a season and a half worth of football games since then, I don't think the Texans will be facing that different of a Jets squad (if anything, this year's NYJ team is better than last year's, even without Jenkins) than the one that slapped 'em around on September 13, 2009. Moreover, tomorrow Houston will actually be trotting out a worse defense than the one that was victimized by a rookie QB in his first start (on the road, no less) a year ago. I'd love to be able to tell you I feel like the good guys have a fighting shot to beat a team that could be primed for a letdown or trap game, thanks to coming off back-to-back road overtime wins and a Thanksgiving night game a mere four (4) days away. Really, I would.
Much like the Houston defense actually stopping the opposition on a consistent basis, I just can't. Texans 17, Jets 27.