Your Houston Texans are playing football on Monday night. Despite the Sunday night game displacing MNF as the premiere NFL broadcast of the week, there's still something special about your team playing on Monday night. Throw in the fact that the Texans are playing the Jets (who, worthy of the attention or not, remain a media darling), and tonight provides a tremendous opportunity for the Texans to show the world--not us, because Texans fans are fully aware that this team is legit--that they are for real. Beat the Jets in New Jersey tonight, with the Packers coming to Reliant on Sunday night, and the good guys could be in for a level of media attention they've never received before. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing is a matter of personal opinion. What's not up for debate, however, is that the Texans are shooting for 5-0 in a division where the next best team is 2-2. That is sweet.
On to the asinine predictions that are sure to be as bad as Bud Adams' Army of Darkness!
1. Mark Sanchez's reign as the Jets' starting QB comes to an end. Technically, I suppose that won't happen until the Jets' next game, but the die will be indelibly cast tonight. Sanchez will throw two picks, fumble once, and get sacked four times before getting benched for Tim Tebow midway through the third quarter. Tebow will enter the game and promptly lead the Jets on a scoring drive. Jon Gruden will need a change of pants as he desperately tries to figure out a way to out-hyperbole himself. You will cringe and reach for another drink.
2. Antonio Cromartie says he's the best corner in the NFL now that Darrelle Revis is out for the season. Anyone who's watched Johnathan Joseph play disagrees. That group includes Andre Johnson who, though shadowed by Cromartie virtually all night, will still find a way to get loose for five catches, 92 yards (30+ of which will be on a single reception), and a TD.
3. J.J. Watt's performance has made people take notice at the quarter pole of the 2012 season. Tonight, he cements his place on the short list of best players--not best defensive players--in the league. Two more sacks, a forced fumble, and a pass batted down for (fill in your favorite Watt nickname here). Connor Barwin also gets off the sack schnied this evening. Other sacks: Antonio Smith and, in a triumphant return to his homeland, Brian Cushing.
PUT YOUR NAME ON IT: The Jets are in trouble. They've lost their best defensive player. They've lost their biggest playmaker on offense. They're not 0-4, but you wouldn't know it from the palpable level of panic that surrounds that franchise at the moment. I do not believe tonight will be the one-sided disaster from kickoff to the final whistle that so many pundits portend; I think Tebow will give the Jets a spark when he enters the game, making a play or three with his legs. It will not be enough to prevent the Texans from running out to 5-0. Texans 30, Jets 16.