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Three And Out: Useless Predictions For Sunday's Game

When your opponent is ranked twenty-fourth (24th) in the league in total offense, your struggling defense, despite having given up 110 points the last three (3) weeks, should have reason for optimism.  And when the opposing offense surprisingly elects to start a QB coming off an injury who hasn't taken game snaps with the first team in four (4) weeks, your struggling defense should be licking its chops.  But the Houston offense has problems of its own in its continuing inability to consistently run the ball and/or the fact that its franchise QB will be relegated to the sideline.  So what does all of this augur?  Fans of the Raiders and Texans flipping the channel to Pats-Colts, I'd guess.  Wait a second...

As always, here are three (3) things guaranteed (read:  not guaranteed at all) to happen at McAfee Coliseum on Sunday:

  1.  Sage Rosenfels is going to look bad early as he settles in, but he'll look respectable in relief of The Schaub, particularly in the second half.  I'm going to call a final line of 19-27 for 219 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT.
  2.  Owen Daniels is going to have a big game; think 79 yards receiving.  And I mean it this time:  He's going to notch his first TD of the season.
  3.  From what I've read, Oakland has had major problems protecting the QB this season, and I don't think a change from Culpepper to McCown is going to help things.  I see a nice rebound game for the harried Houston pass rush.  As in, three (3) or more sacks and a fair number of hurries.
PUT YOUR NAME ON IT:  As I said here, I view this game as determinative of how the rest of the season is going to go.  Drop to three (3) games under .500, and the positive vibes that were so abundant early in the season will evaporate almost entirely.  Win, and you have a chance to get back to .500 after a restful bye week.  I need to believe.  Houston 16, Oakland 13.