Admittedly, I was a bit off last week. I blame Ryan Fitzpatrick. FOR EVERYTHING.
Note: I don't really blame Ryan Fitzpatrick for last week. Well, that's not right. I do, but the blame is not his alone. Arian Foster, DeAndre Hopkins, and Danieal Manning fumbling the way they did (even though Manning didn't technically turn the ball over) were killers, not to mention the indefensible insanity of Bill O'Brien's play-calling at the end of the first half. I don't really want to talk about the Steelers game anymore, as I'm starting to do a weird thing where I weep and bellow at the same time. It's not a good look for me, so let's move on.
1. Jadeveon Clowney returns and, though he plays less than 15 snaps, still manages to finish with a sack and a tackle for loss. Not coincidentally, the Texans' pass rush will look more fierce than it has all season. Clowney will not be the only one in on the fun, as J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus also sack Zach Mettenberger Sunday afternoon.
2. Speaking of Mettenberger, the rookie's first NFL start will not be all bad. While he's going to throw an interception, he's also going to have a TD pass of 40+ yards when a receiver gets behind Kareem Jackson and there's no safety help to be had. You can be sure that the BRB live game thread when said long touchdown pass happens will devolve into 294 variations of "Ryan Fitzpatrick can't make that throw! Why isn't Ryan Mallett playing yet?".
3. Speaking of Mallett, you won't get to see him on Sunday. Fitzpatrick will throw an interception, but it will be offset by a touchdown pass and a completion rate north of 60%. The story of the Houston offense, as usual, will be Arian Foster, who will once again break the century mark running the ball and will find the end zone. Bonus prediction--Alfred Blue gets the first rushing touchdown of his career on Sunday.
PUT YOUR NAME ON IT: For my money, the Titans are one of the five worst teams in football. Your view may vary. I'm not here to crown the Texans as anything more than mediocre, but this is a game they should win, especially with a rookie making his first start at QB for the Titans. I'm loathe to say any Texans win will be a comfortable one, yet...Texans 24, Titans 10.
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