Last week, whilst sniffing copious amounts of glue, I predicted the Houston Texans would notch their fifth win of the 2015 season. I trust that the painful reality of the Texans being 2-4 through six weeks as I type this sentence magnifies precisely how futile this prediction exercise is. Las Vegas was built by idiots like me, and I'll be dipped if I'm going to stop now. Like the Texans, I'm due for a winning streak. Onward!
1. Whitney Mercilus showed real, live pass-rushing moves against the Jaguars last week, marking the first time I've seen real, live pass-rushing moves from Whitney Mercilus since he was drafted by the Texans in 2012. While his opportunity for an encore performance may hinge entirely on whether Jadeveon Clowney returns to the field on Sunday, it says here that Mercilus notches another sack this week. HOW'S THAT FOR A BOLD LEADOFF PREDICTION?
2. DeAndre Hopkins will surpass the century mark for receiving yards for a fifth straight week, which will set a new franchise record. He'll struggle to do it, though (by Nuk's standards), as it'll take Brian Hoyer targeting him 15 times to get Hopkins to 104 yards on the afternoon. A touchdown catch will be included in that stat line, keeping Hopkins on a steady pace to shatter Andre Johnson's record of nine (9) receiving touchdowns in a single year.
3. I wasn't a big believer in Ryan Tannehill when he entered the 2012 NFL Draft. He appeared well on his way to becoming a consistently good NFL quarterback last year, but he's struggled in 2015, throwing at least two interceptions in his last three games. I don't think the Texans will take it away from him twice on Sunday. I do foresee one pick from Tannehill, though, and I believe you'll see a Houston secondary that looks better in coverage with Kareem Jackson out and additional responsibilities for Kevin Johnson. Sadly, K-Jax's absence likely also means more snaps for A.J. Bouye, and that thought terrifies me; indeed, I fully expect a long Tannehill TD pass with Bouye being made to look foolish on the route.
PUT YOUR NAME ON IT: One of the more absurd factoids in Houston Texans folklore is their 7-0 lifetime record against the Miami Dolphins. For reasons unbeknownst to me, a team that has a rich and storied tradition of losing to everyone somehow has never lost to the Dolphins despite seven (7!) opportunities for Miami to get off the schneid. Past performance in no way guarantees future results, and it'd be silly to think that the Texans somehow have Miami's number. Thus, don't think I'm somehow riding with history when I predict the Texans beat the Dolphins on Sunday. I'm simply riding with
Brian Hoyer Houston's defense Arian Foster (who will have his first 100 yard rushing day of the season, along with another 67 receiving yards). Texans 23, Dolphins 17.
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