After what I can only say is a truly, legitimately shocking victory last Monday night in Cincinnati, the Houston Texans (4-5) are within one game of pulling to the .500 mark as they host the New York Jets (5-4) tomorrow at NRG Stadium.
It doesn't seem silly to me at all to consider the Texans could actually be a game OVER .500 just over more than a week from now, with the deplorably awful Saints coming to town in Week Twelve - buuuuut let's take a step back here and realize the Jets have an excellent defense, and they'll be facing off against T.J. Yates who, yes, we all appreciate but... well, you know.
Let's see how the BRB Staff feels about this one...
Chris HDH - Jets 13, Texans 10.
I think I could have fooled myself into going Texans here, but I just can't expect Yates to "do his thing" against the Jets. Sure, Yates has had some starter reps in practice this week - and it was partially the lack of those reps that had him looking so bad against Cincinnati, save for a couple throws. What I'm most interested to see is how well Houston's defense plays after having not allowed a touchdown in two full games. Yes, they didn't allow one the second half against Miami either, but if you think I'm giving them one single shred of credit for that, you're insane.
Perhaps a third consecutive stellar defensive performance will have me believing the defense has found its legs. The obvious problem is that won't matter with this offense... but first let's see how this one goes down. I'm having a hard time seeing a tangible reason to pick the good guys this week.
Brett Kollmann - Texans 13, Jets 10.
...with both team's touchdowns coming from their respective defenses. I expect this to be yet another tough battle in the trenches where both teams go absolutely nowhere, which happens to be the most stressful-to-watch brand of football known to mankind. My heart can't take that kind of game again.
kdentify - Texans 14, Jets 10.
I love Fitz. I do. But I know what kind of quarterback he is and what he can and cannot do against a strong defense. If our defense can build upon what they showed Monday night, and our offense can muster one touchdown, I have to believe this is another Texans victory. This will be an ugly game, led by two quarterbacks each team should be looking to move on from, but I choose to believe that our coordinators are better than their coordinators. It's still not my ideal score of 2-0, of course, but it's suitably ugly and an ode to trench and defensive football--my favorite games.
Matt Weston - Jets 17, Texans 9.
The Jets have the best run defense in the NFL. The Texans have the 30th ranked run offense according to DVOA, and they are last in yards per carry. Yates, Hoyer, Dysert, whoever...it doesn't matter. They need the run game to make their lives easier. Despite the offensive line being better, the running backs still suck, and Houston won't be able to move the ball on the ground.
The entire offense is based on DeAndre Hopkins. Darrelle Revis is still really good, and with no other options besides some inside routes, Houston won't be able to throw the ball either.
Either Geno Smith or HoboQB should be able to do just enough and score more than the 6-10 points Houston will put up.
Capt Ron - Texans 20, Jets 17.
Houston's defense and special teams punch in two touchdowns, while the offense nibbles 6 points from field goals (mostly thanks to DeAndre Hopkins,) as the running game stalls out most of the day.
BFD - Jets 23, Texans 13.
This game will be a tribute to early 70s football: all defense and ugly offenses. Brian Hoyer/T.J. Yates is the tramp to Ryan Fitzpatrick's #HoboQB.
Which Houston Texans defense shows up this week? The bland, tasteless, plain (not even vanilla!) ice cream version we've seen most of the year? Or the Rocky Road version we saw on Monday night? Certainly, the addition by subtraction of fewer snaps from Eddie Pleasant, Vince Wilfork, and Rahim Moore helps, but the scheme was much better Monday night as well.
For me, one week is not a trend, so I'm going 23-13 Jets. The Jets' defensive line has a ton of talent, and Todd Bowles is fantastic about exploiting match-ups. Offensively, we're DeAndre Hopkins and whatever biological life form is throwing to him. Chris Ivory is the type of running back we struggle with on power runs. If the Texans' defense from Monday shows up, however, we have a better chance to win.
There it is, BRB. How do you feel? Do you believe in T.J. Yates beyond some instantaneous mop-up duty? Do you think this defense has turned a corner?
Do you miss Ryan Fitzpatrick?
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