The Texans sit at 8-4, atop the AFC South coming off an exhilarating and frankly shocking win against the New England Patriots. If the Texans can now keep it together, win the games they should win, and not get caught up in their recent success, they could position themselves nicely come playoff time (with a little luck).
Let’s see how the BRB staff sees Sunday’s noon matchup with the Denver Broncos playing out.
Matt Weston: Texans 24, Broncos 16.
All I care about is what happened last week. I don’t care about the rest of this season. The postseason? Psshhhhh. More like IDon’tCareSeason. That being said, even if Houston lost last week, this is the least interesting game they’ll play this season. Have you watched Denver play? It’s boring, and it isn’t fun. They cover well. The pass rush is good because of the coverage. Shelby Harris and Justin Simmons are having breakout seasons. Don’t believe me? Check out their ProFartBall Focus Grades. Von Miller is still here.
The Texans should win on Sunday. They’re better. But they should have beat the Colts in their first match-up after their win over the Chiefs. I can see the letdown, but I’m going with the talent. I don’t care anyways. Bradley Roby picked off Tom Brady. Duke Johnson caught a touchdown immediately afterwards. They used a nice quick pass offense to go up 14-3. Kenny Stills caught a deep touchdown after Will Fuller dropped one. Still can’t believe it happened.
BFmf’nD: Texans 24, Broncos 20.
One score game. It’s a game the Texans should win easily, but we almost always play down to our opponents. With Von Miller back in action (Editor’s note: is he though?) the offensive line will have its hands full.
Capt Ron: Texans 23, Broncos 20.
I’m staying optimistic that the Texans won’t play down to the opponent after a big win the week prior, but I do think we see a classic one-possession final score in a frustrating grinder of a tilt.
If you are somewhat good at pattern recognition, you have to be concerned about this upcoming game against Denver:
Week 1: Loss @Saints
Week 2: Win v. Jags
Week 3: Win @Chargers
Week 4: Loss v. Panthers
Week 5: Win v. Falcons
Week 6: Win @Chiefs
Week 7: Loss @Colts
Week 8: Win v. Raiders
Week 9: Win @Jags
Week 10: BYE
Week 11: Loss @Ravens
Week 12: Win v. Colts
Week 13: Win v. Patriots
Week 14: v. Broncos
Week 15: @Titans
Week 16: @Bucs
Week 17: v. Titans
Sure, each week is its own focused situation against a given opponent, but the macro trend is somewhat alarming. On the other hand, if this pattern persists, the Texans beat the Titans and Bucs on the road and then lose the final game of the year to the Titans at NRG Stadium (while resting starters?). That would wrap the regular season with Houston at 10-6, a division championship, and probably hosting a wild card game.
If this “loss-win-win” pattern persists further into the postseason—based on current AFC standings—Houston would win a wild card game at home against the Steelers, win the divisional game on the road at the Patriots, and then lose the AFC Championship game on the road against the Ravens.
Kenneth L. : Texans 17, Broncos 13.
You want to see the same offense that played against the Patriots? Ha, they won’t even show up to the game on Sunday. This is still the Houston Texans. We do not blow out inferior teams. The Broncos’ offense will feel like you are watching 2010 Matt Schaub. Three tight end sets, long drawn out play actions, and dunk and dunk throws. The Texans are a better team, but will make this one interesting and keep you frustrated. Ultimately we will win, but you won’t be happy. Ever.
Matt Burnham: Texans 30, Broncos 17.
This game has all the makings of one where the Texans look flat. Like a game where they make the Broncos look like the 2015 Denver team for a quarter or a half.
Towards the end of the third quarter and into the fourth is when the Texans will get most of their points. You’ll see two or three big scoring drives in a row and you’ll wonder, “Where the hell was this?”
I’m not a believer in Drew Lock, but I am a believer in him for this game. Just watch. He will look like John Elway in the first half.
Mike: Texans 27, Broncos 24.
While on paper Houston should destroy Denver something like 42-14, there have just been too many times where O’Brien has had the team play down to the level of the opponent. Coming off the emotional high of the New England win will mean a fair amount of “come out flat” happens. In the end, Romeo Crennel’s ability to feast on rookie QBs and Deshaun Watson’s magic will be enough for the Texans to pull out a slim victory. Once the game is over, all the talking heads will be spewing nonsense about the Texans being in trouble because they didn’t put Denver away decisively.
Kenny: Texans 20, Broncos 13.
I see that someone already mentioned it, but the Texans have a weird pattern going on this season when they lose a game and win two games. It has repeated consecutively all season. The Texans are currently on a two game winning streak, so history shows they will lose Sunday against the Broncos.
However, I’ll still choose the Texans to win this one. They’ll play down to the Broncos like they usually do to subpar teams after winning a big game, but this time they’ll find a way to win and have a strong lead on the AFC South as they prepare for a clash with the Titans for the crown!
TexanRevJ: Texans 28, Broncos 10.
I know history is working against me here, but I really need to see the Texans absolutely dominate a bad team before I have an hope of them competing in the NFL Playoffs. The win against the Patriots was huge for this franchise, this coach, and this QB. Hopefully they can ride this confidence wave into another big win this week. Throw in the fact that the Broncos will be playing a rookie QB in his second start and I like our chances.
Tim: Texans 24, Broncos 16.
The fear of a letdown or trap is real, but if Von Miller does miss Sunday’s game, it’s tough to see Denver figuring out a way to force Deshaun Watson into turning the ball over while simultaneously protecting Drew Lock enough to allow him opportunity to succeed against Romeo Crennel’s charges. I just think the Texans have too many weapons for a Denver team that, while feisty, has been wracked by injuries and will have a rookie quarterback making his first start on the road.
Looks like everyone expect the Texans to win, but with a healthy amount of fear that the Texans will let down similar to how they did at home against Carolina after the road win against the Chargers (the one game I went to this year - thanks guys) earlier this year.
How do you see the game going Sunday? Use the comments section below to give your picks, and above all else - enjoy the game - we are in the final playoff stretch!