Who would have thought in the midst of the “Tom Brady unretires” and “Deshaun Watson traded to the Cleveland Browns” news cycle that the Houston Texans would face the Baker Mayfield led Tampa Bay Buccaneers the following year?
Unpredictability, thy name is the NFL.
Just take a look at last week’s Texans tilt vs the Carolina Panthers. Houston should have won that game handily. But, the big cats pulled out a last second field goal, aided by a very questionable delay of game call and here we are...
This week’s matchup features two 3-4 teams struggling to get to the right side of the W-L stat line. It marks the sixth time the franchises have met on the gridiron, with the Texans winning four of the previous five games.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEER WEEK NINE STATS
- QB BAKER MAYFIELD passed for 237 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 91.1 rating last week. Has 7 TD passes vs. INT for 99.9 rating in 3 road games in 2023 & aims for his 4th in row on road with 2+ TD passes & 90+ rating. Completed 19 of 21 atts. (career-high 90.5 pct.) with 2 TDs (1 pass, 1 rush) & 105 rating in his last start vs. Hou (9/19/21 w/ Cle.).
- RB RACHAAD WHITE had team-high 7 catches & tied his career high with 109 scrimmage yards (career-high 70 rec., 39 rush) in Week 8, his 4th-career game with 100+ scrimmage yards. Aims for his 3rd in row with 6+ catches.
- WR MIKE EVANS had 5th rec. TD of season last week & has 5+ TD catches in 9 of 10 career seasons. Has 10,932 rec. yards & 86 rec. TDs & can become 5th player ever with 11,000+ rec. yards & 85+ rec. TDs in 1st 10 career seasons. Aims for his 3rd in row with TD catch. Had 101 rec. yards in last road meeting.
- WR CHRIS GODWIN had 5 catches for 54 yards & 1st rec. TD of season last week, his 33rd-career rec. TD. Aims for his 5th in row overall & 8th in row on road with 5+ catches & 50+ rec. yards.
- LB LAVONTE DAVID led team with 14 tackles & had TFL in Week 8. Has 10+ tackles & TFL in 4 of his past 5 & aims for his 4th in row with 10+ tackles & TFL. Has 7 TFL in 2023 & has 5+ TFL in each of 1st 12 career seasons. Had 15 tackles in last road meeting & aims for his 3rd in row vs. Hou. with 10+ tackles.
- LB DEVIN WHITE had 9 tackles last week & aims for his 4th in row on road with 5+ tackles. Had FR in last meeting.
- NT VITA VEA aims for his 3rd in row on road with TFL.
- CB JAMEL DEAN had 2 PD last week. Aims for his 4th in row with 6+ tackles. Had INT in last meeting.
- S ANTOINE WINFIELD JR. aims for his 4th in row on road with PD. Has 11 sacks in 49 games, 3rd-most by DB in 1st 50 games since 1982
Baker Mayfield and the Tampa offense is only averaging 17.3 points per game at this juncture, while C.J. Stroud and the Texans are scoring an average 21.1 points per game.
Will Anderson Jr. has the best pass rush win rate (18.1%) among all rookie edge defenders this season pic.twitter.com/RWrIDzbDKJ— PFF HOU Texans (@PFF_Texans) November 1, 2023
Both defenses are averaging 18.3 points per game against.
If that were all it took to call a game, expect Houston to win by a field goal.
Unfortunately it doesn’t work like that.
HOUSTON TEXANS WEEK NINE STATS
- QB C.J. STROUD (rookie) completed 16 of 24 atts. (66.7 pct.) for 140 yards & had 1st-career rush TD last week. Is only QB with 2-or-fewer (1) INTs this season, among QBs with 5+ starts. Has 2 TD passes in each of 3 home starts. Leads rookies with 1,800 pass yards & 9 TD passes in 2023.
- RB DAMEON PIERCE rushed for 46 yards in Week 8. Has 657 scrimmage yards (73 per game) in 9 career home games.
- RB DEVIN SINGLETARY had 89 scrimmage yards (52 rush, 37 rec.) & 6 catches in only career game vs. TB (12/12/21 w/ Buf.).
- WR NICO COLLINS has 18 catches, 394 rec. yards (131.3 per game) & 3 rec. TDs in 3 home games this season, 2nd-most rec. yards per game at home by any player this season.
- WR TANK DELL ranks 2nd among rookie WRs with 60.7 scrimmage yards per game this season.
- WR ROBERT WOODS has 28 catches for 327 yards (109 per game) in his past 3 vs. TB.
- WR NOAH BROWN led team with season-high 57 rec. yards last week. Had 68 rec. yards in his last game vs. TB (9/11/22 w/ Dal.).
- TE DALTON SCHULTZ has rec. TD in 3 of past 4 overall & in each of his past 2 at home. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. TB with 6+ catches.
- LB BLAKE CASHMAN had 5 tackles, 2 TFL & 1st sack of season last week. Aims for 4th in row with 5+ tackles & 2+ TFL.
- LB DENZEL PERRYMAN had 9 tackles & half sack last week.
- DE JONATHAN GREENARD had season-high 6 tackles & career-high 2.5 sacks in Week 8. Has 5 sacks in his past 4.
- DT MALIEK COLLINS had season-high 2 sacks last week, his 4th-career multi-sack game. Aims for 3rd in row with 0.5+ sacks. Has sack in 2 of 3 career games vs. TB.
- CB STEVEN NELSON aims for 3rd in row at home with INT.
C.J. Stroud: highest-graded rookie QB in the NFL this season pic.twitter.com/JyKtGnS3cV— PFF HOU Texans (@PFF_Texans) November 1, 2023
The H-Town ballers are due for a bounce back, and Baker Mayfield is due to Baker Mayfield. Expect the Texans to sit at 4-4 this time next week.
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