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Five Good Texans Questions with Gang Green Nation

MacGregor Wells of Gang Green Nation joins BRB for five questions in advance of the Texans vs. Jets matchup

NFL: Denver Broncos at Houston Texans Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

There is nothing quite like maintaining fan interest during the dark times. Those of us at Battle Red Blog know this well. The folks at Gang Green Nation are turning out some terrific work on the Jets. MacGregor Wells of Gang Green Nation took time away from his busy schedule to answer some of our questions in advance of Sunday’s game.

Battle Red Blog: Who likely will be under center for the Jets on Sunday? How do the quarterbacks compare? Who do you think gives the Jets the best chance to win?

MacGregor Wells: Zach Wilson has been named the starter for the Jets on Sunday. Wilson has had a rough time in his first three seasons with the Jets, but he has shown some tentative signs of turning things around this year. He has started to step up in the pocket rather than retreating and making a bad situation worse. He has cleaned up his mechanics. He has done a better job avoiding turnovers, and he has stopped playing hero ball, trying to make big plays when they aren’t there. These improvements haven’t shown up as improved stats in the box scores, largely because the Jets offensive line has been disastrous this season, but he has improved. Wilson is still a below average quarterback, but he isn’t as bad as he was the first two seasons, when he looked like he simply didn’t belong in the NFL.

The other option for the Jets was Trevor Siemian. Siemian doesn’t have anywhere near the raw talent Wilson has. He doesn’t have Wilson’s arm, he doesn’t have Wilson’s mobility, he doesn’t have Wilson’s improvisational ability. Siemian is a bit better in reading defenses, but overall Siemian just doesn’t have the talent to start in the NFL.

Zach Wilson gives the Jets the best chance to win. That doesn’t mean he’s a good option. He’s just the better of two bad options.

BRB: The New York Jets and Houston Texans run similar defenses but the Jets are further along than the Texans. What are the keys to the defense and their good performances?

MW: The keys to the Jets defense are a trio of cornerbacks in Sauce Gardner, D.J. Reed and Michael Carter that are collectively, in my opinion, the best trio of cornerbacks in the NFL. Add to that a deep and talented defensive line that can put a lot of pressure on quarterbacks without blitzing and you have a first rate pass defense. The Jets run defense is nothing special, but the Jets can shut down the pass as well as any team in the NFL.

BRB: Who are some players on offense and defense we haven’t heard about but should have a big impact on Sunday’s game?

MW: On defense watch out for Bryce Huff. Huff was signed as an undrafted free agent edge rusher a few years back. This year he has really come into his own. He has as quick a first step as any pass rusher in the NFL, and he puts pressure on quarterbacks at an elite rate.

On offense there aren’t many good players for the Jets. Garrett Wilson and Breece Hall are the two studs on offense for the Jets, but I don’t think they’re unknown. I guess I’d go with center Joe Tippman. He was drafted by the Jets in the 2nd round of the 2023 draft and he has been playing well, though it’s kinda lost in the overall terrible play of the Jets offensive line. Another name on offense is Xavier Gipson, an undrafted free agent rookie receiver who has been making some plays lately.

BRB: The Jets have been in the AFC East since the merger in 1970. Who has been the Jets toughest opponent through that time? Is there a particular team or fan base that Jets fans enjoy beating more than the others?

MW: The Jets haven’t beaten the New England Patriots since 2015, so the Patriots are a team Jets fans would relish beating. Longer term the Dolphins have probably been the Jets biggest rivalry. Outside the division the Raiders have been a thorn in the Jets’ side for decades.

BRB: The Texans have opened as 6.5 point favorites according to DraftKings. Is that a fair number in your opinion? How do you see the game going on Sunday? Are there any prop bets you feel comfortable recommending?

MW: It’s difficult to know how to approach point spreads with the Jets lately. The Jets offense may well be the worst offense in the history of the NFL. They simply can’t score touchdowns, and field goals are rare. So it’s up to the Jets defense to play out of their minds to keep the Jets within striking defense every week. Many weeks the defense is up to the task and it’s a close game. Some weeks, like any defense, the Jets defense has an off day and the game ends up a blowout. Is 6.5 points fair? Sure. Considering the strength of the Jets is in their pass defense, and the Texans rely heavily on their passing game, I could see the Jets defense shutting down the Texans’ passing game enough to keep the game within a touchdown. Bad weather is predicted for the game, with a drenching rain and high winds, so that could also keep the score down. But I can also easily see a game where the Jets defense does its job, the Texans are held to something like 13 or 16 points, and the Jets still get beat by double digits. And of course there’s always the possibility the Jets defense has an off day, in which case this game will be a blowout in favor of the Texans.

Prop bets? As I’m writing this I don’t see any prop bets listed by DraftKings Sportsbook for the Jets/Texans game, which is odd. Let’s just say, whatever is eventually listed for the Jets offensive players, it’s always a good bet to take the under. The Jets offense is that bad.

We want to thank MacGregor for joining us for five questions. We know the kind of pain the Jets are going through and that pain is double since they were hoping to have Aaron Rodgers under center for the majority of the season. Still, they soldier and so does MacGregor as he and the others at Gang Green Nation do yeomen-like work during this down season.