On Sunday, two division-leading six-and-three teams will fight it out as the Houston Texans travel to Maryland to face Washington. You may recall the last trip the Texans made to FedEx Field...
Let’s see how the Masthead predicts Sunday’s big matchup:
Chris: Houston 24, Washington 23.
I think we are in for another nail-biter. It isn’t really so much about the matchup or strengths vs. weaknesses, because I feel like the Texans are at least a bit ahead on paper. It’s just that I still don’t trust this team to run away with anything on the road, with the possible exception of their game in New York against the Jets in Week 15.
I’d feel better about this one if I knew exactly how fit to play Zach Cunningham will be (he was limited in practice Wednesday), but I’m comfortable enough to see another sweat-drenched, palpitation-inducing squeaker.
Houston gets to 7-3, flooring all of us after that horrific start. This will carry them into what HAS to be the team’s first ever home Monday Night Football game against an AFC South opponent (Tennessee) while both teams are still very much alive for the division title.
Capt. Ron: Houston 28, Washington 9.
The Texans are 3-1 coming out of the bye week under Bill O’Brien, with the one loss being last year’s team that fell off a cliff without Watson and Watt.
The recovery time to heal and freshen up the players after a 6-game winning streak will pay dividends for the good guys with a dominant performance.
BFmf’nD: Houston 23, Washington 17.
Washington is 22nd in passing DVOA and 15th in rushing. Alex Smith knows how to beat the Texans, but he’s just not the same without Andy Reid. I just don’t think that teams without a real QB can beat the Texans.
Titan Matt Weston: Houston 20, Washington 16.
The Texans can stop the run. Washington has to run the ball and are missing their entire offensive line. It’s going to be close and nasty because it always is.
MDC: Houston 31, Washington 13.
It’s supposed to be 51 and sunny in DC on Sunday, so weather won’t be an issue. I agree with BFD; Alex Smith without Andy Reid is just Alex Smith. And that’s not a good thing.
I’ve come around to thinking that this team will inexplicably win 11 games and get throttled in the first round of the playoffs. I dare say they’ll be the worst 11-win team in recent NFL memory. So get used to Brain O’Brain butthole-chinning his way up and down the sidelines for at least a couple more years.
This also feels like a “JJ and Clowney combine for six sacks” game.
Mike Bullock: Houston 27, Washington 16.
Adrian Peterson will break one big one, but that’s about all the offense Washington really musters as they kickball their way to 16 points after the AP TD. Deandre Hopkins and Demaryius Thomas take advantage of D.J. Swearinger on their way to a TD each, then D’Onta Foreman punches in another. An ugly game that looks closer than it is at times, gets scrappier than a non-divisional game should and ends with all the fair-weather Cowboy fans in DC cheering for a Houston win.
Kenneth: Houston 42, Washington 24.
I just watched the highlights from the Washington-Tampa game and could not tell you how many blown chances the Fitzpatrick-led offense blew in their route to losing the game. The Washington secondary plays off coverage like no one I’ve seen in the league so far. They rarely blitz and wait for you to make a mistake. Watson will have 400 passing yards and not throw the ball downfield more than 20 yards. This would be Fuller’s best game of the season if he was healthy. The amount of respect Washington paid him in their coverage is insane. If their secondary plans to give Hopkins, D. Thomas, and Keke Coutee free releases throughout the game this will turn into a clinic. Healthy Watson will scramble for 60 yards on Sunday. That I will bet on.
Adrian Peterson and the Washington running game are the key to the game. If they can control the clock with the run game and keep this from being a shootout, they have a better chance to win. Peterson can carve up this Texans average run defense early with hard hitting four yard gains that wear down the Texans and force Mathieu to play in the box.
I think the Texans run away with this game though and improve to 7-3.
Feel free to share your thoughts and predictions in the comments section below, and above all else - enjoy your football weekend!