After falling flat in a huge home game against the Colts last week, the Houston Texans (9-4) will try to get back on track in a nationally televised Saturday afternoon game against the New York Jets (4-9) at MetLife Stadium.
On paper, the Texans should obviously dominate this game. Let’s find out what BRB sees in its collective crystal ball:
Chris: Texans 31, Jets 13.
Last week when I picked the Colts to win, I said it wasn’t going to be the start of a big slide for the Texans or the start of them finishing the season on a whimper. It was just what I thought it was going to be - a desperate Colts team that could come in and take advantage of a Houston secondary that has been susceptible all season long. Nothing more, nothing less. In reality, giving up 24 points to the Colts isn’t actually bad at all... but if the Colts had needed more, I think they would have gotten it.
Anyway, this week, Chris... focus on this week.
On Saturday, I expect the Texans to steamroll the Jets, period. If the Texans are actually a good team - and they are a good team - they will win this game handily. If they barely squeak by or drop this one, they are paper tigers. It’s a bad matchup for the Jets. They can’t throw it and the Texans should stuff their attempts to run it. Clowney and Watt should feast. Get in, hammer’em, stay healthy, get out.
Titan Matt Weston: Texans 23, Jets 13.
Can the Jets throw the football? No. Will the Jets have to run the football? Yes.
Houston should win this one pretty easily. It should still be an interesting game from an I-like-the-Houston-Texans perspective. The Jets blitz from every level of their defense and attack every gap. Cleveland, Tennessee, and Indy all had success blitzing Deshaun Watson. If Houston can pick it up, he’ll have plenty of space to run and attack man coverage. It’s a nice practice run for the playoffs. Whoever Houston plays in January is going to bring the blitz unless it’s putrid Miami, who is actually really good and really cool Miami when they wear the football helmet dolphin jerseys.
Also, Sam Darnold has been terrible this year. Toooooo many turnovers, but there is enough of the occasional sublime to be intrigued. Oh, youth! Oh, frontal lobeless football.
Mike Bullock: Texans 31, Jets 16.
The Jets will have some early success rushing Deshaun Watson, but the Texans will finally stop sputtering and get the plane off the tarmac in the second quarter. Since no one on the Jets is “Andrew Luck/T.Y. Hilton” level threat, The Texans’ defense should bounce back and produce some highlight reel plays.
BFmf’nD: Texans 45, Jets 6.
This is a horrible match-up for the Jests, and Sam Darnold is the new Blaine Gabbert without the athleticism. I foresee a lot of Alfred Blue and his 3.5 y/a combined with a couple of defensive TDs.
Capt Ron: Texans 28, Jets 13.
The Jets are an AFC team that the Texans should feast on all day. Any other NFL team heading into the playoffs would probably put up more than 35 points against New York, but Bill “I’m most comfortable tucked deep in a turtle shell” O’Brien won’t have any of that unnecessary scoring in a game where Houston holds the lead from the first quarter on. Prepare for boring runs up the middle and a heavy dose of Alfred Blue as they keep mileage off Lamar Miller and protect Watson in preparation for the postseason. For this game, this is actually the right strategy.
Tim: Texans 27, Jets 20.
While I’d love to predict a resounding win for the good guys, I think the combination of a short week, road game, and a freak play or two for the home team (I feel like there will be a long Sam Darnold touchdown pass, albeit amidst an afternoon of him struggling against Romeo Crennel’s sorcery, and a very odd turnover from the Texans’ offense) will keep this one closer than it would appear it should be on paper.
Nevertheless, the tenth win of the regular season will be in the books by Saturday night.