There’s a point in every great movie when the seemingly indestructible foe shows a moment of weakness, allowing the good guys to pounce.
Whether it’s a carelessly-placed thermal exhaust port
, a cut under the left eye or a poor showing on national TV, every “unstoppable” behemoth has a chink in the armor.
Of course, the latter example has to do with the Houston Texans’ ho-hum 23-17 win over the New York Jets
on Monday Night Football.
The Texans, who improved to 5-0 SU with the victory, looked human for the first time this season versus the desperate Jets – a team oddsmakers tagged as high as 10-point home underdogs.
On top of that blown cover, Houston suffered a crushing injury to All-Pro linebacker Brian Cushing, who’s out for the remainder of the year with a torn ACL. That loss puts a speed bump in front of the Texans’ fearless pass rush, allowing blockers to key on sack master J.J. Watt, who leads the AFC in QB kills with 7.5.
As strong as the Texans have looked, chop blocking one of their biggest pillars causes plenty of cracks in the dam. And, really, is Houston’s undefeated mark really that great to begin with, boasting wins over Miami, Jacksonville, Denver, Tennessee and New York?
Those teams combine for an 8-17 record (11-14 ATS) and Houston is actually tied for the third-weakest schedule in the league. We’re not dealing with Ivan Drago here, are we?
The Texans get their first true test of the season this Sunday night against the Green Bay Packers
, a once-mighty force that knows all about having its weaknesses exposed.
Speaking of looking human for the first time this season, I suffered my first losing week of NFL Underdogs
, going 1-2 ATS in Week 5 to fall to 10-4-1 ATS on the year.
Here’s hoping my record isn’t as paper-thin as the Texans’.Pick:
Green Bay +3.5
Detroit Lions at Philadelphia Eagles (-4, 47.5)
Andy Reid has a bone to pick with one NFL GM, who anonymously ripped Lions DT Ndamukong Suh
earlier this week.
That sparked a fire in Suh, who is one scary dude even when he’s not being publicly criticized. That mystery GM didn’t do the Eagles offensive line any favors.
Philadelphia’s lack of protection has left QB Mike Vick to scramble for his life through the first five weeks, allowing Vick to be sacked 14 times while also causing him to throw six interceptions and fumble five times.
Wouldn’t it be funny if the GM turned out to be Lions’ top man Martin Mayhew? A 1-3 start can make teams resort to desperate measures.Pick:
Detroit +4Denver Broncos at San Diego Chargers (-1, 49.5)
The look on Peyton Manning’s face said it all.
The Broncos marched down the field and had themselves in position to make things very interesting late in the fourth quarter at New England last weekend.
Then, RB Willis McGahee fumbled on the Patriots’ 14-yard line with just under four minutes remaining, erasing any chance of a Denver comeback – let alone a cover as a 5.5-point underdog.
Don’t expect anyone else to handle the ball besides Manning when the Broncos are closing in on the end zone in San Diego Monday.
Denver +1Last week: 1-2 ATS
Season: 10-4-1 ATS