Oddsmakers have set the undefeated Texans as 9-point road favorites and in order to get a better handle on that big spread, we’ve acquired the help of two team experts. Michael Wood of Houston blog “Texans 101” and Joe Caporoso of New York blog “Turn On The Jets” put on the gloves for our latest Monday night debate.
THREE REASONS WHY HOUSTON WILL COVER
Michael Wood writes for Texans 101. You can follow them on Facebook and on Twitter @Texans_101.
Texans’ pass defense
The Texans enter the game as the NFL’s fourth-ranked pass defense, with DE J.J. Watt leading the pass rush with a league-high 7.5 sacks. The Texans have absolutely tormented opposing QBs this season, posting a combined QB rating of 68.2, which drops to 59.02 when you take out Peyton Manning’s Week 3 performance. The Jets, on the other hand, have struggled mightily throwing the ball. Mark Sanchez has been abysmal and has now lost his No. 1 WR, Santonio Holmes, for the season.
Absence of Darrelle Revis
If there is one position of weak depth on the Texans, it’s wide receiver. The Texans utilize a number of pass catchers, but few put pressure on the outside besides Andre Johnson. However, with no Revis, the Jets will be forced to dedicate extra coverage Johnson’s way at least on occasion, opening things up for the other Texans receivers in the pass game. When coupled with the Texans’ run game and play-action passing attack, the Jets’ defenders could be in for a long night.
The Texans defense has been particularly nasty to young quarterbacks this season while protecting the ball well offensively. The same can’t be said for the Jets, who are minus-2 in the turnover column compared to the Texans’ plus-7. The big difference here is the Texans have only turned the ball over twice while the Jets have turned it over eight times. With a Texans defense that has a nose for the football and a QB in Mark Sanchez whom has a knack for throwing interceptions, the Texans could be looking at a huge advantage.
FINAL SCORE PREDICTION: Houston 31, New York 10
In all four games, the Texans have gotten out to 20-point leads behind a balanced offensive attack and stifling defense. As the more talented team across the board, the Texans are likely to find themselves ahead at some point, which puts the Jets into the same trap as the Texans’ past opponents. The Jets will be forced to throw the ball which is exactly when the Texans take advantage of young, inexperienced or below-average QBs.
THREE REASONS WHY NEW YORK WILL COVER
Joe Caporoso is the Owner/Editor-In-Chief of Turn On The Jets. You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter @TurnOnTheJets.
The New York Jets were humiliated on their home field last Sunday and there isn’t a football analyst alive who doesn’t think it won’t happen again Monday night. Despite their injuries and lack of overall talent, the Jets still have a core group of very good players who have won playoff games coached by Rex Ryan. It is hard to imagine this team just laying down and taking another beating for the second week in a row, particularly at home and in front of the whole country.
This entire roster has to know that another ugly loss means Tim Tebow becomes the starting quarterback. Mark Sanchez is playing for his job and the entire roster is playing to avoid an option-read offense, traveling media-circus. Desperate times will hopefully lead to a competitive game from this overmatched roster.
A mismatch like this on paper should lead to the Jets emptying their playbook on both sides of the ball. Look for a healthy share of trick plays on offense and a few new blitz schemes from Rex Ryan. I also wouldn’t write off a fake punt or field goal, along with maybe a surprise onside kick. The Jets quietly have a very good special teams unit, so they may be able to manufacture points in that way.
FINAL SCORE PREDICTION: Houston 23, New York 17
The Jets will stay scrappy for a few quarters but ultimately won’t be able to come up with a big play late to win the game. Mark Sanchez will be just serviceable enough to keep his starting job another week. This game will be competitive mainly because of the Jets defense, which will have a throwback performance of sorts, keeping Arian Foster and Ben Tate in relative check along with forcing a turnover or two.
Join the debate. Who will cover the spread Monday night?