It’s a meltdown. Some Texans fans are off the bandwagon (good for them), and some Texans fans just won’t watch any game with number eight involved. The real Texans fans are still around, will always be around, and have always been around for this team during the good and the bad. The Texans now stand at 2-3 after the debacle in San Francisco and today face the Rams in Reliant Stadium. Here is my preview and predictions for today’s game.
1:00 PM ET, October 13, 2013
Reliant Stadium, Houston, TX
It would be an understatement to say the Texans offense has struggled the last game and a half. The Texans rarely got the ball into opposing team’s territory over the last six quarters and Randy Bullock didn’t help when he missed a field goal on one of the few times the offense got in field goal range over the last six quarters. Today, all eyes will be on Matt Schaub.
Besides throwing four consecutive pick-sixes, Schaub has also struggled in general since early in the Seahawks game. Against the Niners, the defense let Schaub force himself into mistakes knowing that they’d come eventually. Schaub doesn’t have the mobility or strong arm to make the big play, so as long as the defense can pick off a pass or two the 49’ers knew they’d be fine. Schaub should be able to succeed against a Rams secondary allowing 256 passing yards a game. Schaub will have to make smart throws against the Rams and take advantage of having two great receivers in Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins. With Owen Daniels out, Schaub will rely on Garrett Graham and Ryan Griffin who will both receive lots of playing time and likely be relied upon.
The best way to cure a struggling QB is to have success in the running game and take pressure off Schaub. Arian Foster is starting to pick up his gameplay while Ben Tate continues his fumbling problems. Though Tate averages over two more yards per carry, Foster continues to get most of the carries for the Texans. The Rams allow just 126 rushing yards per game (same as the Texans) and have done a good job against the run. Robert Quinn and Chris Long are two of the great defensive lineman in the NFC and the Texans will have their hands full with them.
I’m sure the defense would appreciate if the Texans offense wouldn’t turn over the ball in their territory. Many of the Texans points allowed this season likely comes from the opponents drives that start deep in Texans territory. A surprise to many outside of Houston, the Texans defense has been the best in the league this season and now gets a Rams squad averaging just 312 yards per game.
J.J. Watt has been even better this season according to profootballfocus.com. Though the stats may not be there, he has been getting into the backfield constantly and will look to up his sack total against Sam Bradford. Watt, Antonio Smith, and Earl Mitchell will be able to focus on getting to the quarterback as the Rams don’t run the ball well. The Rams average just 66 yards on the ground and prefer to put the ball in Sam Bradford’s hands as many times as possible.
The Rams have multiple receiving options though no big name players. Jared Cook and Chris Givens are the two Rams leading receivers through five games. Austin Pettis is coming off a big game and rookie Tavon Austin is a playmaker. Brice McCain will likely see a lot of action at nickel back and will need to play his best game of the season. Look for the Rams to throw the ball a lot and test Joseph and Jackson.
The Score: Texans – 24 Rams – 13
- For the second straight week I predict Schaub does NOT throw a pick-6
- The Texans record their own pick-6. Jackson takes one to the house.
- Bullock connects on his only FG attempt from 37 yards
- Foster scores 2 TD’s as the running game combines for 150+ yards
- Schaub hits Ryan Griffin for his first career TD
What do you think Texans fans? Sound off in the comments below or tweet me @YoniPollak.