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Week 16 - Houston Texans vs. Denver Broncos: Preview & Predictions

The Houston Texans take on the Denver Broncos in their last home game of the season at Reliant Stadium today at 12:00 p.m. CST.  You can catch the game on CBS.

What’s left to say that hasn’t already been said?  We’re caught in that fan limbo where we want a win , but secretly desire a loss to lock in the fight for the number one overall pick in the draft.  Well, fear not friends because Peyton Manning is coming to get us one step closer to the promised land.

The Denver Broncos are coming off a pretty uninspiring performance against the San Diego Chargers where Manning was handed just his 3rd loss of the season. So now they’re rolling into Houston nice and pissed off about the way they performed; ready to take it out on the next team (which unfortunately happens to be us) and give themselves a much needed confidence boost moving into the post season.

I’m sure the Texans will have a hand in their own demise.  We all know how poorly they’ve been performing lately, so I won’t beat that dead horse.  But the injuries as of late have completely decimated the team – particularly on offense. Ben Tate will be out for the remainder of the year after having re-injured one of his already cracked ribs, leaving the arguably quicker but much more inexperienced Dennis Johnson to carry the load.  Garrett Graham will not play as he’s still battling his hamstring injury, and DeVier Posey suffered a high ankle sprain leaving him sidelined. And oh, the humanity! Case Keenum has a torn ligament in his thumb on his throwing hand and will not be starting…

… which leaves – you guessed it – Matt Schaub as your starting quarterback.  At the very least, Schaub coming back into the mix will make the game potentially interesting. Schaub should provide some blitz relief with his ability to get rid of the ball much faster than Keenum.  I mean, say what you want about the man’s most recent indiscretions on the field, but he does give the Texans the best chance to win considering Keenum’s obvious shortcomings. And that chance to win is what scares me. The Broncos defense isn’t exactly the pinnacle of excellence. Hell, it’s barely the pinnacle of mediocrity. Couple that with the Texans’ offense being as crippled as it is, do we have enough to pull off the upset?

Nah. Chalk this one up under the L column, gang. Even with Wes Welker out, the Broncos offense is just too fast and too powerful, and our offense isn’t stable enough to give our defense the rest it needs to combat a Peyton Manning-run offense. I know it sucks having to feel good about a loss or even thinking about hoping for one, but this season is what it is. I would say that one more win wouldn’t hurt our draft position, but the Washington Redskins are sneaking up on us for that no. 1 pick (which would go to the St. Louis Rams due to trades). While I know the Redskins aren’t in the market for a QB (yet…), there have been mock drafts projecting that the Rams may be eying a quarterback to replace the ailing, very expensive Sam Bradford. So it would just be best if we lost the rest of our games to lock up that pick and be done with it.

Am I saying I’m happy to be in this position? Of course not. But again, it is what it is. Have to start looking ahead. We’re not coaches and we’re not players. We’re fans. We have that luxury.  Just two more games and we can all focus on what’s most important: The head coaching hunt and draft prospects.

Teddy Bridgewater was congratulating his fellow graduates on Twitter the other night talking about how they’re going to “take on the real world.” I responded and told him that he could crash at my place until he finds his own house here in Houston.  He favorited it.

See you in 2014, Mr. Bridgewater.


Follow me on Twitter: @Blairsker

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Tags: Houston Texans

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