In one of the least aesthetically pleasing game, the Houston Texans welcome the NY Jets to Texas for a matchup featuring, what could potentially be backup vs. backup. Brian Hoyer has been ruled out, Ryan Mallett is presumably sitting on a couch somewhere smoking marijuana, so that leaves TJ Yates who opened the season as the 3rd stringer in Houston. How many of you that aren’t going to bet this game going to be watching? That number probably falls between 2 to 5 people. It looks like Ryan Fitzpatrick is going to be able to go in this one, so at least one starter will be playing. Hoyer and Fitzpatrick would be backups on most other teams, so even if they were both playing it almost feels like it would backup vs. backup in any case. The Jets and Texans are also close record wise, with the Jets at 5-4 and the Texans are 4-5. Theoretically both teams are alive for a Wildcard in the playoffs, but that is going to be a pretty difficult feat to accomplish, for either team. The Jets are coming off a hard loss against their former head coach, Rex Ryan and the Buffalo Bills. Meanwhile, the Texans this past week pulled off an upset over the then undefeated Cincinnati Bengals.
The Texans will have to regain their composure after that big upset and look toward the NY Jets. Beating an undefeated team and turning around to face the Jets the following week is what we would call a letdown opportunity for the Texans. A team can get so wrapped up in the previous week that they don’t see the next week clearly. Call it a hangover, if you will. The Jets had to watch Rex Ryan dancing around on the sidelines last week, as the Texans were celebrating a win against the Bengals.
The Jets and Texans have needed the defense to get them to this point. Offensively things have been tough sledding for both teams, but the defenses have brought them to a position where they again, theoretically, are in it but in today’s NFL a good defense is not enough for anything of substance. Both teams have covered the spread at an equal rate as well, the Jets are 4-4-1 ATS and the Texans are 4-5 ATS. The Texans have their marquee win over the Bengals and the Jets beat the Colts early in the season. The Texans have home field advantage here but they are without a capable quarterback. TJ Yates has stepped in in the past. He actually beat the Bengals in the playoffs back in 2012, a 31-10 win. Since then, he has been stuffed away on the Falcons roster and now back with the Texans. Not the most appealing matchup, but let’s try and find a winner here.
N.Y. Jets vs. Houston Texans NFL
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Jets vs. Texans Pick:
The Jets do have a top defense, they have that going for them, but offensively they have had their issues. In actuality they have been looking for an offense before the Mark Sanchez era. The defense was so superior then that they were able to make up for the inefficiencies on offense. The Jets are 4th in the NFL in total team defense, allowing an average of 318.4 yards per game. Against the run they don’t allow much at all and are 1st in the NFL in that regard, with only 88.1 yards allowed on the ground. The Texans running back situation is in dire straits, as Arian Foster is of course out for the year. Chris Polk is dealing with a hamstring and is listed as questionable. The Texans had to activate Akeem Hunt off the practice squad for some depth at the position.
The game is going to fall into the hands of TJ Yates. I don’t expect any kind of running game to get going for the Texans in this game. The Jets are also good against the pass, as they are 9th in that respect. The Texans are pretty good there too, coming in with the 5th best pass defense in the league. Against the run the Texans are 8th in the NFL. I don’t understand how yards are going to be generated in this game. I see something like 16-13 or 17-13 in this game. Fitzpatrick isn’t going to be playing healthy and Yates has to go up against the Jets’ defense. This leads to a play on the UNDER 40.
PICK: UNDER 40 POINTS (-110)