Lions vs. Texans Pick – NFL Week 8

Brock Osweiler probably assumed that the pressure was going to be on him after signing a monster contract worth over $70 million. I hope he knew it was going to come with the territory, anyway. Osweiler opted to take the money instead of staying in Denver for a cheaper deal. In the long run, though, was it the right decision to make the move to Houston? Osweiler looked comfortable and capable in the Denver offense, with the Texans it’s been a miss for the most part. He was able to make a pass or two against the Indianapolis Colts a couple weeks ago, but the win masked the many bad moments he had against them. Last week there was no hiding from his mistakes, he just looked awful against the Broncos. The Broncos have a habit of making quarterbacks look bad, but Osweiler couldn’t even hold on to the ball against his former team.

In what reminds me of the butt fumble by Mark Sanchez years ago, Osweiler went to pass with no defenders around him, yet fumbled the ball as he was cocking his arm to throw. It was a nice summary of how his career has gone thus far in Houston. After signing him to this contract, it’s not so easy as just benching him. The Texans are going to have to keep playing him and see what they have. If he completely goes off the rails and is throwing 3 interceptions a game, then something may have to be done. However, the Texans don’t have the most attractive backup in the wing, Brandon Weeden.

You either hope Osweiler gets playing better, or have to start Weeden who has no upside whatsoever. The decision, right now anyway, is easy to make with keeping Osweiler as the starter. He has passed for 8 touchdowns and 8 interceptions in total this season. So, yeah, it could be worse, but he has failed to generate plays like a $70 million man should. Matthew Stafford will take snaps for the Lions, who has been having a fantastic year for the Lions. Stafford has passed for 15 touchdowns and 4 interceptions this season. He has seemed to mature with the football in his hands.

Stafford with only 4 interceptions by Week 8 is an impressive stat. He has previously liked to take a lot of chances, but we’ve seen him make solid decisions with the ball in 2016. Even more impressive is the fact Stafford has been doing it with zero running game. There are a lot of season changers around the NFL in Week 8. Here in Houston it’s no different for the 4-3 Lions and Texans.

Detroit Lions vs. Houston Texans NFL Betting Odds:

Lions +1(-110)
vs. Texans -1(-110)

Over 45.5(-110)
Under 45.5(-110)

Odds provided by

Lions vs. Texans Pick:

Defense has been there for the Texans over the last several years. Defense has never been the issue for this team. They have needed a great quarterback to get the offense going to catch up with their defense. In the NFL today, a good defense isn’t enough to go too far. A great, elite unit like the Broncos of last season? Okay, that will do the trick, because Peyton Manning did not contribute much to that team on the field. Which is why Osweiler could have stayed in Denver and enjoyed playing with that elite defense, making him look better than he truly is.

The Texans are 8th in the NFL, allowing 320 yards per game. They are exceptionally good defending the pass, with only 184.7 yards allowed per game. The defense has also played exceptionally well at home, giving up just 17.25 points per game in Houston. The Texans’ defense is strong against the pass, but it isn’t the same case against the run. They’re 28th in the league at doing so. The absence of J.J. Watt is hurting them in that department.

The problem I have with the Lions in this game is that they only have a passing game. Their ground game has been non-existent, especially after Ameer Abdullah had to sit down for the season with an injury. Out of desperation, the Lions recently signed Justin Forsett, who has immediately been thrust into the starting job. They are averaging just 89.4 yards on the ground, and it’s predictably gotten worse without Abdullah.

I don’t like this matchup for the Lions. They will go to their forte passing the ball, but the Texans’ defense should be able to nullify their strength at home. Stafford hasn’t had many bad starts this season, but this should be one of them. This looks like a setback spot for the Lions after they had that thrilling last-minute drive against the Redskins to win last week. The Texans win here 24-20 or something thereabouts.

PICK: TEXANS -1 (-110)