Week 5 of the 2012 NFL season comes to a conclusion Monday night with quite the mismatch as the undefeated Houston Texans head to the Big Apple to take on the reeling New York Jets.
The Texans have simply done what they were expected to do thus far. They’ve looked dominant in their first four games and should truly have minimal difficulty on Monday Night Football against a horrific Jets team. Houston looks like the most complete team in the NFL at the moment, possessing an explosive offense with a ferocious defense. Unlike their opponents, the Texans will enter this contest about as healthy as possible with no significant injuries to speak of. Backup running back Ben Tate is questionable, but is still expected to suit up. Houston doesn’t get much limelight in both the state of Texas or within the NFL, so expect this team to be pumped to be featured on Monday Night Football. This won’t be a letdown spot for one of the game’s premier squads.
Meanwhile, for New York they’re simply a team in absolute disarray. There has been speculation that the Jets may look to make a switch at quarterback and go with Tim Tebow over Mark Sanchez, but whether or not Rex Ryan goes through with that, remains to be seen. They’ve also gotten no reprieve on the injury front, as Darelle Revis and Santonio Holmes are out for the foreseeable future, while key playmakers Dustin Keller and Stephen Hill won’t be in the lineup against Houston. The odds are certainly stacked against the Jets, but that seems to be when Rex Ryan does his best work. The Jets still sit with a 2-2 record but you get the sense things could soon go awry. It’s a massive game for New York and they’ll do their best not to get embarrassed on a national stage on Monday Night Football. Against the Texans however, it’s going to be a stiff test and it will not be easy.
Texans vs. Jets Spread & Betting Odds:
Houston Texas -9 (+100)
@ New York Jets +9 (-120)
Over 41 (-110)
Under 41 (-110)
Betting odds taken from Bovada.lv
Texans vs. Jets Pick:
It has become wildly difficult to even consider backing the Jets right now. When you factor in their plethora of harsh injuries, stagnant offense, and overall distractions, the team is simply a disaster. It’s become customary for Jets fans to begin the game chanting Tebow’s name before Sanchez even attempts a pass. Playing in New York isn’t an ideal situation right now, and it has the potential to get very ugly on national television Monday evening.
However, despite the Jets deficiencies they still boast one of the game’s better defenses. Though they’ve lost top player Darelle Revis for the remainder of 2012, this remains a tough unit that won’t passively sit back and concede points. Being at home on Monday Night Football is a big stage and no team wants to get embarrassed on it, especially one as high-profile as the Jets. Surely Rex Ryan has been preaching his “us against the world” speech for his club, and despite the fact the walls are crumbling around this team, expect a more inspired outing Monday evening.
The Jets were manhandled last week against San Francisco, and will be determined not to duplicate that performance this week. This team has to be fed up as they’ve been getting blasted in the media all week long, despite the fact they entered this week’s slate of games tied for first in their division. This remains a veteran group that boasts pride and character and won’t merely roll over when the work gets tough. Home underdogs typically bounce back very well after losing as a home underdog in the previous week. They’re 39-20 against the spread in recent history and the Jets will hope that trend comes through Monday evening. Additionally, teams that get shut out at home in the previous week, as the Jets were in Week 4, bounce back to the tune of 21-10 against the spread since 2001. These are staggering numbers, and while it’s tough to fully back the Jets to cover, it may not be the blowout the general public is expecting.
Look for the Jets to keep this within single digits. However, if they’re to do so this game is going to be one of the low-scoring variety. New York will struggle mightily to move the football and put points up, but it’ll be their defense which makes it tough on Houston. Matt Schaub still has many questions surrounding his ability and look for Rex Ryan to make Schaub beat his team. Houston will likely counter with their rock-solid ground game, led by star back Arian Foster. The Jets struggle to stop the run and look for the Texans to run the ball with regularity. All these running plays will eat up clock time, and are conducive to playing an Under. Though the total is low at 41 points right now, the Jets’ offense is incapable of doing anything at the moment. That said, their defense is a prideful and solid group that should slow down Houston’s attack and not let them turn this contest into a complete blowout. For those reasons, expect this contest to stay under the posted total and likely force Tim Tebow into the starter’s role by Tuesday morning.
PICK = Under 41 (-110)