Line: Texans -3.5

This is an interesting choice for the last Monday Night game of week 1. The Texans march into San Diego as the favorite and looking to rebound from a disappointing end to last season. The Chargers will be looking to show the rest of the NFL that they have not fallen as far as the prognosticators and odds makers seem to think they have.

San Diego is lead by its fiery leader in quarterback Philip Rivers who remains one of the most prolific passers in the National Football League. His career has been disappointing when you consider playoff success; however he remains an old school gunslinger capable of leading his team to victory on any given Sunday. His top target is veteran Tight End Antonio Gates who appears to be in the best health he has had in years. When healthy he is as good as any tight end in the league. Top wideout Malcolm Floyd struggles to stay on the field and will continue to tease Charger fans with his ability until he is able to play a full 16 game schedule. He comes into this contest apparently ready to go. Running back Ryan Matthews had a very disappointing 2012 season and will look to rebound strong here in week one. He is a much better all around player than he has shown and don’t be surprised if he gets off to a good start.

The Texans have an NFL version of “The Big 3” in quarterback Matt Schaub, running back Arian Foster, and wide receiver Andre Johnson. Foster has not played in the pre season and his health is a big factor in the Texans season. When on the field he is unquestionably one of the top 3 running backs in the NFL. He has a rare combination of burst and raw strength that allow him to elude tacklers as well as gain multiple yards after initial contact. Backup running back Ben Tate is a real bruiser who is capable at taking over but he is not as well rounded as Foster. Schaub has a strong arm and excels in the play action game and keeping the offense moving at a brisk pace. Johnson is quietly putting together a hall of fame career. He has had to battle with injuries over the past few years but generally has remained on the field come game day. He has amazing hands and finds ways to hold on to the ball after the most vicious of contact. It is critical that he and Foster are healthy and playing if they want to get a road win on week one. J.J Watt leads an underrated defense that puts a lot of pressure on the quarterback.

Both teams have key players who constantly battle injuries and their performance will go a long way Monday night. In the end it going to come down to the Chargers establishing the run and defending their home field

Pick: Chargers +3.5

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