The 9-4 Houston Texans will travel to New York to take on the 4-9 Jets in this season’s first Saturday afternoon game. These teams are coming off weeks where they each ended lengthy streaks. Houston broke its 9 game win streak with a 24-21 home loss to the Indianapolis Colts. Despite the loss, they still hold a 2 game lead over the Colts in the AFC South Division with 3 games left. The Jets ended their 6 game losing streak with a 27-23 road victory over the Buffalo Bills. They trailed 20-13 after three quarters only to score 2 fourth quarter touchdowns to secure the win. The win tied them with the Bills for last place in the AFC East and they have been eliminated from playoff contention.
DeShaun Watson played well against the Colts finishing with a passer rating of 99.3 as he completed 27 of 36 passes for 267 yards, 1 touchdown and 0 interceptions. He didn’t get much help from the offensive line as he was sacked 5 times for a loss of 41 yards. His favorite target was Ryan Griffin who had 5 catches for 80 yards. DeAndre Hopkins caught the only touchdown for the team and in the third quarter he became the second youngest player in league history to surpass 7,000 yards. The team struggled running the ball gaining 89 yards on 25 carries which is an average of 3.6 yards per rush. For the year, the Texans offense has averaged 24.8 points and 390.5 yards per game. Defensively, they intercepted Andrew Luck once and sacked him twice but he did throw for 399 yards. They did an excellent job against the run as the Colts gained just 50 yards on 23 carries which is an average of 2.2.yards per run.
Sam Darnold played well enough to earn the win against the Bills as he finished with a passer rating of 83.7. He completed 16 of 24 passes for 170 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception. His favorite target was Robby Anderson who caught 4 passes for 76 yards and a touchdown. They struggled running the ball gaining 78 yards on 28 carries. Elijah McGuire led the team 60 yards and a touchdown. Defensively, they forced 3 turnovers with 2 interceptions and a fumble recovery. They struggled against the run as they allowed the Bills to gain 176 yards on 31 carries which is an average of 5.7 yards per run. On the season, the Jets defense has allowed their opponents to average 25.4 points and 391 yards per game.
The Jets will have home field advantage and are 6.5 point underdogs. They have gone 5-8 against the spread this season including 2-4 at home. While they have been eliminated from playoff contention, they can still play spoilers to other teams looking to get in. The Texans have gone 6-7 against the spread including 3-3 on the road. If they win this game and get a little help, they could have the division title wrapped up by Sunday night.