Bolt Beat Week 12 Staff Picks: Chargers vs. Texans

The San Diego Chargers (4-6) will be in Houston on Sunday for a key matchup with the Texans (6-4). It’s a must-win game for San Diego. The Chargers are coming off their bye week, while Houston is on a short week after losing to the Oakland Raiders last Monday night in Mexico City.

The Chargers are 4-1 all-time against the Texans, though Houston won the last meeting in 2013.

We asked some of the staff writers here at Bolt Beat for their opinion on this game, and they each gave us their predictions. The numbers in parentheses are that writer’s win-loss record on the season.

John Burress (2-6): “Bolts by 5. More out of need than anything. If the Chargers can get past these guys they still have a shot at the playoffs, if not, the post-season is unlikely and I’m starting to think about next years draft.”

Kevin Valenzuela (3-0): “With the Chargers and Texans not living up to expectations this season it’s easy to look at this game and just change the channel. But in all reality it’s 2 teams that are talented but lacking in certain key areas that hold them back. With that being said I believe it will be a good game and it will all come down to the running games from both sides. If the Chargers can continue to play the excellent run defense and contain Lamar Miller even with Brandon Mebane’s absence, and force Brock Osweiler to make throws then I think we’ll be in good shape. But if we can’t contain Lamar Miller then I think they stick around in the game. I think Philip has a good comeback game and Melvin does well but if we can’t contain their pass rushers then that can be problematic. Keys to the game are that we stop the run, make Brock Osweiler beat us, and have a balanced attack on offense to take the pressure from Philip. I say the Chargers win this game 31-20 and Philip has a big game.”

Louis Gorini (8-2): “The Houston Texans play like a completely different team when they are home. And even though they are currently undefeated at home, I fully expect the Chargers to hand the Texans their first loss at home. The Chargers look to be getting healthier after the bye, with the return of Perryman and Benjamin. San Diego’s tight ends will present major match up problems for Houston’s safeties and linebackers. Osweiler will have trouble keeping up with Rivers and the San Diego offense. Chargers 27 Texans 20.”

Derek Anselmo (2-3): “So many things I don’t trust in this game. I don’t trust the Chargers O line or defense. One thing I trust less than both of those? Brock Oswelier. I haven’t seen anything that scares me out of this offense. Containing Lamar Miller is the key to winning. I think the Chargers do enough to win. Chargers- 31, Texans-21.”

Matt Pagels (6-4): “The Chargers are fully rested after the bye week, but are they really healthy? This team has been dismantled by injuries, but yet they are still in every game (and leading most of the time in said games). I don’t think Philip Rivers tosses four INTs in the fourth quarter, and if they can hold Lamar Miller off, Brock Osweiler won’t be able to lead the Texans to a win. Bolts get this one, and it won’t come down to the final minutes like every other game.”

Travis Wakeman (5-5): “As others have eluded to, stopping Lamar Miller will be the key to a Chargers win. But can they do that without Brandon Mebane? I do like the fact that the Chargers are coming off a bye and facing the Texans on a short week, but something also must be said for the fact that the Texans are 5-0 at home. In addition, they probably should have won that game against the Raiders last week and for all of Brock Osweiler’s struggles, the Texans are still a good team. I do think this is another game that comes down to the final minutes, but I see the Chargers running out of steam at the end.  Texans 23, Chargers 22.”

Writers picking San Diego: 5

Writers picking Houston: 1

What do you guys think? Let us know what your prediction is for this game and make sure to check out our open thread where you can talk about the game during the game.

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