The Texans will be on Monday Night Football this week as they head to Denver to take on the Super Bowl 50 champions, the Broncos. Here are the staff predictions for the game:
Game: Houston Texans (4-2) at Denver Broncos (4-2)
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Writer: Josh McSwain, Editor
Outlook: The Texans have faced an arduous road schedule here in the first half of the season. The Vikings are undefeated, the Patriots just one loss and the Broncos are the reigning champions.
Brock Osweiler suddenly turned it on in the last few minutes of the game last week against the Colts and lifted the Texans to a comeback win. He won’t be able to get away with that against the Broncos defense.
If the skill top to bottom of the Broncos defense wasn’t enough, you know that group will be out for blood against Osweiler. He left them in the offseason when he had the chance to be the guy there.
On the flip side, the Texans have struggled against the run all year and that’s exactly what Gary Kubiak‘s offense is made for. The Texans will have to stop the run without committing too many men to the box, which is going to be hard against the talented Denver receivers in DeMaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. The fact Houston is nursing multiple injuries in the secondary does not help.
If the Texans are to have any chance in this game, it’s going to be on the back of Lamar Miller. The Broncos defense is not great against the run, so he will have to consistently get more than four yards per carry. But I imagine the Broncos are going to let Aqib Talib and Chris Harris go one on one with DeAndre Hopkins and the Texans receivers most of the game and dare Osweiler to beat them.
Between all that, the altitude in Denver and the fact it’s a primetime game, I don’t think it bodes well for the Texans this week.
Final Score: Broncos 27, Texans 13
Writer: Randy Gurzi, Editor
Outlook: The Houston Texans are 4-0 at home and 0-2 on the road. Those losses included a 27-0 beatdown at the hands of the New England Patriots and a 31-13 embarrassment at Minnesota. Now they travel to Colorado and face the team quarterback Brock Osweiler spurned this offseason, the Denver Broncos.
Osweiler looked fantastic down the stretch last week as Houston made a comeback against the Indianapolis Colts. The problem though is that the Colts are pathetic on defense. Despite their ineptness on that side of the ball, they shut Houston down for three quarters, and only a miracle kept them from dropping the home game.
This is not the Colts defense. The Broncos defense is outstanding and if Osweiler and company struggled against a porous defense they will be eaten alive by Von Miller and his friends in Denver.
Linebacker Brandon Marshall says they want to “kill” Osweiler…and it may feel like that’s what’s going on when all is said and done.
Prediction: Broncos 28, Texans 13
Writer: Chad Washington, Contributor
Outlook: After a thrilling overtime win that is very key in winning the AFC South, the Texans have another tough road game on a national stage as they face defending Super Bowl champion Denver on Monday Night Football.
The Texans offense has looked absolutely terrible on the road this year, with Brock Osweiler getting most of the heat for not passing well against good defenses. That trend may happen again, as the Broncos will look to pressure their former teammate who spurned them in the offseason.
But Lamar Miller had a good game last Sunday night, and if he can get good chunk plays, that may ease some of the burden on Osweiler.
Oct 2, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (90) in action during the game against the Tennessee Titans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Meanwhile, Jadeveon Clowney has been playing great football the last couple of weeks. If he can continue and make an impact by either pressuring Trevor Siemian or getting some run stops, then the Texans defense will have a good night. If not, it will not go well at all.
Plus a beat-up secondary will have trouble matching up with the taller Denver receivers.
You would think the Texans would be due for a big road win against a good team on a national television. But I don’t think it’s happening this Monday.