Oct 21, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub (8) and wide receiver Andre Johnson (80) celebrate a touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens during the second half at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-US PRESSWIRE

Second Half Preview

Week 9: Texans vs Bills W

The Bills are many people’s dark horse candidate to make noise in the AFC East. By taking Mario Williams from the Texans this offseason they’ve greatly improved their pass rush but I still like Duane Brown in that matchup. If the game was in Buffalo I would have been more likely to give the Bills a fighting chance in this one but considering the Texans won’t be playing in the 40 or 50 degree weather, I like the Texans.

The Bills have been a disappointment this year. I thought they would be a significantly better defensive team than they’ve shown thus far, and for that reason I won’t change this pick. I feel like the Texans will come out of they bye week strong and beat the Bills by two scores.

Week 10: Texans @ Bears L

The Bears are going to be a tough matchup for anyone this year. Their offense has completely reloaded by trading for Jay Cutler’s favorite target in Brandon Marshall and drafted another big receiver in the second round in Alshon Jeffery. Between those two guys and their speedy guys like Hester and Knox, the Texans will have a tough time with that passing offense. The biggest problem the Texans will face though is playing a winter game at Soldier Field. The field is tough enough to keep your footing on even if you play there every week, but the Texans also will be playing in the cold weather as opposed to the air conditioned stadium they are used to.

I still have this as a loss but the passing game for the Bears has been a bit of a joke this year, it is their defense that has dominated. Fortunately the Bears are known for creating turnovers, something the Texans don’t do. This could work in the Texans favor and they could come away with a victory if they can get to Jay.

Week 11: Texans vs Jaguars W

Even though MJD should be back to midseason form I doubt it will matter much. The Jaguars offense remains extremely below average and while the Jaguars defense is pretty decent they won’t be able to stand with the potent offense the Texans will put on the field. This one won’t even be close.

MJD is injured, along with Blaine Gabbert. They both may be back by the time the Texans and Jags square off, but even if those guys are back I see this as a dominant win.

Week 12: Texans @ Lions L

The Texans are playing their first Thanksgiving game against the Lions this year and I think it will end unfortunately. You can’t win every game and the Lions are certainly not a slack team anymore. As good of a player as Jonathan Joseph is, no one in the NFL can match up with Calvin Johnson. The Lions have no run game whatsoever so the pass rush should be able to pin their ears back, and their defense isn’t great, but I just don’t have a good feeling about this game.

The Lions have underperformed this year but they’ve come on as of late. If they continue to play like they played last year they will be a difficult opponent, especially on Thanksgiving. I still have this as a loss if for no other reason than the fact that the Texans aren’t a 14-2 team this year.

Week 13: Texans @ Titans W

Locker will look better but the Texans defense will overwhelm the young quarterback. The Texans offense will be too much for the Titans defense and we should coast to an easy win. That being said it’s a divisional game which are always close and the Texans will have had a pretty difficult run the last few weeks. It could be a game that they unwisely look past but I believe it will be a win.

The Titans may have Jake Locker back for this matchup but the Titans will be out of the playoff race at this point so they may continue to keep him on the bench. Regardless of his play, the Texans should win this game easily as the Titans have looked horrible defensively this year.

Week 14: Texans @ Patriots W

This will be the week that the Texans prove their legitimacy. Their record will speak for itself but by beating one of the other best teams in the AFC it will show just how real of a threat they are. Tom Brady doesn’t do well when you pressure him and the Texans can certainly bring the pressure. While the Patriots have used early picks on their defense I doubt they will be able to make a significant difference in what was one of the worst defenses in the NFL last year.

The Patriots appear to have stopped all that run heavy nonsense they were trying at the beginning of the year and reverted back to the passing offense we all know. The Texans had problems with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers but the Texans will use this as a statement game and they should still come away with a victory.

Week 15: Texans vs Colts W

I would have loved to play the Colts earlier in the season. I think Andrew Luck is about three years away from being the best quarterback in the league and it would’ve better served the Texans to play him week 2 as opposed to this late when he’s built up chemistry with his guys. That being said their defense is still horrible and their offense can’t stick with ours if we put up as many points as we should. The Texans should come away with the win in Luck’s first trip to Reliant.

Andrew Luck has been unbelievable this year but the Colts as a team can’t compete with the Texans. Hopefully they will be resting guys for the playoffs at this point in the season but if not this should be a bloodbath.

Week 16: Texans vs Vikings W

This is another matchup I would’ve preferred early in the season. Christian Ponder should be significantly better this year and Adrian Peterson will definitely be back at full strength. That being said the Texans will have much more to play for this week than the Vikings as they will be playing for home field advantage throughout the playoffs or at the very least a bye. The Texans should be able to hold Peterson in check and even if he gains 100 yards I doubt that’s enough to come away with a victory.

The Vikings have been a huge surprise this season but still aren’t good enough to compete with as good of a complete team as the Texans. It’s a potential loss for the Texans but this will more than likely be the week that decides home field advantage in the playoffs and for that reason I expect the Texans to come out and show that they deserve it.

Week 17: Texans @ Colts L

The Texans lost to the Colts last year to give them their first win of the season. They are notorious for losing to the Colts. This week they will more than likely be resting their starters while the Colts will be playing to win with a quarterback that is more than capable of doing so. The Colts will win this meaningless game but the Texans will be laughing their way to the playoffs while the Colts are watching.

I haven’t changed a pick yet this year and I won’t start in the last week of the year. If the Texans are 12-3 going into week 17 they should have locked up homefield advantage in the AFC as Baltimore already has two losses. That being said if the Texans play their starters I expect a victory.

The Texans are going to be the best team in the AFC this year and should represent them in the Super Bowl. At 12-4 the Texans will have met my lofty expectations for the regular season and will be three more victories away from bringing Houston it’s first Super Bowl.

 

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