Texans vs. Buccaneers: Week 3 staff predictions

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Sep 20, 2015; Charlotte, NC, USA; Houston Texans wide reciever Chandler Worthey on the field in the second quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Joel Childers, Staff writer

Game: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Houston Texans

Prediction: The Houston Texans need a win. Badly. After a disappointing 0-2 start to the season, this game against Tampa Bay is a huge one for the Texans season. Luckily for the Texans, the entire team knows this. Also luckily for the Texans, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are not exactly the best team in the league.

The Bucks are coming off a surprising road win against New Orleans, but they showed their true colors in Week 1 with a 42-14 loss to the Tennessee Titans. I expect Jameis Winston to struggle against a Houston pass rush that has yet to truly express its dominance. J.J. Watt will be out for blood, and I expect him to rattle Tampa’s rookie quarterback and force him to make the mistakes that he made so often at Florida State.

On the offensive side of the ball, the Texans are still a work in progress, but if Arian Foster can make it back to the field, that would be a huge boost for the team. Even if he doesn’t, quarterback Ryan Mallett will be starting his fourth career game, and every minute of game experience he gets will help him improve. The Houston offense should begin to pick up steam against a defense that gave up 255 passing yards to Drew Brees with a bruised rotator cuff, and allowed rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota to throw for 4 touchdowns.

If Arian Foster can return for Week 3, he will help the team run away with a huge victory, but even if Foster can’t play the team will be able to pick up a crucial home win against an inexperienced Tampa Bay team.

Final Score: Houston 27, Tampa Bay 14

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