Texans vs. Falcons: Staff predictions

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Sep 27, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) cannot make a catch in front of Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Mike Jenkins (24) during the first half at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Ethan Lington, Staff writer

Game: Houston Texans at Atlanta Falcons

Prediction: At first glance, this doesn’t seem like it will be much of a contest. Then again, the Falcons haven’t faced a defense as formidable as Houston’s. In fact, they faced one of the NFL’s worst units in the New York Giants and had to be aided by Eli Manning to win. If you look at the three teams Atlanta has beaten so far in 2015, you will see they are all pretty weak. The Giants should have coasted to a victory with a 17 point lead heading to the final frame, but choked again and gave Atlanta the win. The Falcons also played the Eagles who simply look lost this year, Sam Bradford needs to right that ship for Philly to be relevant. The third team is a good team in the Dallas Cowboys, but they were missing their two best weapons – Tony Romo and Dez Bryant. It’s safe to say the competition in their first three games definitely wasn’t stellar.

Atlanta is at it’s best when the running game gets going, as we all witness against Dallas this past Sunday. Fortunately for the Texans, the strength of their defense lies in their front seven and the run stopping power. This will only aide a minute amount in trying to contain Julio Jones, but I expect Bill O’Brien to keep him double covered all game.

In Arian Foster‘s (hopeful) first action of the season, I expect to see some offensive fireworks that haven’t been on display…ever. Ryan Mallet is 2-2 as a starter for the Houston Texans, and 2-1 if you don’t count the injury game against Cincinnati last season. He has yet to play a game where Arian Foster was active and at his disposal, and I can only imagine what that will free up for him in regards to the passing game. I expect a big day from Foster and Hopkins, and the Texans sneak out of Atlanta with a momentum building win against an undefeated (and overrated) Falcons squad.

Final score: Houston 27 Atlanta 24

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