Texans vs. Saints: Staff predictions

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Nov 22, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans wide receiver Cecil Shorts (18) carries the ball off the direct snap against the New York Jets during the first quarter of a game at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

Josh McSwain, Editor

Game: New Orleans Saints (4-6) at Houston Texans (5-5)

Prediction: This Houston Texans team looked dead in the water three weeks ago. But since then three straight wins have launched this team into the thick of the playoff picture. Even though nobody is talking about him, I think DeAndre Hopkins deserves consideration for MVP. He’s had three different quarterbacks and still dominated. Seeing how teams have eviscerated the Saints defense, particularly the secondary, I imagine Hopkins will have another field day regardless of who is throwing to him. Dennis Allen might be a fine defensive coordinator in his own right, but he won’t be able to fix this disastrous unit immediately.

On the flip side, the Saints potent offense has been hit or miss, with a lot more miss on the road this season. They put up just 14 in Philadelphia and in Washington. Their only road win came in Indianapolis. They are not a team to trust away from the Superdome. With the way the Texans defense has been playing, they may struggle to get anything going. J.J. Watt has really heated up the past few weeks and should be living in the Saints backfield this week.

This seems like a matchup of two teams going different directions. The Texans are surging while the Saints are sputtering. Don’t feel like I need the pessimism for this one.

Final score: Houston Texans 28, New Orleans Saints 17

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