Houston Texans Games by Difficulty: No. 12
By Josh McSwain
As we continue with the countdown of Houston Texans games by difficulty, the next opponent on the list is the San Diego Chargers:
In the last game in November, the Texans take on the Chargers in a week 12 showdown. Even though the Chargers were 4-12 a season ago, they were ravaged by injuries and have a dangerous quarterback in Philip Rivers. Moreover, this is a proverbial trap game in between the trip to Mexico City to take on the Raiders and the trip to the Frozen Tundra of Green Bay the week after.
Before their disastrous 2015 season the Chargers went 9-7 in back to back years, making the playoffs in 2013 and winning a wild card game. This team still has some talent, but there are some glaring weaknesses. For starters, the offensive line–and against the Texans pass rush, it could be a long day for Rivers.
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It also bears mentioning that they were one of the worst defenses against the run last season, ranking 27th overall and allowing 4.8 yards per carry. Because of that they brought in Brandon Mebane at defensive tackle and drafted Joey Bosa third overall. Still, I think Lamar Miller could have a big day in this one.
The Texans history against the Chargers is not a good one. The Chargers won the first four meetings between the teams before the Texans finally got a win in the fifth game. Which surprisingly was week one of the 2013 season which opened with two wins followed by 14 losses and the number one pick in the 2014 draft.
The first two games in Houston were a 27-20 loss in 2004 and a 29-23 loss in 2010. The Texans led the 2004 meeting 13-10 at half but two second half touchdown passes by Drew Brees to Reche Caldwell and Eric Parker propelled the Chargers to victory. In the 2010 meeting once again Houston had a lead in the second half before Rivers threw two of his four touchdown passes in the second half to win the game.
The Texans can’t be caught looking ahead in this one, or they will fall. But if the Texans can establish the pass rush and run the ball, they should be able to win this game. Brock Osweiler will also be familiar with the Chargers from his time in Denver, which will also help.