HOUSTON TEXANS (2-10)
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (3-9)
Hello Fans…It has been a long Hiatus for me on the Blogging Sector but I am back and ready to give you all of the answers to your questions. I have recently joined Twitter so you can also check out my material @mustaine3651#Twitter. Anyways, Thursday Night pits two of the NFL’s worst teams. My number one question would not be who is going to win the game? However, I would ask how many NFL fans out there will be viewing this game either live or on television. My guess would be not many. What baffles me in this game is that the Texans, who have the league’s worst record, are favored in this game which is being played in Jacksonville. However, the Texans are the more talented team. Houston along with the Atlanta Falcons have to be the two most disappointing teams this season, as both were easily picked to go far in the playoffs. Atlanta at one point was even the favorite to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. However, injuries and horrible execution has plagued both of these teams.
First of all, let us take a look at the Texans. The loss of Arian Foster (one of the premier Running Backs in the league) has been devastating to an offense that is predicated on the Run. Also, after winning their first two games, Houston has lost 10 Straight Games, a Franchise Record. The Texans have many holes in their game and deficiencies on both sides of the ball. For instance, the Texans are ranked number #1 in Total Defense as far as Yards but they are at the bottom when it comes to giving up points. And when its all said and done, the Final Score is the only thing that matters in the NFL. The Texans also are an abysmal minus-12 in the Turnover Differential. During this 10 Game Slide, the Texans have been outscored 151-49 in the Second Half of Games. Their offense has also been futile as their Starting Quarterback, Matt Schaub, has been benched after a horrible start to the season. He had 8 Touchdowns and 9 Interceptions when he was yanked from the Starting job, with six of the nine interceptions being PICK 6’s. Case Keenum has been a completely different QB as far as production, throwing 8 TDs/3INT for 1,443 Yards in his first NFL action. Arian Foster going down was the final nail in the coffin for Houston as he only had 2 100 Yard rushing games before being placed on IR.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have been a different story. First of all, you know that your team is doomed when your starting Running Back (Maurice Jones-Drew) has more passing Touchdowns for the season (3) than your starting Quarterback (Blaine Gabbert) who has only (1). Chad Henne has took over the starting quarterback role and has not been much better posting a 75 QB Rating, 6TD, 10INT, and throwing for 2,319 Yards. With all of these negative statistics, the Jaguars have somehow managed to win three of their last four games, after some say they were a lock to get the Number# 1 Pick in the Draft next season, which will most likely be Teddy Bridgewater. Plus, it does not help that the Jaguars are 32nd in Team Offense (DEAD LAST). They are also at the bottom at 25th in Total Team Defense. However, they are 29th in points allowed with 352 Points allowed for a 29.3 Point Per Game Average. However, despite all of these flaws, the Jaguars have somehow managed three wins.
Ok, onto my pick for this game. The Texans are favored by 3 Points on the Road. I am going out on a limb and taking the Jags to win this game in front of their “tiny” crowd. This game will find the Jaguars win 20-17. Its ashamed that the league has not adopted an alternate schedule like they have during Sunday Games where they can change the times. Well, in this case it would be harder as they would have to change the date. However, I can see the ratings for GLEE being higher tonight than this football game. Well, most Fantasy Football Leagues begin their playoffs this week. Good luck to all of those participating and do not second guess your gut. Too many times I have saw owners try to take the better matchup as opposed to the more consistent lineup and get burned. Remember Folks, a team could be 11-0 at this point and get bounced out in the first round. This is why the NFL Fantasy Football realm is so fun. Its not over till the boy cries wolf. I would say that so far, Peyton Manning has been the best Fantasy QB, Jamal Charles the best RB, Calvin Johnson the best WR, Jimmy Graham the best Tight End, Steven Gostikowski the best Kicker, and the Kansas City Chiefs the best Defense.
Around the league has a few key match ups. The best game of the week and maybe most important as far as playoff implications go will be the New orleans Saints facing the Carolina Panthers. Both teams are 9-3 and looking to get first round byes. As hot as Carolina has been, I believe their run will end this week on the Saints turf, where Drew Brees has been amazing. The Panthers are the more balanced team, however, the Saints are at home and can outscore just about anyone. Another key game will be the 7-5 Eagles vs. 7-5 Lions. The Eagles need a win to keep pace with the Cowboys for the Division Crown in the NFC. The Lions are in the same boat as they are truing to fend off the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers to win the North. The Eagles will not totally be able to eliminate Calvin Johnson (MEGATRON); however, if they can limit their mistakes they definitely match up well with the high flying offenses. This game actually has the chance to be a major shootout. Finally, the other huge game will be the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers have lost the first game against the Seahawks and are looking to get even. The 49ers only chance I believe in this game will to be to try and run the ball, pound it and control the clock. That will be a difficult task against the Seahawks Defense. We shall see. This week should go along way in opening the playoff picture. Finally, Peyton Manning was invited to a wedding this week, in which he politely declined, but he did send an autographed invitation back to the couple. What a class act by a Player that is having a season for the ages. Also, lets see if Nick Foles, yes you heard it right, Nick Foles (Eagles QB) can break Peyton’s record of 20 TD’s without an INT to begin the season. Foles has Nineteen so he only needs two. It would be great to see Foles do this!