Game Previews Tom Kiss

Week 12 Preview: Houston Texans at NY Jets

By Tom Kiss

Last week the Jets lost a heart breaker to the Chicago Bears 10-0, but the Jets were again able to play with one of the top teams in the NFL.  The 3-7 Houston Texans come to the Meadowlands this week hoping to bounce back from a disappointing loss to the Buffalo Bills last week.  So, we have two teams coming off tough losses looking to right the ship.  This is a scary game for Jets fans because it is the typical game in which the Jets, at least the Jets of the past, play down to the level of their opponent. 

When the Jets have the ball:
The Texans rank just above the Jets in total defense and rank in the bottom half against the run and the pass.  Expect to see the Jets continue their running back by committee by utilizing Leon Washington, Kevan Barlow and Cedric Houston.  Houston, coming off a knee injury against the Colts early this season, looked to be one hundred percent against the Bears while rushing 11 tomes for 50 yards. 

Chad Pennington has struggled the last few games, but don’t expect to see any reins on him this week.  Eric Mangini and Brian Schottenheimer will continue to allow Pennington to make calls at the line of scrimmage and freelance a bit out on the field.  Pennington is a leader, and the jets players will follow him.  Laveraneus Coles has said that there is no rift between him and Pennington after last weeks on field “discussion� following Brian Urlacher’s red zone interception of Pennington.  This game will be a sort of throw back game for Pennington, look to see mistake free football from number 10 this week.

When the Texans have the ball:
Texans head coach Gary Kubiak has done a good job with his ball club this year.  David Carr, whom Kubiak benched for a half earlier this year, has looked a lot better this season.  Andre Johnson continues his ascension as a top wide receiver in the NFL.  Wali Lundy has been getting the bulk of the carries lately and expect that trend to continue.  Kubiak, formerly Mike Shanahan’s offensive coordinator, likes to run the football as evidenced by the 40 more rushing attempts than passing this season. 

The Texans offensive line has really stepped it up since the arrival of Kubiak.  David Carr has been sacked 25 times this year, and is on pace to be sacked 40 times, which is a far cry from the seventies and sixties he’s had in years past.  Andre Johnson is the Texans best offensive weapon.  At 6’3� with speed and power, his 74 catches thus far ranks first in the league, by thirteen.  He missed practice this week and is questionable for this game.  If he plays, the Jets defense will need to scheme it’s away around Johnson, and try and take him out of the game. 

Match up of the Game: Mario Williams vs. D’Brickashaw Ferguson
A match up of number one draft picks.  Number one overall choice Mario Williams will be going up against number four overall choice Ferguson.  Williams will try and use combinations of his power and blinding speed to get by the Jets left tackle. 

Jets 20 – Texans 10

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