Houston Texans vs. St. Louis Rams
Sunday, December 20th
Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis, MO
Kickoff Temperature: Dome
Line: Texans by 14
Trends: After losing four straight games, the Texans bounced back with a victory over Seattle a week ago; Rams have dropped 22 of their last 23 games and 30 of their last 33.
Three most important things for the Texans on defense:
1. Stop Steven Jackson. Jackson is the Rams most dynamic player on offense and he’s one of their only real threats to score.
2. No big plays. The Rams aren’t a good enough offense to sustain long, time-consuming drives and finish with touchdowns. If Houston can keep Donnie Avery in front of them, they should find success.
3. Pressure Bulger. Marc Bulger is a pretty accomplished pocket passer when he’s given the appropriate amount of time to throw. When pressured, he will make as many mistakes as anyone. Houston must bring the heat to avoid the upset.
Three most important things for the Texans on offense:
1. No turnovers! Neither the Rams offense nor their defense has been stellar this season so the Texans can’t help them out by giving short fields or even cheap points.
2. Maintain some balance. Houston is obviously a pass-first team, but the Rams defensive ends can cause some disruption if they can pin their ears back and rush every play. The Texans need to get Ryan Moats and Arian Foster involved in the game plan.
3. Find ‘Dre. Andre Johnson could be the best receiver in the game and the Texans need to get him involved early and often.
What to look for:
1. Look for Matt Schaub to throw for over 300 yards. Opposing quarterbacks have a 94.8 QB rating against the Rams, and Schaub should have a field day against that defense.
2. Look for a Ryan Moats touchdown. Moats ran well last week against Seattle, and the Rams have allowed 19 touchdowns on the ground so far this year.
3. Look for Steven Jackson to get 100 yards from scrimmage. Jackson is truly one of the best running backs in the game and many don’t realize that as he’s stuck in St. Louis.
4. Look for the Texans to force three or more turnovers. An opportunistic Houston defense should take advantage of a dysfunctional Rams offense.
5. Look for the Texans to get back to .500. Unless Houston completely melts down, they should cruise to an easy victory.