When the 4-0 Houston Texans head to MetLife Stadium to face off against the 2-2 New York Jets, the Jets will be hoping to avoid a performance like last week at all costs (8.30pm ET, Monday Oct 8).
In the most demoralizing loss in the NFL this year, the Jets allowed the San Francisco 49ers to come into New York and their home turf and absolutely dominate in all facets of the game. QB Mark Sanchez posted just a 39.9 QB rating as the Jets lost 34-0.
The Texans meanwhile, who are coming off a comprehensive victory against the Tennessee Titans, would love to have a replay of last week.
Behind strong days from QB Matt Schaub (202 yards, two touchdowns and a 115.5 QB rating) and RB Arian Foster (86 yards, one touchdown on 24 carries), the Texans beat the Titans 38-14.
With the Texans early season success and the Jets recent poor performances, it seems easy to say that this Monday night match-up will be a blow out in favor of Houston. Likely that won’t be the case though as even the sportsbooks only have the Texans favored by less than a touchdown. That said, the Jets will really have to come to play if they hope to upset the undefeated Texans. Once again, the success or lack of success will come down to the guy taking snaps under center: Mark Sanchez.
Do the Jets Need to Consider a QB Change?
When the Jets made the decision to sign young and very charismatic quarterback Tim Tebow in the offseason, Sanchez was definitely sweating it out. Even though Sanchez had improved each season he spent in the NFL, Tebow was the more polarizing star and after the heroics he pulled last season with the Denver Broncos, was nearly a sure fire bet to get the starting job.
Sanchez worked hard in the offseason and preseason however to keep this from happening. While head coach Rex Ryan kept mum on the quarterback battle, Sanchez was dazzling. As the preseason games passed, Sanchez wrestled the starting job away from Tebow whose role became just part of a wildcat package.
Well luckily enough for Tebow he may be biding his time on the bench for just one more week because in the first four weeks of the season, Sanchez has not been as advertised:
- Week One: 19-of-27, 266 yards, 70.4 completion percentage, 3 TD/1 INT, 123.4 rating
- Week Two: 10-of-27, 138 yards, 37 completion percentage, 1 TD, 66.6 rating
- Week Three: 21-of-45, 306 yards, 46.7 completion percentage, 1 TD/2 INT, 58.2 rating
- Week Four: 13-of-29, 103 yards, 44.8 completion percentage, 0 TD/1 INT, 39.9 rating
These stats are telling in a few ways. First off, you can notice a downward trend in Sanchez’s QB rating. From each week, the Jets QB has seen his rating get lower and against a strong Houston defense, ranked second in opponent’s passing yards allowed with just under 183, Sanchez’s rating could find itself dipping even lower.
Another thing you notice when looking at Sanchez’s stats is that the week after coming off a 100 yard performance, Sanchez has thrown for over 260 yards at least in the following week. Now this trend can also be attributed to the fact that in the weeks where Sanchez threw for 266 and 306 yards he faced the league’s 23rd worst passing defense in the Buffalo Bills and 30th worst passing defense in the Miami Dolphins. Against the Pittsburgh Steelers and their third best passing defense and the 49ers and their fifth best passing defense, Sanchez only managed a little over 100 yards.
The pattern for the fourth year quarterback this year seems to be simple. Against bottom tiered defenses, Sanchez has burned them but against the top teams in the league, the Jets QB has struggled. As I mentioned, his match-up Monday night is against the second best passing defense in the league. If the trend continues, Sanchez could be in for another disappointing night.
And you best be certain if this happens, New York fans will begin clamoring for Tebow to start and they very well could get their wish.
The Houston Texans: Deceptively Good or Legitimately Good?
I tend to look at undefeated and one-loss teams with a grain of salt. Sure sometimes it is better lucky than good but in terms of win-loss, it is important to know if teams really are as good as their record states.
So let’s start with the teams the Texans beat: Miami Dolphins (1-3), Jacksonville Jaguars (1-3), Denver Broncos (2-2) and Tennessee Titans (1-3).
From these numbers, it just looks like the Texans are beating the teams they are supposed to beat. The Broncos are the only .500 team Houston has faced and this game was the closest the Broncos played to, only beating Denver by six points.
In beating the 1-3 teams on their schedule, the Texans won by margins of victory amounting to 20, 20 and 24 points respectively. They are getting it done and doing so with a lethal offensive combination of running back Arian Foster and wide receiver Andre Johnson and with a defense that is holding opposing passers to 182.8 yards and opposing rushers to 90.3 yards.
While it does seem that the Texans are for real, I think it is too soon to say. Historically, when they have faced the tough and more physical teams the Texans have suffered. This year could be more of the same as they have games against Baltimore, Green Bay, Chicago and New England left on their schedule. That said, if they take it to the Jets to go 5-0 which I expect they will, it certainly will go a long way to them gaining believers that this could be a Superbowl caliber team.
Texans v Jets Betting Picks
With the way things have going this year, it is hard to pick against the Texans as the road favorites. The Texans are 4-0 against the spread this year and 15-5 ATS in their last 20 games. The fact that the Texans are 0-5 against the Jets all-time shouldn’t affect the outcome as the Jets are just 1-7 ATS in their past eight games as the underdog.
- For this reason, take the Texans to defy the -9 points deficit on the spread @ +105 with BetOnline Sportsbook (It is -105 with Bovada).
- Also, expect the teams to go over the 40.5 total points with BetOnline @ -110. It is over 41pts @ -115 with Bovada.