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Jets vs Texans: Preview

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November 20, 2015, Queens, NY   The New York Jets (5-4) travel to Houston to face the Texans (4-5) in a battle of teams heading in opposite directions. The Jets, after starting 4-1, are losers of three of their last four, while the Texans are winners of three of their last four including a road win over the previously undefeated Cincinnati Bengals. The Jets are coming off an extended break following a home loss to the Buffalo Bills and former head coach Rex Ryan, 22-17 on TNF. The Jets were unable to take advantage of a late game Bills’ special teams miscue and failing to convert on fourth down. Jets head coach Todd Bowles has shown inexperience in late-game decisions and clock management. Offensive coordinator Chan Gailey’s offensive game plan is open to criticism with numerous passes from QB Ryan Fitzpatrick thrown behind the first down markers. Fitzpatrick was acquired in the offseason for a late round draft pick after signing a two-year contract with Houston in 2014.

The Texans’ current QB situation is baffling, but somehow the Texans are tied for first in the AFC South. We were able to watch the drama unfold during training camp via HBO’s Hard Knocks series. Texans head coach Bill O’Brien named recent acquisition, Brian Hoyer, over returning QB Ryan Mallett. Mallett was a former Patriots draft pick when O’Brien served as New England’s QB coach, before leaving to take the Penn St. job replacing Joe Paterno. Mallett pouted and sulked and went AWOL during training camp. At halftime of the season opener, Mallett replaced an ineffective Hoyer and remained the starter until he was replaced due to an injury sustained against the Colts on TNF. This did not sit well with Mallett, and he was late for the team’s charter flight to Miami for a game against the Dolphins. Mallett had to pay his own way and was subsequently waived due to his erratic behavior. Hoyer was now entrenched as the starter again. Former Texan TJ Yates was signed as a backup and entered the Bengals game as a replacement for Hoyer, who suffered a concussion. Hoyer is now in the NFL’s concussion protocol, and Yates will start versus the Jets. (What a dumpster fire.)

The Jets are facing a Texans defense that has not allowed an offensive TD in their last two games, both victories. Houston is led by the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, defensive end J.J. Watt. The Texans offense will be led by wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who is among the league leaders in receptions and yards. The Texans have a running back by committee after losing Arian Foster to injury. The Jets must apply pressure to Yates and contain Hopkins and Watt in order to win this contest.

The odds makers have this game as a Pick ‘em.
Kickoff is scheduled for 1PM EST on Sunday from NRG Stadium in Houston, TX.
The game will be broadcast by CBS.

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