Monday Night Football picks head to Reliant Stadium this week for a big time clash between two of the promising teams in this year’s AFC playoff race, the Houston Texans and the New York Jets.
Things are going to be interesting this year for the New York offense, knowing that there are a ton of changes that need to be made for this team to succeed. Gone are WRs Jerricho Cotchery, Braylon Edwards, and Brad Smith, and in are WRs Plaxico Burress and Derrick Mason. These two are both fantastic veterans, but Mason’s best days are clearly behind him, and Burress hasn’t stepped on a football field in almost two years. It will be interesting to see how QB Mark Sanchez reacts to all of the changes in the lineup. Veteran QB Mark Brunell will probably see some action, but not a ton, whereas Head Coach Rex Ryan will want to see what QBs Drew Willy and Greg McElroy really have to offer. We also tend to believe that we will see a heck of a lot out of RBs Joe McKnight and Bilal Powell on Monday, and we wouldn’t be surprised if both of these players put up some impressive numbers behind a rather deep offensive line. The Jets played some low scoring games last year in the preseason, putting up a total of just 124 points in their four preseason games, going 2-2 to show for it both SU and ATS.
Houston really tends to play out its preseason games in search of victories, and we think that this year will be no exception. The defense should see a little bit extra time on the field in the new 3-4 formation, especially knowing how many new pieces to the puzzle are really out there. LBs Brian Cushing and DeMeco Ryans didn’t spend a lot of time on the field together last year thanks to injuries to them both, and newcomers in the secondary, Danieal Manning and Johnathan Joseph are also going to take some time to get used to their new roles. LB Mario Williams is going to have to get used to his new role as a rusher off of the corner instead of from a down stance, and the rest of the crew up front is going to have to figure out their 3-4 responsibilities instead of their 4-3 ones. The offense will look awfully familiar to the one from a year ago. We don’t think that we’ll see all that much out of RB Arian Foster, knowing that Derrick Ward, Ben Tate, and Steve Slaton are all vying for carries as well. It will be interesting to see how rookie QB TJ Yates does in his first professional action this week as well.
New York Jets @ Houston Texans Pick: The Texans are going to try their best to win this one, and we tend to think it’s a little bit of an insult that we can get them as less than a field goal favorites. The Jets are just going to tinker around with things to see what works briefly with the starters before going to backups, while Houston, especially defensively, should see more out of its starters. Take Houston -2.5 at Bookmaker Sportsbook for our Monday Night Football picks.
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.