The Texans will take on the Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, Colorado. Both teams are even at 4-2 on the season. The Texans are coming off a big come from behind victory, while the Broncos are coming off their second consecutive loss. This Monday Night Football matchup will kick off at 8:30 PM. ET.
Last week against the Chargers, the Broncos struggled offensively to find a rhythm, thanks in large part to penalties. In that game, the Broncos had 12 penalties for 103 yards. That type of negative production is a killer for an offense that’s been struggling the past two weeks. The loss snapped a streak of 15 consecutive road games won by Denver within their division. It didn’t help that their head coach wasn’t with the team in San Diego due to health issues. With Kubiak returning to the sideline, the Broncos will try to rebound against a new, yet familiar foe.
Brock Osweiler took over for Payton Manning last season for a stretch of eight games. In those games, Osweiler was fairly productive. His completion percentage was 61.8 to go along with ten touchdowns and six interceptions according to NFL Stats. That production, along with a few wins over elite completion, helped Osweiler land a huge contract with Houston in the offseason.
So far this season, Osweiler ranks 29th in the league in terms of yards per game according to NFL Stats. He’s completing 59 percent of his passes to go along with eight touchdowns and eight interceptions. He’s a game manager that has, so far, failed to manage many games to victories. While Osweiler has struggled, he’s coming off a game where he completed 65.6 percent of his passes and threw the go ahead touchdown in the last two minutes of the game. The Texans need another performance like that this week, if Houston has any chance of upsetting Denver at home.
The Broncos are coming off their second consecutive loss. Denver started the season with a 4-0 record. They were winning with a combination of elite defensive play and timely offense. In their loss to the Chargers, Trevor Siemian returned to the starting lineup but struggled to connect down field. Emmanuel Sanders has clearly established himself as Siemian’s top target, but in their loss to San Diego, he was a no-show on the stat sheet. Sanders had four receptions for 40 yards.
Siemian’s top target on the day was actually Demaryius Thomas. In the game, Thomas received a team high eight targets, but only managed to haul in five receptions for 35 yards. It’s clear that the Broncos passing offense is struggling right now. If they’re going to start winning again, then they cannot rely on their defense to win them every game. The passing offense needs to break out and that starts with Siemian getting comfortable in the pocket again and connecting with Sanders down field.
The Texans allowed the Colts to rack up 161 rushing yards on 32 carries last week in a losing effort. Despite the win, this trend cannot continue for the Texans if they’re to sustain success this season. Denver’s offense needs to play with more balance then it did last week. Against the Chargers, Siemian attempted 50 passes on the day. He completed 30 of those passes, but his 4.6 yards per attempt tell the real story.
The Broncos aren’t going to win if they keep forcing Siemian to throw the ball short. Instead they need to rediscover their rushing attack. In their two previous losses, the Broncos have been held under 100 yards rushing. Expect the Broncos to ramp up their rushing attack this week behind the rejuvenated running back, C.J. Anderson.
Broncos Vs Texans Betting Lines
The Texans were out played by the Colts for much of the game last week. Osweiler surprised a lot of people with his poise near the end of the game. Denver’s patience with C.J. Anderson is running thin, and a few backs behind him are looking to leap-frog the veteran. The Broncos will have a chip on their shoulder and extra time to prepare for this game. Expect a hostile return for Osweiler and a Broncos win.
Play: Broncos -9 @ BetOnline.ag