Posted: 5:00 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013
It's been a fairly intense week for your Houston Texans. They've had to deal with an emotional fan base and a press corps that smells blood in the water. The entire organization, and most noticeably the quarterback, is under siege. With the team traveling to San Francisco this weekend to take on the 49ers in front of a national audience on Sunday Night Football, there is no rest for the weary. Because that's not challenging enough, the Texans will have to battlefight the Niners without their starting right guard.
I'm not going to trot out the BIGGEST GAME IN FRANCHISE HISTORY trope, but we all know that tomorrow night's tilt looms large. My guess as to what awaits the Texans in San Francisco? Read on and react accordingly.
1. Matt Schaub answers the bell. This isn't to say he throws for 350 yards, 4 TDs, and plays turnover-free football. I'm not even going to predict he refrains from throwing a pick-six for a fourth consecutive game; I learned that lesson last week in this space. What I will say is that Schaub throws two TDs (one to Andre Johnson for his first TD catch of the season), turns it over once, and begins the slow climb toward regaining the trust of his team.
2. If you're looking for a reason to be optimistic about the Texans' chances tomorrow night, consider Houston's defense. They are monsters. That's not to say they're the 1985 Chicago Bears. They are, however, going to get after Colin Kaepernick, who Brett did a dynamite job breaking down. I expect San Francisco to hit the Texans for a couple of big plays, but the Texans' defense will not let this game get away from them. They know what's at stake, and they know they're going to have to do the heavy lifting to compensate for an offense that's, to be kind, unstable at the moment. J.J. Watt (2 sacks), Brian Cushing (will play sideline-to-sideline with reckless abandon, even by his standards for reckless abandon), and Antonio Smith (1 sack) will lead the way.
3. Quick hits...
-Owen Daniels: 4 catches for 40 yards and a TD.
-Garrett Graham: 4 catches for 31 yards.
-Arian Foster: 21 carries for 81 yards and a TD.
-Ben Tate: 7 carries for 38 yards.
-DeAndre Hopkins: 7 catches for 91 yards.
PUT YOUR NAME ON IT: Call it a hunch. Call it irrational. Call it absurd. Those are all totally legitimate reactions to what I'm about to type. I believe tomorrow night's game against the San Francisco 49ers is going to be this team's finest hour to date. The Texans are going to respond to the adversity, to the calls for heads and jobs, to the rumblings that they're about to fall apart and that a season will be lost. They are going to beat a Super Bowl contender on the road. Texans 27, 49ers 23.Texans vs 49ers coverage