MNF - Texans at Jets
October 7, 2012
By Kevin Rogers
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The Texans have rolled through all four of their opponents as Houston looks for the first 5-0 start in franchise history on Monday night. The Week 5 card closes out at Met Life Stadium in New Jersey, as the Texans take on a dysfunctional Jets' squad that still has a chance to go above .500 with a victory.
Rex Ryan's club is missing its top offensive weapon in Santonio Holmes, as the former Super Bowl MVP suffered a season-ending foot injury in last Sunday's 34-0 home defeat to the 49ers. The worst part about losing Holmes was the timing of the injury with the Jets already down 17-0 when the receiver fumbled and taken back for a touchdown to put the game away. San Francisco cashed as 3 ½-point road favorites, while the Jets were limited to just nine first downs and 145 yards offensively.
The question heading into Monday night is how much longer will Mark Sanchez remain the starting quarterback for the Jets? The ex-USC standout is completing just 49% of his passes, while connecting on only two touchdowns in the last three games, following a three-touchdown performance in the opening week blowout of the Bills. The 48 points scored against Buffalo may seem like a huge fraud as 14 of these points came from the defense and special teams, as the Jets have scored 33 points the last three contests.
While the Tim Tebow rumors swirl around the Jets, the Texans have no questions at their quarterback position with Matt Schaub completing 67% of his passes, while owning a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 7/1. Houston has scored at least 27 points in all four victories, including a season-high 38 points in last Sunday's 24-point rout of Tennessee to easily cash as 13-point favorites. Three of Houston's four wins have come by at least 20 points, while in the victory over Denver in Week 3, the Texans held a 20-point advantage late in the third quarter before holding off the Broncos by six points.
New York's secondary took a major hit when Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis tore his ACL in a Week 3 overtime victory at Miami, as the Jets allowed 379 yards to San Francisco. When Revis missed the Week 2 loss at Pittsburgh with a concussion, Ben Roethlisberger shredded the Jets' defense for 275 yards and two touchdowns.
Houston is the longest road favorite on a Monday night this season, as the Texans look to beat the Jets for the first time in six tries. The last time these teams hooked up in November 2010, Gary Kubiak's team rallied from a 23-7 deficit to take a late 27-23 lead, but Sanchez found Holmes on a 6-yard touchdown strike in the final seconds for a 30-27 triumph. The Texans managed the cover in the loss, cashing as 6 ½-point road underdogs, but the loss dropped Houston to 0-5 in five lifetime meetings with New York.
The AFC South leaders have dropped three straight Monday night contests since 2009, with the last game being a home overtime defeat to the Ravens in 2010 as three-point underdogs. Houston is pretty reliable in the road favorite role since the start of last season, compiling a 5-1 SU/ATS record, including victories over Jacksonville and Denver.
The Jets suffered their first loss as a home underdog in Ryan's tenure against San Francisco, falling to 3-1 SU/ATS in his three-plus seasons. This is the sixth Monday night game for New York since 2009, as the Jets have put together a mediocre 2-3 SU/ATS mark, as one of those wins came over the Dolphins last season, 24-6 as seven-point 'chalk.'
The Texans opened as seven-point favorites, but the number has jumped to eight at most spots, while possibly going up to nine by game-time. The total is set at 40, with several 40 ½'s floating out there. The game kicks off at 8:30 PM from Met Life Stadium and can be seen nationally on ESPN.
You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.
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