The Houston Texans have had a very good season. Currently sitting atop the AFC North, the Texans control their own destiny for the playoffs. But they will be facing a red-hot Buccaneers team who are winners of four straight.
Here are this week’s Bucs Nation staff picks.
Gil Arcia (9-5)
Score Prediction: Bucs 27, Texans 23
Why: This is tough. Houston is a good team. However, part of the Buccaneers recent success is their much improved pass defense. They have not allowed 300 yards through the air to a starting quarterback within that span and Houston’s Deshaun Watson has not thrown for 300 yards since Week 7. His stat line the last two week is also not that impressive, throwing three touchdowns and four interceptions. Going up against a better Bucs pass defense, I think that will be the key to a Tampa Bay victory Saturday.
James Yarcho (6-8)
Score Prediction: Bucs 27, Texans 24
Why: Quite frankly, this one is based purely on a gut feeling. The Texans have been every bit as inconsistent as the Bucs this season but had a few more bounces go their way. Even without Evans and Godwin, Jameis Winston made some magic happen in Detroit. I expect the same in Tampa this week - and I expect O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate to explode.
Evan Winter (9-5)
Score Prediction: Texans 32, Bucs 31
Why: This is a tough one, but I think Tampa Bay just won’t have enough on offense to keep up with the Texans.
We haven’t seen this secondary step up against a truly great receiving corps and that’s exactly what they’ll face this week in DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller V, and Kenny Stills. Oh, and don’t forget that one cat named Deshaun Watson.
The Texans are bad on defense, so the Bucs should make some plays, but at the end of the day, it’ll be Houston riding high.
Bailey Adams (8-6)
Score Prediction: Texans 28, Bucs 24
Why: I really did want to pick the Bucs here. I truly think they’re capable of winning this game and extending their streak to five games. But the injuries are just too much for me to confidently pick Tampa Bay. No Mike Evans and no Chris Godwin is a tough pill to swallow, especially when you’re struggling to run the ball with any sort of consistency. I’m expecting Breshad Perriman, Cameron Brate, and O.J. Howard to step up and I think the defense will play a decent game. But I’m taking Deshaun Watson and the Texans in a close one.
Kyle Marks (6-8)
Score Prediction: Bucs 34, Texans 31
Why: This should be the game that ends the win streak with all things considered. How healthy will Donovan Smith be? How will the receiving core step up without Mike Evans and Chris Godwin? Despite the questions, I have a lot of faith that Jameis Winston is going to continue marching forward and have another dynamic game and that’ll be the difference. Bucs take another victory.
David Harrison (7-7)
Score Prediction: Bucs 32, Texans 30
Why: This game is going to come down to the passing game. When averaging the passing yards given up by each defense, and the average passing yards accumulated by each team’s quarterback, we get an idea of what kind of passing game we might see from both sides. If their averages hold up, which should be more accurate the closer we get to the end of the year, right? Right.
Then, if you average the points each team is scoring when their quarterback reaches that combined average, and the points each team is surrendering when opposing quarterbacks hit the average allowed, you get another idea of how much each team scores when their quarterbacks and defenses both perform on the line they have been for 2019.
Once all of those things get calculated, the Buccaneers come away with a two-point win over the Texans.
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