On Sunday, the Houston Texans limp into Los Angeles as a big underdog. After losing their stud rookie quarterback DeShaun Watson a week ago, the Texans are doomed to miss the playoffs and cause a lot of suffering for their fans. On the other side of the field, the L.A. Rams are creating quite the buzz with their turnaround. It’s exciting times once again in L.A. and it’s all due to the success that the Rams are having this season. Kickoff inside the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum is at 4:05 PM ET.
In their 3 head-to-head matchups, the Los Angeles Rams are 2-1 against the Texans. They last faced off in 2013 and the Rams won that game 38-13. The one game that Houston did win was in Los Angeles in 2009.
Houston (3-5) is a lost cause without Watson at QB. Backup Tom Savage just doesn’t have what it takes to lead this team into the playoffs this season. Last week, the Texans suffered a home loss to the Colts 20-14 and just looked terrible on offense. They’ve lost 3 out of their last 4 games and are a heavy underdog against the Rams this weekend.
The Rams (6-2) are coming off a 51-17 blowout victory over the Giants. They have won 3 straight games and are poised to bump that streak up to 4 straight. Surprisingly, the Rams only 2 losses on the season came at home vs Seattle and Washington. Currently, the Rams are 2-0 against the AFC North and should make it 3-0 after a win this weekend over Houston.
The spread opened at Houston getting 10 points. Currently, the spread has gone up to +11 for the Texans. The Over/Under opened at 47 points and has come down to 45.5 total points.
I think Houston will play tough this weekend, but without a quarterback who can make plays and sustain drives, the Texans defense will wear down and end up losing by double digits to the high scoring Rams. I predict the Rams will win 37-23 and here’s why:
Los Angeles is leading the league in scoring at 32.9 ppg. During their 3 game winning streak, the Rams have scored 37 ppg and put up these points against above average defenses: Jaguars, Cardinals and Giants. And, I see the Rams putting up 37 points again, but this time against a worn out, talented Texans defense.
The remarkable turnaround by the Rams can be attributed to the offensive success, most notably quarterback Jared Goff, running back Todd Gurley, and the additions of wide receivers Robert Woods and Sammy Watkins. But, it’s Goff’s improvement between last year and this year that has many pundits buzzing.
Goff leads the NFL in passing yards per attempt at 8.3 and per completion at 13.8. He has 2,030 yards on the season and a fantastic 13-to-4 touchdowns to interceptions ratio. He’s tied for 10th with an INT percentage of 1.6. The Rams offense puts up 390 total yards per game and 259 of that comes from Goff.
The other 131.9 yards comes from an explosive running game that features Todd Gurley who has become the featured workhorse on this team. TGII has 686 rushing yards and 7 rushing TD’s on the season. He’s been rolling over defenses on the season and has the potential for 100 yards and multiple touchdowns this weekend.
Houston is 1-6 ATS in their last 7 road games against teams with winning home records. Houston is 4-8 ATS in their last 12 games against NFC West opponents. The Rams are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games.
The Texans are vulnerable against the pass as they’re giving up 258 yards per game, which bodes well for Goff this weekend. Last week, Houston gave up 308 yards and 2 TD’s to Colts backup QB Jacoby Brissett. 2 weeks ago, the Texans gave up 452 passing yards and 4 TD’s to Russell Wilson. 4 weeks ago, they gave up 324 yards and 3 touchdowns to Chiefs QB Alex Smith. All 3 of these games resulted in losses for the Texans, and that was with DeShaun Watson in two of those games.
I expect Goff to break 300 passing yards in this one and throw for at least 2 touchdowns. I see Gurley pitching in 130 total yards and at least 1 touchdown as well. The Rams will pour it on and the Texans won’t be able to stop this powerful Rams offense.