Houston Texans @ Denver Broncos Matchup Preview - September 18th, 2022

Editor

Sunday the Houston Texans (0-0-1) will battle the Denver Broncos (0-1). Oddsmakers peg the Broncos as the huge favorite with an implied win probablity of 80%, leaving the Texans with a 20% chance to record a win. The current spread is the Broncos -10.0 with a Game Total of 45.5.

Denver's primary disadvantage this season has been their offense, which has ranked #32 in football with a low 275 yards per game. They've been so ineffective on offense in large part because of their ground attack, clocking in at #32 in the league with just 3.03 yards per carry. The most important component of a strong ground game is a good offensive line. If the line isn't opening up holes and creating space, it doesn't matter how good a team's running backs are. Unfortunately for Denver, their line ranks #1-worst in the league in run blocking. Perhaps because they routinely failt to successfully establish the run, Denver has also lacked effectiveness through the air. They've scraped together a measly 6.39 yards per target, ranking the bottom 10 in football. When it comes to their defense, the Broncos check in at #31 in football when it comes to total yards allowed per game. Opposing air attacks have notched 248 yards per game against Denver this year (#25 in football). Opposing ball-carriers have ranked #27 against them with 4.8 yards per ground attempt. This Broncos defense hits their peak effectiveness when it comes to defending opposing running backs, keeping them in check at just 29 yards per game (#4-best in the league). Denver's defensive effectiveness bottoms out when it comes to defending opposing wide receivers, who have scorched them for 9.36 yards per target (#1-worst in the league).

Houston's biggest weakness has been their offense, checking in at #32 in the league with a mere 275 yards per game. A big part of their failure has been the quality (or lack thereof) of their rushing attack, which has been #1-worst in football with just 3.03 yards per carry. The key component of any team's ground game is their offensive line. The best running back can't do much if the line doesn't open up holes for them, and the worst running back can find success if he's given open space. It should come as no surprise then that Houston's o-line ranks #1-worst in this regard. In failing to successfully establish the run, Houston has also had trouble moving the ball through the air, averaging a paltry 6.39 yards per target, which ranks them #27 in football. In terms of their defense, the Texans have ranked #31 in the league in total yards allowed per game. Opposing offenses have passed for 248 yards per game through the air against them (#25 in football). On the ground, opposing ball-carriers have ranked #27 with 4.8 yards per carry. Houston has been most effective in shutting down opposing running backs, holding them to 29 yards per game (#4-best). Houston has been least effective in shutting down opposing wide receivers, giving up 9.36 yards per target (#1-worst).

Houston Texans Insights

  • The Houston Texans boast a new play-caller this year in offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton, and THE BLITZ projects their pass/run mix to tilt 2.6% more towards passing than it did last year (context-neutralized).

  • The Houston Texans defensive ends rank as the 5th-best collection of DEs in the league since the start of last season when it comes to rushing the passer.

  • The Houston Texans defense has excelled when opposing pass-catchers have gotten into space, allowing an average of 4.67 yards-after-the-catch since the start of last season: the 3rd-least in the league.

Denver Broncos Insights

  • THE BLITZ projects Russell Wilson to be much more involved in his offense's running game this week (13.0% projected Carry Share) than he has been since the start of last season (4.0% in games he has played).

  • Russell Wilson's passing precision has been refined this year, with his Completion% increasing from 65.2% to 68.3%.

  • The Denver Broncos have gone no-huddle on a lowly 3.8% of their play-calls outside the two-minute warning since the start of last season (8th-least in the NFL). This slows the pace, leading to less volume and stat production.

Betting Trends

  • The Houston Texans have hit the 1H Moneyline in their last 3 away games (+7.60 Units / 253% ROI)

  • Jerry Jeudy has hit the Receiving Yards Under in his last 6 games at home (+6.00 Units / 82% ROI)