Washington Commanders vs Houston Texans Matchup Preview - November 20th, 2022


Taylor Heinicke and the Washington Commanders faceoff against Davis Mills and the Houston Texans. The Commanders enter the game as a favorite (-160) despite being on the road. Washington is currently favored by -3.0 points while the Game Total is currently sitting on 41.0.

Washington's biggest weakness has been their offense, checking in at #23 in the league with a mere 309 yards per game. A big part of their failure has been the quality (or lack thereof) of their rushing attack, which has been #3-worst in football with just 3.73 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 Washington's o-line ranks #5-worst in this regard. In failing to successfully establish the run, Washington has also had trouble moving the ball through the air, averaging a paltry 6.37 yards per target, which ranks them #28 in football. In terms of their defense, the Commanders have ranked #13 in the league in total yards allowed per game. Opposing offenses have passed for 233 yards per game through the air against them (#16 in football). On the ground, opposing ball-carriers have ranked #11 with 4.49 yards per carry. Washington has been most effective in shutting down opposing tight ends, holding them to 35 yards per game (#3-best). Washington has been least effective in shutting down opposing wide receivers, giving up 166 yards per game (#7-worst).

Houston's primary disadvantage has been their defense, which has allowed a monstrous 405 yards per game this year, sliding them into the #3 spot among the league's worst. Much of their struggle has come in trying to shut down the run game, as they've allowed opposing ball-carriers to rush for the #3-most yards per carry: 5.42. That kind of ineffectiveness has also leached over to their pass defense, which has landed them in the #27 spot in terms of yards per target (8.32). Texans linebackers are perhaps most responsible for their dismal run defense this year, given that they grade out as the #1-worst unit in the NFL. When it comes to their offense, the Texans check in at #21 in football when it comes to total yards per game. Their passing game has compiled 217 yards per game (#25 in football). Their run game has ranked #17 with 4.48 yards per attempt on the ground.

Washington Commanders Insights

  • The Sharp Model projects Taylor Heinicke to be a more important option in his offense's rushing attack this week (10.4% projected Carry Share) than he has been this year (3.0% in games he has played).

  • Taylor Heinicke's throwing accuracy has diminished this season, with his Completion% decreasing from 66.0% to 61.6%.

  • The Washington Commanders have used play action on 34.1% of their passing plays since the start of last season (most in the NFL), causing the defense to bite on the run and resulting in much higher passing production.

Houston Texans Insights

  • The Sharp Model projects the Texans to call the 6th-least total plays among all teams this week with 63.7 plays, based on their underlying tendencies and game dynamics.

  • Nico Collins has compiled far more air yards this season (71.0 per game) than he did last season (49.0 per game).

  • The Sharp Model projects Dameon Pierce to run for 0.57 touchdowns in this week's contest, on average, ranking him in the 95th percentile among RBs.

Betting Trends

  • The Houston Texans have hit the Team Total Over in 4 of their last 5 games at home (+2.90 Units / 49% ROI)

  • The Washington Commanders have hit the Moneyline in 4 of their last 6 games (+5.95 Units / 94% ROI)

  • Dameon Pierce has hit the Rushing Yards Over in 7 of his last 8 games (+5.80 Units / 61% ROI)