San Diego Chargers vs. Houston Texans Free Pick 9/9/13
Houston Texans (0-0) at San Diego Chargers (0-0)
NFL Football: Monday, September 9, 2013 at 10:20 pm (Qualcomm Stadium)
The Line: San Diego Chargers +3.5 -- Over/Under: 46 See the Latest Odds
TV: ESPN HD
The Houston Texans head to San Diego on Monday Night Football to faceoff against the San Diego Chargers.
The San Diego Chargers are a team in transition right now as Norv Turner has departed to Cleveland, and taking his place at the helm is Mike McCoy. McCoy is famous for his offensive talents, transforming the Broncos offense to a running powerhouse with Tebow under center, while earlier in his career coaching Kyle Orton to career numbers in nearly every major category. The Chargers were able to get McCoy from Denver, and it will be fun to watch McCoy work with Phillip Rivers. Rivers reportedly liked Turner, and even though the two didn’t see eye to eye all the time, the duo did put up some nice offensive numbers. The Chargers however aren’t as loaded as they once were. Vincent Jackson is now with the Bucs, and while there is still some talent at the wideout position for the Chargers, Jackson has been missed. Gates is one of the best tight ends to ever play the game, but he is aging and has been plagued with injuries the past few seasons. The ground game was stagnant last season, but Ryan Mathews had a solid preseason, and reports out of San Diego are that he is running, and feeling better than he ever has. We will see. The Chargers made some noise in the NFL draft this past April, drafting Manti Teo out of Notre Dame. It is still unclear at the time of writing whether or not Teo will be available for their week one meeting with the Texans.
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The Houston Texans once again made it to the postseason in 2012, but once again the Texans were unable to advance. The pressure is starting to get to Schaub at quarterback, as well as their head coach Gary Kubiak. The Texans are no doubt a ground and pound team, but if Houston is going to advance farther, Houston will need more plays through the air. Andre Johnson is getting older at the wideout position, and to address this the Texans brought in DeAndre Hopkins via the draft. Hopkins has the making of a solid number two receiver outside of Johnson, but time will tell whether or not this strategy pays off. The Texans rely heavily on their star back Arian Foster, but Foster has been banged up this preseason, and over the past few seasons his production has been on a decline. The Texans have perhaps one of the best number two backs in the league currently in Ben Tate, I guy I believe could start for about half the teams in this league. You can’t talk Texans without mentioning their defense, and you can’t mention their defense without hearing the name J.J. Watt. Watt was voted the NFL’s defensive player of the year, an outstanding achievement for anyone, especially a rookie. Watt leads this defense that was excellent last season. The Texans defensive unit did struggle at times on the road however, giving up just over 23 points per game on the road. A lot of Houston’s struggles started once their linebacker Brian Cushing went down with an injury.
The line has fluctuated on this one somewhat, but for the most part it has stayed put. The number opened up at +3 for the Chargers, and after a bit of jumping around, it now sits at +3.5 for San Diego in most books. The majority of the bets have been on the Texans, and with the little line movement may be an indication of some bigger money coming in on San Diego.
The Texans are the better team here, but I just can’t pass up getting more than a field goal with the Chargers at home on Monday night. San Diego has plenty of offensive firepower, and with McCoy calling the shots I think we will see a newly inspired Rivers. San Diego has looked sloppy and sluggish in the preseason at times, but I have to believe that the Chargers left something in the tank here. I don’t think the Chargers win outright, but I’ll definitely take a field goal or more at home on Monday night in the season opener.