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NFL Week 12 GAMEDAY: Back-To-Back Wins For Texans As They Host Jets?

Can the Houston Texans record back-to-back wins by sweeping aside the New York Jets this week?

One week on from their unexpected road victory against AFC top dog Tennessee Titans, the Houston Texans head back home to host the New York Jets.

As two teams struggling to find form this season, led by rookie head coaches and currently sitting at 2-8, this may not be the most eyecatching game for outsiders but for any Texans fans, this should be an exciting one.

This represents arguably their most 'winnable' game (on paper at least) this season and could deliver them their first back-to-back victories in 2021. 

RECORDS: Texans (2-8), Jets (2-8)

ODDS: Believe it or not, but for once, the Texans are the favorites. They are currently 2.5 point favorites, with the over/under at 44.5 (Per SI Sportsbook).

STAT: Houston's record against the Jets in recent years is favorable. The Texans have won their last three matchups (2012, 2015, 2018) and have scored more than 20 points in their last four meetings. 

However, the Jets currently lead the series 5-3.

The last time they faced one another was in December of 2018 when Deshaun Watson connected with DeAndre Hopkins for 170 yards and two touchdowns in a 29-22 win against the then Sam Darnold-led Jets.

Oh, how times have changed...

FUN FACT: Texans quarterback Tyrod Taylor is 5-2 against the Jets since arriving in the league in 2011. Throughout this period, he's passed for 1,165 yards, eight touchdowns, two interceptions, and rushed for two touchdowns. 

KEEP AN EYE ON: Houston's rushing offense is amongst the worst in the NFL. They've rushed for 765 yards in total and 3.2 yards per carry - both league lows. Their six rushing touchdowns are 29th in the NFL, while their 39 rushing first downs are 31st.

That being said, their run game was shaken up last week, and for the better.

Rex Burkhead had a season-high 18 carries and while this only yielded 40 yards, he did record four first downs. His hard-headed and powerful running style suits Tim Kelly's offense and he has a solid day despite what the yardage may suggest.

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Since that win, backup Phillip Lindsay has been released which would imply that recently acquired former Denver Bronco Royce Freeman may be about to give this stale rushing offense a crack. Who knows, maybe he can give succeed where Lindsay and David Johnson haven't.

HOUSTON'S KEY TO VICTORY: Takeaways.

Houston's victory last week was down in no small part to their four interceptions and five total takeaways. With ten takeaways in their last two games, Lovie Smith's defense is in strong form heading into Week 12 where they'll face off against a rookie quarterback in Zach Wilson who has nine interceptions to just four touchdowns through his six appearances so far this year.

Especially given that Houston's offense hasn't been firing on all cylinders for the majority of this season, including last week where they had just 190 yards of offense, these takeaways are invaluable. If the Texans want another win they need to give Taylor and Co. as many chances as possible to find their momentum and return to their form from Weeks 1 and 2.

GAME TIME: 12:00 p.m. CT, Sunday, Nov. 28

LOCATION: NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas

TV/RADIO: CBS, Sports Radio 610, 100.3 The Bull, Mega 101 FM

THE FINAL WORD: There is a renewed sense of cautious optimism heading into this week which has been a breath of fresh air. 

That being said, another win this week would be somewhat of a double-edged sword. 

Yes, from a competitive standpoint, you want to win every game. 

However, each win hurts your draft stock in 2022. And for a team as deficient in top-level talent as the Texans, they need a top pick.

But the fact is that if social media is to be believed, the reputation and credibility of this team have been dragged through the mud these past 12 months for a number of reasons.

And the best way to counteract this is by showing that regardless of the circumstances - such as their record - they will continue to fight for every single win. And this week is as good a chance as they'll get this year.