FBG says: Neutral matchup. Sam Darnold made his return to the Jets lineup last week and had one of his more efficient games of the season, completing 16 of 24 passes for 170 yards and a touchdown, with one interception. Darnold reinjured his foot on the opening drive but missed only one series. Darnold's season has had its ups and downs, which should be expected with a rookie quarterback but the problem as of late has been his penchant for committing turnovers. Darnold threw seven interceptions in his first six starts but has now thrown eight interceptions in his last four starts, including games of three and four interceptions. The way the Jets offense is predicated, the coaching staff could live with some turnovers if Darnold was also creating big plays down the field, but that has not happened either. Darnold has been held under 200 yards passing in six of his ten starts and has eclipsed 230 yards passing only twice. It cannot all be blamed on Darnold though, as the Jets receivers have been inconsistent at best this season. After a breakout season in 2017, Robbie Anderson has only two games of 75+ yards receiving and has yet to catch five passes in a game this year. He did catch four passes for 76 yards and a touchdown last week, but he will have his work cut out for him against a talented Houston secondary that will be motivated after getting dusted last week against the Colts. This is a passing offense you want to stay away from every week, and this matchup against Houston is no different.
The Texans pass defense started off the season playing very well, but they have faded as of late. The Texans rank 24th in passing yards allowed (260.6) but over the last three weeks, they are the worst team in the league in this department, allowing an inexcusable 347.7 yards per game. That is 28 more yards than the penultimate team, and last week's divisional loss to the Colts can be directly attributed to the Texans secondary breaking down in the second half. TY Hilton, with an injured foot, torched the Houston secondary for 105 yards on five catches in the final two quarters, finishing with 199 yards on nine catches. It should also be noted that Hilton was battling a shoulder injury coming into this game and barely practiced during the week. There is really no excuse for the breakdown, as the Texans have a talented duo at cornerback in Johnathan Joseph and Kareem Jackson, with Justin Reid and Tyrann Mathieu at safety. It does get better for the Texans though, as they face off against a Jets passing offense that ranks 30th in the league, averaging only 190.7 yards per game. The Jets offense will have their work cut out for them as their top three running backs are injured, and without some sort of running game, the Texans are going to eat them alive with aggressive blitzing.