Matchup Analysis: Houston Texans at Los Angeles Chargers

Vegas Prediction

Vegas says: Texans 23, Chargers 26

FBG Projections

TeamRushYardsTDCompAttPass YdTDINT

Houston Texans Offense: overview

Points (vs AVG) (rank)Rush Yards (vs AVG) (rank)Pass Yards (vs AVG) (rank)
Texans Offense20.5 (-1.3) (15)153 (+44) (5)186 (-63) (24)
Chargers Defense18.5 (-3.3) (12)148 (+39) (28)209 (-39) (8)

Los Angeles Chargers Offense: overview

Points (vs AVG) (rank)Rush Yards (vs AVG) (rank)Pass Yards (vs AVG) (rank)
Chargers Offense20.0 (-1.8) (18)131 (+22) (10)298 (+49) (8)
Texans Defense21.0 (-0.8) (16)126 (+16) (23)270 (+21) (22)

Texans Rushing offense

Neutral matchup vs. the Chargers defense.

Texans running backs looked good against a tough Jaguars defense last week, rushing a combined 26 times for 121 yards. What may have been unexpected, however, was the split between Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson. Hyde out-touched Johnson 20-to-6 on the ground after splitting carries relatively evenly with Johnson in Week 1 (10 for Hyde, 9 for Johnson). After a preseason full of doubts that Hyde would even make an NFL roster, he has now outplayed Duke Johnson for two straight weeks as the lead rusher for this backfield. The Texans are expected to continue employing a committee approach with these two, and the game script will surely factor into snap counts afforded to each--which will ultimately limit the upside of both running backs. Deshaun Watson rushed for another touchdown last week--his second of the season in as many games. While the yardage total was not there, Watson continues to make plays with his legs and will be a factor for this Texans ground game as long as he remains healthy. The offensive line continues to be a concern for the Texans though, as rookie left guard Tytus Howard struggled in his NFL debut last week while left tackle Laremy Tunsil continued his slow start while also getting banged up with an ankle injury. Tunsil expects to play in Week 3, but his integration with this new unit is happening much slower than anyone would have hoped for.

The Chargers defense had a respectable showing in Week 2 against the Lions, giving up just 41 rushing yards to lead back Kerryon Johnson while limiting the team to a total of 94 rushing yards, averaging just 3.4 yards per rush attempt. This was a big improvement after giving up 203 yards and a touchdown to the Colts in Week 1. They rotated more of their interior defensive linemen last week, but that actually remains a key weakness as none of the four defensive tackles looked particularly strong. Rookie Jerry Tillery is still picking up the defense while veteran Brandon Mebane will need to step up for this group to become more consistent. Defensive end posed no problem though, as it was Joey Bosa who carried this defensive line last week and will remain the rock of this group. Linebacker Thomas Davis had a better game in Week 2, while Uchenna Nwosu did well with an increase snap share. The Texans offensive line will likely struggle in this one given the elite edge defenders of the Chargers, but strong play from Texans center Nick Martin could help propel them forward for runs up the middle against the key weakness of this Chargers run defense.

Texans Passing offense

Neutral matchup vs. the Chargers defense.

Deshaun Watson and the Texans passing offense put forth a meager effort against the Jaguars in Week 2. Watson completed just over 50 percent of his passes for only 159 yards with no touchdowns. He continues to take a beating behind this struggling offensive line as Watson went down four more times last week, bringing his sack total up to a league-leading 10 on the season. DeAndre Hopkins was held to just 40 yards with a long reception of only 14 yards as he struggled against tight coverage--a rare sight from an elite receiver like Hopkins. Will Fuller saw a big bump in targets in Week 2, but his production still lacked last week. Keke Coutee made his season debut after missing Week 1 with an injury, but he was not heavily involved and will compete for snaps in the slot with Kenny Stills as they split relatively evenly last week. Running back Duke Johnson Jr. was shut out of the passing game last week as well, which is a concern as that seems to be his primary source of value with Carlos Hyde eating up the rushing attempts. Johnson’s snap count was down last week, but his usage through should be relatively game script dependent.

The Chargers secondary suffered yet another blow last week as safety Adrian Phillips broke his arm and will miss several weeks. Phillips was playing in place of star safety Derwin James and has been a key piece of the Chargers secondary, so this will be a heavily felt loss. With cornerback Trevor Williams still sidelined with a knee injury, this secondary has become much thinner than anyone would have thought coming into the season. They still have one of the top slot cornerbacks in the league in Desmond King, who should make it tough on Keke Coutee and Kenny Stills this week. Casey Hayward Jr. is also a stout matchup for any opposing receiver and should shadow DeAndre Hopkins this week. Will Fuller should have a good matchup against second-year cornerback Brandon Facyson though, as Facsyon has given up over 2.5 yards per route covered and nearly a 75 percent catch rate in his limited time on the field. Safety will be a clear weakness as well, opening up the chances for some big plays by this Texans receiving corps.

Chargers Rushing offense

Tough matchup vs. the Texans defense.

The Chargers ground game was humming along again this week as both Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson found success rushing the ball. Ekeler out-touched Jackson 17-to-7, but they finished with similar yardage totals as Ekeler had 66 rushing yards to Jackson’s 59 rushing yards. Both running backs had big plays called back due to penalty, including a would-be 60-yard touchdown run by Jackson. Jackson remains limited by his lack of involvement in the passing game though, as Ekeler continues to see success with a heavier workload and snap count through the first two games. Ekeler now has a rushing touchdown in each game this season while averaging nearly 4.3 yards per carry. He also saw goal-line work last week, but unfortunately fumbled it instead of punching in a touchdown. That did not appear to impact his usage, however, as Ekeler remains the lead option for this backfield.

The Texans run defense looked stellar in Week 2 against the Jaguars, limiting Leonard Fournette to just 3.1 yards per attempt for 47 rushing yards on the day. Linebacker Zach Cunningham was a force in the middle as he led the team in tackles with double the solo tackles of any other Texans player. D.J. Reader looked improved on the interior, but his supporting cast in Angelo Blackson and Brandon Dunn still left much to be desired. J.J. Watt had a nice bounceback game against the run after looking sluggish in Week 1, while Whitney Mercilus maintained his excellent performance to start the season. While their poor showing from Week 1 will not yet be forgotten, this run defense should be far above average and showed up as such last week. The Chargers ground game has been rolling to start the season, but this Texans defense will be the toughest test they have faced thus far.

Chargers Passing offense

Good matchup vs. the Texans defense.

Philip Rivers was mediocre in last week’s loss to the Lions as he failed to find the end zone and ended with 291 passing yards. His offensive line couldn’t handle the pressure from the Lions, which led to Rivers being consistently hurried and forced into making some questionable throws. Rivers was missing a key safety blanket in Hunter Henry, who is done for most of the year with a knee injury. Mike Williams was also limited last week as he deals with a knee injury. These limitations for Rivers basically caused him to force-feed Keenan Allen targets last week. Allen has 42 percent of the team’s targets through the first two weeks and has finished with 123 and 98 receiving yards in each game. Austin Ekeler is also seeing a high volume of targets, and he has hauled in all but one of them for a total of 163 receiving yards and two touchdowns to start the season. Both Allen and Ekeler will remain high ceiling assets in this passing offense.

The Texans played decent defense last week as they displayed improvements on the defensive line and secondary. J.J. Watt got back on track while Whitney Mercilus continued his spectacular start to the season as the primary replacement to Jadeveon Clowney. The pair of edge rushers accounted for four hits on Gardner Minshew while Mercilus notched two sacks and Watt recovered a fumble. The Chargers offensive line received a mediocre C+ grade in pass protection by Footballguys offensive line guru Matt Bitonti, so they will be expected to struggle against the talented Texans defensive line. The secondary continues to adjust after cutting cornerback Aaron Colvin. Rookie Lonnie Johnson Jr. started and struggled last week while Bradley Roby moved to the slot and held Dede Westbrook to just one reception for three yards. Johnson Jr. will be a liability due to his lack of experience, which should pose an opportunity for Mike Williams and Travis Benjamin from the edges. Bradley Roby may have had a nice game against the Jaguars, but he is not an extremely talented cornerback and will afford Keenan Allen a clear advantage in the slot. The Texans have also given up decent production to running backs to start the season, allowing 4-40 to Leonard Fournette and 7-72 to Alvin Kamara. Austin Ekeler will have a good chance at meeting or exceeding that level of production from the backfield.

Chargers vs QB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)14 (-2.1)14 (-2.1)14 (-1.3)13 (-2.6)
1Jacoby Brissett6321271902039018.418.416.516.5
2Matthew Stafford61223024522413019.619.617.117.1

Deshaun Watson (FanDuel: $8200, DraftKings: $6400)

1@ NO67203026831440134.434.431.731.7
2vs JAX6616291590045114.514.512.912.9
3PROJ-Dodds21332661.60.95230.222.322.322.3 (H=52)22.3 (H=67)
3PROJ-Tremblay21332551.50.94210. (H=48)21.2 (H=61)
3PROJ-Bloom19312581.60.94220.4232323.0 (H=55)23.0 (H=71)

Chargers vs RB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)26 (+4.3)23 (+3.2)26 (+4.9)23 (+5.3)
1Marlon Mack48251741000023.423.425.428.4
1Nyheim Hines17413044401.
2Kerryon Johnson33124103247114.816.815.816.8
2Ty Johnson13530022603.

Carlos Hyde (FanDuel: $6000, DraftKings: $4500)

1@ NO251083011.0208.
2vs JAX402090000.000999.09.0
3PROJ-Dodds14580.30.7508.18.88.5 (H=13)8.8 (H=19)
3PROJ-Tremblay13530.30.4307.47.87.6 (H=11)7.8 (H=15)
3PROJ-Bloom17720.40.0009.69.69.6 (H=16)9.6 (H=22)

Duke Johnson (FanDuel: $5400, DraftKings: $4300)

1@ NO42957054.033091311.013.0
2vs JAX26631010.0003.
3PROJ-Dodds7340.23.6260.17.811.49.6 (H=18)11.4 (H=31)
3PROJ-Tremblay9380.22.7210.17.710.49.1 (H=16)10.4 (H=26)
3PROJ-Bloom6290.13.0310.27.810.89.3 (H=17)10.8 (H=28)

Chargers vs WR

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)18 (+0.5)17 (+0.9)17 (+0.8)17 (+0.9)
1T.Y. Hilton569887200020.728.724.728.7
1Deon Cain11223500003.
2Kenny Golladay56108117100017.725.721.728.7
2Marvin Jones56654300004.

DeAndre Hopkins (FanDuel: $8900, DraftKings: $7800)

1@ NO66138.0111200023.
2vs JAX6285.0400000496.59.0
3PROJ-Dodds6.9920.600012.819.716.3 (H=28)19.7 (H=44)
3PROJ-Tremblay6.8880.500011.818.615.2 (H=25)18.6 (H=40)
3PROJ-Bloom6.0790.600011.517.514.5 (H=23)17.5 (H=36)

Will Fuller (FanDuel: $6000, DraftKings: $4900)

1@ NO6532.06900006.
2vs JAX6074.0400000486.08.0
3PROJ-Dodds3.6570.30007.511.19.4 (H=16)11.2 (H=26)
3PROJ-Tremblay3.5500.30006.810.38.6 (H=13)10.4 (H=23)
3PROJ-Bloom3.0520.30007108.6 (H=13)10.1 (H=22)

Kenny Stills (FanDuel: $5100, DraftKings: $3900)

1@ NO2833.03710009.712.711.212.7
2vs JAX2532.03800003.
3PROJ-Dodds1.7280.200045.74.9 (H=6)5.7 (H=10)
3PROJ-Tremblay1.6230.20003.55.14.3 (H=4)5.1 (H=8)
3PROJ-Bloom2.0390.30005.77.76.7 (H=10)7.7 (H=17)

Keke Coutee (FanDuel: $4900, DraftKings: $3400)

1@ NO000.000000000.00.0
2vs JAX2942.0700000.
3PROJ-Dodds2.6280.200046.65.3 (H=7)6.6 (H=15)
3PROJ-Tremblay2.4280.200046.45.2 (H=7)6.4 (H=14)
3PROJ-Bloom3.0240.1000364.5 (H=5)6.0 (H=13)

Chargers vs TE

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)7 (-3.7)9 (-4.5)7 (-4.1)9 (-4.8)
1Jack Doyle43212002.
2Jesse James30431801.

Jordan Akins (FanDuel: $4100, DraftKings: $2700)

1@ NO4721.01701.
2vs JAX3932.02502.
3PROJ-Dodds1.8220. (H=4)4.6 (H=10)
3PROJ-Tremblay1.9230. (H=5)4.8 (H=11)
3PROJ-Bloom2.0230. (H=5)4.9 (H=11)

Darren Fells (FanDuel: $4000, DraftKings: $2500)

1@ NO3410.000000.00.0
2vs JAX4431.0900.
3PROJ-Dodds0.990. (H=1)2.4 (H=3)
3PROJ-Tremblay1.5150. (H=3)3.6 (H=7)
3PROJ-Bloom0.000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)

Chargers vs PK

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)5T (-3.8)5T (-3.8)5T (-4.0) (+0.0)
1Adam Vinatieri1312445.05.0
2Matt Prater0112111.01.0

Kaimi Fairbairn (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $--)

1@ NO0044444.04.0
2vs JAX2211777.07.0

Chargers vs TD

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)22T (+0.7)22T (+0.7)24 (+1.2)24 (+1.2)
1Indianapolis Colts3043541100887.07.0
2Detroit Lions1042411100559.09.0

Houston Texans (FanDuel: $4400, DraftKings: $2800)

1@ NO30.0051011000332.02.0
2vs JAX12.00281401006610.010.0
3PROJ-Dodds25.403762.60.80.600. (H=14)7.3 (H=22)
3PROJ-Tremblay25.253352.110.600. (H=15)7.8 (H=25)

Texans vs QB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)24 (+5.7)24 (+6.1)24 (+4.9)25 (+5.9)
1Drew Brees6632433702100025.525.521.824.8
2Gardner Minshew67233321310656020.320.316.117.1

Philip Rivers (FanDuel: $7500, DraftKings: $5800)

1vs IND6425343333116028.328.324.927.9
2@ DET67213629301112014.914.911.911.9
3PROJ-Dodds22342621.80.911019.519.519.5 (H=45)19.5 (H=59)
3PROJ-Tremblay20322421.71110181818.0 (H=39)18.0 (H=51)
3PROJ-Bloom21332211.6111016.616.616.6 (H=34)16.6 (H=44)

Texans vs RB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)17 (+0.2)22 (+1.6)20 (+1.1)21 (+1.2)
1Alvin Kamara50139708772016.923.920.423.9
1Latavius Murray186431324010.712.711.712.7
2Leonard Fournette6515470644008.712.710.712.7
2Ryquell Armstead000000000.

Austin Ekeler (FanDuel: $7600, DraftKings: $7200)

1vs IND481258176.096233.439.436.439.4
2@ DET491766166.067019.325.320.324.3
3PROJ-Dodds13580.55.9510.315.721.618.7 (H=41)21.6 (H=56)
3PROJ-Tremblay15620.54.7420.214.619.317.0 (H=35)19.3 (H=46)
3PROJ-Bloom14570.76.0520.518.124.121.1 (H=51)24.1 (H=68)

Justin Jackson (FanDuel: $5800, DraftKings: $4200)

1vs IND16657031.0406.
2@ DET18759011.0506.
3PROJ-Dodds8370.31.51006.587.3 (H=10)8.0 (H=17)
3PROJ-Tremblay7260.31.41205.676.3 (H=8)7.0 (H=13)
3PROJ-Bloom7340. (H=8)6.7 (H=12)

Derek Watt (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $3000)

1vs IND1524000.0000.
2@ DET600021.0300.
3PROJ-Dodds0000.000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)
3PROJ-Tremblay1400.7701.11.81.4 (H=0)1.8 (H=1)
3PROJ-Bloom0000.000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)

Texans vs WR

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)17 (+0.5)21 (+2.9)20 (+1.8)23 (+4.4)
1Michael Thomas591310123000012.322.317.325.3
1Ted Ginn4977101000010.117.113.620.1
2D.J. Chark559755100011.518.515.018.5
2Chris Conley57547300007.311.39.311.3

Keenan Allen (FanDuel: $7800, DraftKings: $7000)

1vs IND53108.0123100018.326.322.329.3
2@ DET61158.09800009.817.813.817.8
3PROJ-Dodds7.0910.600012.719.716.2 (H=31)19.7 (H=49)
3PROJ-Tremblay6.3870.600012.318.615.5 (H=29)18.6 (H=45)
3PROJ-Bloom8.0890.500011.919.915.9 (H=30)19.9 (H=50)

Mike Williams (FanDuel: $6100, DraftKings: $4900)

1vs IND4132.02900002.
2@ DET4153.08300008.311.39.811.3
3PROJ-Dodds3.2500.40007.410.69.0 (H=14)10.6 (H=24)
3PROJ-Tremblay2.7400.40006.49.17.8 (H=11)9.1 (H=18)
3PROJ-Bloom4.0540.40007.811.89.8 (H=17)11.8 (H=29)

Travis Benjamin (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $3000)

1vs IND3132.01200001.
2@ DET4420.000000000.00.0
3PROJ-Dodds1.4200.20003.24.63.9 (H=4)4.6 (H=9)
3PROJ-Tremblay1.6230.20003.55.14.3 (H=5)5.1 (H=11)
3PROJ-Bloom0.000000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)

Dontrelle Inman (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $3000)

1vs IND2711.0500000.
2@ DET3821.02800002.
3PROJ-Dodds1.2150.10002.13.32.7 (H=2)3.3 (H=5)
3PROJ-Tremblay1.0120.10001.82.82.3 (H=1)2.8 (H=3)
3PROJ-Bloom1.01300001.32.31.8 (H=1)2.3 (H=2)

Texans vs TE

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)10T (-3.0)14 (-2.8)12 (-2.9)14 (-3.1)
1Jared Cook42323703.
2James OShaughnessy44442802.

Virgil Green (FanDuel: $4000, DraftKings: $2600)

1vs IND2711.0400.
2@ DET5921.0900.
3PROJ-Dodds1.5170. (H=3)3.8 (H=7)
3PROJ-Tremblay1.4160. (H=3)3.6 (H=7)
3PROJ-Bloom1. (H=1)2.4 (H=3)

Texans vs PK

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)25T (+2.7)25T (+2.7)27 (+4.0) (+0.0)
1Wil Lutz3433121215.015.0
2Josh Lambo2200667.07.0

Mike Badgley (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $--)

1vs IND0000000.00.0
2@ DET0000000.00.0

Texans vs TD

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)21 (+0.2)21 (+0.2)19T (+0.7)19T (+0.7)
1New Orleans Saints2841461000887.07.0
2Jacksonville Jaguars1326340000448.08.0

Los Angeles Chargers (FanDuel: $3800, DraftKings: $2500)

1vs IND24.0037620000222.02.0
2@ DET13.0033902000448.08.0
3PROJ-Dodds22.403822.70.90.600. (H=22)8.8 (H=34)
3PROJ-Tremblay22.253672.20.90.600. (H=20)8.3 (H=31)