NFL 2019 (Week 3): Houston Texans at Los Angeles Chargers

Russell S. Baxter

NFL 2019 (Week 3): Houston Texans at Los Angeles Chargers

By Pete Fasulo

Special to Pro Football Guru

This Week 3 match-up is important for both teams as neither of these playoff-worthy squads wants to hit the quarter-pole with a losing record. The Chargers are coming off a 13-10 upset loss in Detroit, while Houston escaped with a 13-12 win at home versus the divisional-rival Jacksonville Jaguars.

When the Texans have the ball: Houston, while loaded with a very talented roster, has mustered only 41 points in their first two games this season. Last week, quarterback Deshaun Watson completed only 55.2 percent of his passes for a measly 159 yards. The Texans are going to need more out of their passing game and the offensive line will need to be stronger as Watson has been sacked 10 times in two games. The club’s much-maligned front has to find a way of preventing Joey Bosa and the rest of the Chargers’ defensive line from creating havoc in the Houston backfield.

When the Chargers have the ball: The Bolts need to bounce back in a big way after scoring only 10 points last week. The offensive line must play better. With Russell Okung still out of action, there is a serious need for the Mike Pouncey-led line to find another gear. If Philip Rivers cannot get time in the pocket to locate his receivers the Chargers will have trouble scoring. The belief here is that the Angelinos will find that extra gear and keep Rivers well-protected. If J.J. Watt can get to Rivers, it could be in for another low-scoring affair. Austin Ekeler has looked good thus far in Melvin Gordon’s stead. He’s averaging 4.3 yards per carry and has added 12 receptions for an additional 163 yards. If Ekeler can churn up yardage on the ground it will free up space deep for wide receivers Keenan Allen and Dontrelle Inman.

Prediction: Expect this game to be a defensive battle (by today’s NFL standards) with the Chargers willing themselves to victory. The belief here is that their defense puts enough pressure on Watson to keep his completion percentage in the below-60 percent range and his yardage below 250. I expect Los Angeles to use a balanced attack to muster enough offense to win this one and get themselves back in the discussion among the NFL’s elite teams.

Los Angeles Chargers 24, Houston Texans 17

Pete Fasulo (@LISportsFans) is a freelance writer covering business, music, and sports. He has written for music publications such as Revolver and Aural Fix. His sports writing career has been resurrected here after numerous years at The Torch and The Long Island Tribune (many moons ago).

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