LOCATION: NRG Stadium (Houston, TX)
BETTING LINE: HOU -25
LIONS PLAYER TO WATCH
Matthew Stafford has been on fire for the last three weeks. Since a poor outing Week 4 in Chicago, in which he threw no touchdowns and two interceptions, Stafford has rebounded with eight touchdowns and no interceptions in his last three games.
However, it will be interesting to see how Stafford looks as the Lions get back on the road for the first time in three weeks.
TEXANS PLAYER TO WATCH
After a less-than-stellar outing from Brock Osweiler last week, look for the Texans to trust in Lamar Miller to establish a solid run game early to allow Osweiler to build up his confidence.
Miller has 581 yards so far this season, good enough for 5th in the NFL. However, Miller has scored only one touchdown in those seven games. Of the seven running backs in the NFL with more than 500 yards, only Miller has less than five touchdowns.
LIONS POSITION GROUP PREVIEW
Stafford has gone under the radar as an MVP candidate thus far but if he can either put his team out of reach early or dazzle us with more late game heroics, it’ll be time to throw his name around in the conversation.
This group of receivers have picked up where Megatron left off without missing a beat. But they’ll be up against a fearsome secondary who has allowed only five passing touchdowns on the season.
Coming off a big week against Washington, where they forced a goal-line fumble, the Lions will be looking to contain one of the more elusive runners in the league in Lamar Miller.
GAME PREVIEW ANALYSIS
Though an inter-conference contest, this matchup between the Detroit Lions and the Houston Texans is shaping up to be a major statement game for both squads.
After an abysmal outing in his return to Denver, Brock Osweiler now has to come home and satisfy a Houston crowd that is questioning the team’s $72 million investment.
Meanwhile, Matthew Stafford and the red hot Detroit Lions, rolling on a three-game winning streak. are on the road for the first time since losing at Chicago in Week 4. With the Vikings proving to be mortal and the Packers still struggling to find their footing, the Lions are in position to make a move for the division title.
The Motor City’s offensive machine has been full steam ahead, racking up nearly 350 yards per game, almost entirely through the air with 260 of those yards coming from Stafford’s arm.
The Texans have been more balanced on offense, covering 320 yards per game splitting between 116 on the ground and 204 through the air.
A major key to a Texans win will be their offense’s ability to convert third downs. Detroit has allowed their opponents to convert on more than half of their third down attempts. However, on the season the Texans have only managed to convert on 38.5% of their third downs.
After Houston, Detroit will be looking for its first division win when they take on the division leading Vikings.
The Texans will have a bye next week before going on the road to take on the Jaguars.
Fun Fact: Detroit’s all time record in games played in Texas (including the Houston Oilers) is 5-11.
TEXANS POSITION GROUP RATINGS
Houston’s running game has been lacking this season to say the least. While the backs have been eating up a respectable amount of yards, Lamar Miller and Houston as a whole has only one rushing touchdown on the season.
Brock Osweiler is working uphill trying to justify his hefty $37 million guaranteed contract. He currently boasts a 71.9 passer rating, better than only Blaine Gabbert and Ryan Fitzpatrick.
This group has proved to be one of the formidable tandems in the NFL. Houston has allowed only five passing touchdowns this season. They are also ranked in the top ten for yards allowed per attempt with an incredible 6.9 average.