Texans vs. Buccaneers: Score Prediction and Final Thoughts
Houston looks to get to .500 again as the Buccaneers look to end losing streak
Here are some final thoughts ahead of the game against the Buccaneers.
Baker Bounce Back?
There’s plenty of respect for Tampa Bay quarterback Baker Mayfield from the Houston Texans.
“I think Baker and his playstyle, his moxie, he keeps plays alive, he makes a lot of plays on the run,” head coach DeMeco Ryans said. “Guys are – you think you have him in the backfield – he finds a way to escape. He just has these moxies about him. Guys play for him, and he makes plays there. We have our hands full just when it comes to just their passing attack – I think that’s where it all starts.”
Defensive coordinator Matt Burke had plenty of positives to Mayfield’s game.
“Honestly, he’s been playing really well,” Burke said. “He’s in command of the offense, I would say. You can see that he’s doing a lot at the line – checking in the plays that they want. They give him some freedom, or they help him to do some of those things. He’s just doing a really good job of like ‘A’ – getting them into plays. He’s really, really good at buying time with his feet.”
Burke also said Mayfield is the most active quarterback with his feet since the opening week game with the Ravens and Lamar Jackson. Mayfield leads the league in sacks avoided.
Mayfield, like most of his career, has had his moments recently. He’s also had some issues too.
Mayfield has been inefficient and inconsistent in this three-game losing streak the Buccaneers are suffering through right now. He’s had more pressure to deal with in the past three weeks as well as getting sacked six times in the past two games.
Now the struggles have been against defense in the top half of the league and the last time the Buccaneers won they dominated a Saints defense that the Texans struggled to consistently beat up.
Mayfield’s ability to win over the middle has always been a question, and the Texans defensive line should look to get in his throwing lanes. Mayfield has some of the most batted passes in the league. He’s excellent at throwing the ball short, but pushing the ball past nine yards is hard for Mayfield. He’s among the league’s worst passing 10-19 yards.
The Buccaneers will try to lull the Texans to sleep and set up one of their big passing plays. Failure by Tampa Bay on first and second down will put Mayfield in a position where he regularly struggles. The pass rush we all witnessed against the Panthers needs to be present to disrupt what the Buccaneers do well.
It isn’t a great matchup, but it isn’t a bad one either. DeMeco Ryans should have plenty for Mayfield to deal with in this game.
I believe the Houston Texans will win 16-13. Points should be hard to come by in this one as both defenses are playing better than the offenses. The Texans should move the ball well, but punching it in will be problematic against this defense. The Buccaneers might not put pressure on the Texans constantly but they have hit a few big plays. The rushing attack for both these teams stinks to this point, but the Buccaneers are one of the worst. Any special teams mistakes would mean doom for the team that commits it. The Texans come out on top in an ugly one.
Devin the Dude?
This game is exactly why the team invested in Devin Singletary this offseason. Dameon Pierce is out with an ankle injury for this game. People clamoring for more Singletary will get it along with Mike Boone. He might fit a lot of these runs better than Pierce and there have been a few games where he was far more efficient.
If Dameon Pierce has been the problem, we will know on Sunday. My speculation is the offensive line hasn’t helped many people be effective in the rushing attack. Tampa is nasty when it comes to stopping the run, so if it is tough sledding for Singletary and Boone don’t be shocked.
If this rushing attack is just average for a game it will make hitting some of those big plays that have eluded the Texans in the past few games.