Perhaps no veteran quarterback in the NFL needs a victory like Houston Texan Matt Schaub. The 32-year-old has led the Texans to three straight losses, throwing six of his nine interceptions on the season during the nasty stretch, including four pick-sixes.
Schaub and the Texans can get their season back on track on Sunday against the St. Louis Rams at Reliant Stadium.
The Rams ended their own three-game losing streak with a gimme 34-20 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars last week. Sam Bradford tossed three touchdowns, two of which went to receiver Austin Pettis, and running back Zac Stacy emerged as a viable threat in what has been an otherwise underwhelming St. Louis backfield.
Stacy gained 78 rushing yards, and will reportedly start again versus Houston, who’s ranked near the bottom in the NFL against the run.
The Texans have scored in the single digits in two of their last three games, including last week’s 34-3 debacle against San Francisco. Schaub had three picks, but running back Arian Foster gained 98 yards, nearly tallying 100-plus for the second straight week.
Bradford could have a difficult time against the Texans top ranked secondary, and pass rushers Brian Cushing, J.J. Watt, and Whitney Mercilus. According to the Houston Chronicle, no opposing quarterback has thrown for more than 200 yards against the Texans this season.
The Rams have several injuries up and down their defense, a sign Houston could turn things around. Defensive end Williams Hayes is questionable with a knee injury, and top cornerback Cortland Finnegan is doubtful due to a hamstring strain. However defensive tackle Matt Contrath was updated to probable from questionable earlier this week.
The Texans have also said top receiver Andre Johnson is a game-time decision after playing through a shin injury. Head coach Gary Kubiak praised Johnson’s mettle and dedication.
"You know if he can get there, he’s going to get there for you, as a coach and as a teammate," Kubiak said to the team’s official website. "I know his leg has not felt good. He’s played really nicked up for us the last two weeks and probably not going to feel real good on Sunday. He always gives it up for his teammates.”
Coverage of the game starts at 1 p.m. ET and will be broadcast by FOX, or watch a live online stream by purchasing NFL Game Access here.
Betting Odds: Houston is favored by 9 points.
Over/Under: 42.5 points.
Prediction: Houston 30, St. Louis 17