Chargers vs. Texans Odds
The overall outlook of the AFC West has changed drastically over the first three weeks of the season.
Once again, the Chargers have rolled snake eyes in the game of chance that is the injury bug. Third-ranked PFF tackle Rashawn Slater is out for the season, Keenan Allen is hobbled by a hamstring strain and Joey Bosa needs groin surgery. A roster seemingly loaded with talent has quickly come back down to earth.
Chargers vs. Texans Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how the Chargers and Texans match up statistically:
Chargers vs. Texans DVOA Breakdown
The Chargers’ offense is handcuffed by offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi, who is running an offense in which his cannon-armed quarterback has the sixth lowest average intended air yards per pass in the league.
To make matters worse, no rushing offense has been less explosive — only one rushing play all season has resulted in a 10-yard gain. The Chargers average less than three yards per carry on 1st down, the worst in the NFL. That has caused them to go 3-and-out at the third-highest rate, performing only better than the struggling offenses of the Steelers and Bears.
The good news for Los Angeles is that center Corey Linsley should return to the lineup on Sunday. Linsley is a top-10 center in football and graded by PFF as the best pass blocker at the position.
The Texans will not be able to match the Jaguars (the Chargers Week 3 opponent) in pressure rate, as they rank 21st. Herbert was pressured on over 40% of his dropbacks in Week 3 and it will be critical for the Chargers to keep him clean this week. When throwing from a clean pocket, Herbert’s passer rating increases nearly 60 points, from 62.0 to 121.3.
While protecting Herbert is important, I expect a slightly more aggressive game plan against a secondary that has only faced the 22nd, 28th and 32nd ranked offenses in the league according to DVOA.
When the Texans have the football, it’s been ugly. Despite the loss of Bosa, I expect the Brandon Staley led defense to bounce back from its disappointing Week 3 performance.
The Chargers defense should force Davis Mills into uncomfortable situations with its 11th ranked DVOA rushing defense. Mills has not made a single ‘big time throw’ this season and his once reliable connection with Brandin Cooks has faltered as they’ve connected on just 13 of 29 passes.
If the Chargers can stop the run, take away the Texans’ most reliable pass catcher and pressure Mills, I don’t see a scenario in which the Houston offense scores more than 20 points for the first time this season.
Teams with a losing record that find themselves as road favorites of greater than three points are 12-4 (75%) against the spread since the beginning of 2021.
I am even more confident the Chargers won’t overlook the Texans because of what happened a season ago when they traveled to Houston and gave up 189 rushing yards. I expect a focused and motivated Chargers team that knows it can’t afford to drop to 1-3.
Bet Chargers -5.5 at FanDuel | Play to -6
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