Saturday, October 24, 2009

Week 7 Pick: Most Interesting Game

Honestly, I'm most interested in Giants/Cardinals to see how my Giants bounce back off a miserable loss. However, I have a policy of not picking Giants games unless I absolutely have to, which I don't, because I'm also extremely interested in:

San Francisco 49ers @ Houston Texans

Over/Under: 44
Line: Texans by 3

My Thoughts:
Why, you ask, is this such an interesting game? First, the Niners have been one of the bigger surprises of the season, riding a 3-2 start (2-0 in their division) to a tie for the lead in the NFC West. Second, this game marks the debut of mercurial wide receiver Michael Crabtree for the 49ers, and it will be more than interesting to see what the allegedly talented rookie brings to the table after missing, well, everything this off-season. Finally, I'm interested to see which Texans team shows up, the offensive explosion, or the mistake-plagued sloppy group that loses stupid games.

For the Niners, their offense this season has revolved entirely around the running game. Lucky for them, the Texans have allowed over 120 yards per game on the ground, and haven't seen a back like Frank Gore yet this year. Gore's outstanding size/speed combination will be awful for Houston's sloppy run defense. And to rest him, San Fran will bring in 6'0", 210 lb Glen Coffee to continue the merciless pounding. Shaun Hill has only thrown 144 times this year (compared to Matt Schaub's 219), and will only do so if absolutely necessary. The best hope the Niners have is to keep the game close so Houston tries to run, allowing their own, more effective, running game to control the clock and the score. Since I mentioned Crabtree, I don't expect much out of him this game. I'll guess maybe 2 or 3 catches, 20-30 yards, no touchdowns. Give the kid some time.

On the other side, Houston's insane passing attack seems to have hit its stride. The battle between Nate Clements and Andre Johnson should be a great one, as both players are among the best at their positions. If you have Steve Slaton on your fantasy team, sit him this week, because Patrick Willis and that Niners defense will give him nowhere to run. But the fact remains, Matt Schaub is on a hot streak, shredding decent defenses with a great group of pass-catchers that includes Johnson, Owen Daniels, Kevin Walters, and Jacoby Jones. I have to wonder if San Francisco can match that kind of depth on defense.

I expect this to be a pretty good game, and fun to watch. In the end though, the better, more explosive offense wins this one by a touchdown, covering that tricky 3 point spread.

Texans 27
49ers 21


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