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Broncos vs. Texans Week 3 NFL 2012 Free Pick

September 23, 2012

It’s quite possibly an AFC Championship Game preview on Sunday in the Mile High City as Houston, one of six 2-0 teams remaining and now the AFC odds-on favorite, visits Denver and old nemesis Peyton Manning, who has owned the Texans in his career.

Houston has looked dominant so far but has beaten two of the league’s worst teams in Miami and Jacksonville. In last week’s 27-7 win over the Jaguars, Arian Foster rushed for 110 yards and a touchdown, while Ben Tate added a pair of scores on the ground. Foster, who became the all-time leader on the Texans’ rushing yardage list in the process, carried the ball 28 times and added six catches for 37 yards. Tate rushed for 74 yards on 12 carries and hauled in four passes for 23 yards. Matt Schaub connected on 26-of-35 passes for 195 yards.

Last week, the Texans were able to run the ball down the Jags’ throats at will. That resulted in 16 touches for Tate and 34 for Foster. “The rotation might be four-two (Foster to Tate carries) or three-three,” running backs coach Harris said. “Once we see how each player is playing, who’s hot and who’s not, we’ll adjust accordingly.” Houston is averaging only 3.6 yards per carry on the ground but 150 yards per game, which ranks sixth in the NFL. That shows that the Texans are committed to making the ground game work.

The Texans are first in the NFL in total defense (196.0 yards per game) and scoring defense (8.5 per game). They forced four turnovers in Ryan Tannehill’s debut in a 30-10 win over the Dolphins in Week 1 and allowed a franchise-low 117 yards in last Sunday’s victory.

The Broncos lost 27-21 on Monday night in Atlanta as Manning threw three interceptions in his first eight attempts, the fewest attempts Manning has needed to throw three picks in his career. Manning went 24-of-37 through the air for 241 yards and a touchdown. Willis McGahee carried the ball 22 times for 113 yards and two scores in the defeat. The Broncos recorded 336 yards of total offense, compared to 275 for Atlanta.

Since bringing in Wade Phillips as the defensive coordinator, the Texans have brought heat like few other teams. Phillips has a ton of weapons to choose from when it comes to blitzing linebackers or even defensive backs. The chess match between Phillips and Manning will be key to the game as few quarterbacks are better than Manning when it comes to recognizing pressure and checking out of bad plays to counter the defense.

These teams haven’t met since late 2010 when Denver won 24-23.

WAGERWEB.COM ODDS: Texans -2 (46)

SBA Take: Take Denver at home ftw

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Sunday, September 23rd, 2012 NFL Betting 2012

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