It’s a battle of 2-2 teams hoping to reach the playoffs for a third straight season as the Houston Texans will visit the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday Night Football.
The 49ers will be on 10 days rest after beating the Rams least Thursday. Meanwhile, the Texans are coming off an overtime loss against Seattle in which they blew a 17-point lead. Will a bad performance officially turn all of Houston against Matt Schaub? We’ll have to wait and see.
Where: Candlestick Park, San Francisco, CA
When: October 6, 2013, 8:30 p.m. ET
Live Stream: NFL Sunday Ticket, Game Rewind
Texans Player to Watch: Andre Johnson
He wasn’t fully healthy last week and he still had a decent game against the vaunted Seahawks secondary. Things don’t get much easier against San Francisco. Carlos Rogers will likely be on him all game, and rookie safety Eric Reid is quickly becoming yet another star on the 49ers defense. Johnson has often helped out Schaub simply with his ability as a receiver and he will have to do that again Sunday.
49ers Player to Watch: Frank Gore
Gore had easily his best game of the young season in Week 4, running for 153 yards and scoring a touchdown. The Niners will look to feed Gore early and often, especially with the likelihood of Texans star linebacker Brian Cushing out for the game. Against an aggressive Houston front four, Gore could also be a huge factor in the passing game as well.
Matchup to Watch: J.J. Watt vs. Colin Kaepernick
With 25 tackles and 3.5 sacks, reigning DPOY Watt is on his way to another great year, but can he and the Texans D-Line contain Kaepernick? One of Watt’s signature moves is his ability to bat down passes at the line of scrimmage, something that rarely happens to Kaepernick. Facing such a mobile quarterback, Watt may not be able to pass rush as aggressively as he wants. But hey, he and the Houston D were very good against the similarly mobile Russell Wilson last week.
For a talented team widely assumed to be in the playoffs again, the Texans are close to being 0-4. Both wins were come-from-behind escapes against San Diego and Tennessee. The Niners offense got back on track in Week 4 after two horrible showings before that, and they should be able to at least run the ball against a Houston D that gives up the least yards per game through the air. At the end of the day, can you really trust Matt Schaub on the road in a primetime game? Didn’t think so.
49ers 27, Texans 17