Sunday’s game between the Denver Broncos and the slightly favored Houston Texans will have enormous implications for the AFC playoff picture. Denver and Houston are tied with Indianapolis with 6-5 records and are fighting for a playoff berth. If it comes down to tiebreakers, a head-to-head victory could be the difference between making the playoffs and watching them.
The Broncos have a winning record for the first time this season, thanks to a five-game winning streak that followed a 1-5 start. The Texans had their winning streak, but Jacksonville ended their run of three straight wins last week when a game-tying field goal bounced off the crossbar.
Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. ET on Sunday at NRG Stadium. The game will be televised on CBS.
Rookie of the Year candidate C.J. Stroud continued his strong play against the Jags, throwing for 304 yards and two touchdowns while adding 47 yards and a touchdown on the ground. He was turnover-free for the first time in three games. Wide receivers Tank Dell and Noah Brown are both questionable, but are expected to play in the game.
Denver’s Russell Wilson has been getting it done in a contrasting style from Stroud. He has multiple scores in three of his last four and a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 20:4, but surpassed 200 passing yards just twice in the previous eight games.
Denver’s defense continues to struggle against the run, allowing 11 rushing touchdowns and a league-worst 155.2 rushing yards per game. The problem for Houston is its rushing attack is a bottom-third unit in the NFL, averaging just 98.7 yards per game. Devin Singletary had been playing better as of late, with back-to-back games of 100-plus yards and a touchdown, but the return of Dameon Pierce from injury saw the duo split rushing opportunities. Singletary had just 18 yards on six carries last week.
Houston’s defense has been susceptible to the pass this season but has been able to keep teams out of the endzone. They’ve given up the seventh most passing yards with 2,778 but have held opponents to just 11 touchdown passes, second only to Cleveland and Baltimore.
All odds from BetMGM. Looking for NFL tickets? Buy them here.
What are the odds for Broncos vs. Texans?
Storylines for Broncos vs. Texans
Broncos vs. Texans subplot: Are Sean Payton, DeMeco Ryans just getting started?
Quinn Meinerz’s ‘Enforcer’ feats of strength energize the Broncos
Expert picks for Broncos vs. Texans
(Photo of Courtland Sutton: Michael Owens/Getty Images)