Denver Broncos @

Houston Texans

Sun, Dec 8
10:00 AM Pacific
Rotation: 135
Odds: Houston Texans -9, Total: 42.5

Game Analysis

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Lean – Denver (+9) over HOUSTON 

Drew Lock was mediocre in his first start, averaging only 4.8 yards per pass play, but the Broncos won thanks to an excellent performance from Courtland Sutton. It’s difficult to overstate the breakout season from the second-year wide receiver as Sutton now comprises 35% of Denver’s total passing (2nd-most) despite 22 of his targets coming against PFF top-25-graded cornerbacks (6th-most). Lock targeted Noah Fant on 8 occasions and the rookie tight end is averaging 2.06 yards per route run in the last 4 games. However, Fant will be limited this week by a Texans defense allowing 7.1 yards per target to opposing tight ends (10th). Instead, Lock should shift his focus to the screen game given that Houston is surrendering 7.4 yards per target to opposing running backs (28th). Right guard Ronald Leary ranks 8th in pass blocking efficiency but will likely miss this game due to a concussion and our metrics have him valued at a half point.

Will Fuller has been downgraded to out, which certainly hurts the Texans’ pass attack. Fuller’s ability to stretch the field opens it up on intermediate routes to DeAndre Hopkins and moves Kenny Stills to the inside. Stills is more effective in the slot, averaging 2.24 yards per route run compared to only 1.49 yards per route run when line up on the outside. The Broncos have a top 10 secondary led by Pro Bowl cornerback Chris Harris and this week they will get back nickelback Duke Dawson, who is conceding just 0.59 yards per slot cover snap. Von Miller should also be back in uniform on Sunday and the edge defender, ranked 8th in pass rushing efficiency, should have a big game against the Texans’ backup right tackle (starting right tackle Tytus Howard has been lost to a torn MCL).

Our numbers have Houston winning the AFC South about 75% of the time but the Texans probably can’t afford to lose at home this week. Our model makes Houston only a 6.6-point favorite, with a predicted total of 41.6 points.

  • Team Stats
  • Game Log
  • Broncos
  • Texans


  • Pass Plays 34.3 34.3
  • Succ Pass Plays 37.9% 44.8%
  • Sack Rate 9.0% 6.5%
  • Int Rate 2.2% 1.7%
  • Deep Pass Rate 16.4% 14.1%
  • Big Pass Yards 51.0% 37.9%
  • NYPP 5.5 6.3


  • Rush Plays 25.6 28.0
  • RB YPR 4.3 3.6
  • Stuff Rate 18.5% 25.0%
  • Succ Rush Plays 49.0% 43.8%
  • Big Rush Yards 35.7% 31.7%
  • Yards Per Rush 4.3 3.7


  • All Snaps 59.8 62.3
  • Early Down Succ 46.4% 47.6%
  • Succ Rate 42.7% 44.8%
  • Big Yards Rate 45.2% 39.1%
  • Yards Per Play 5.0 5.2
  • Fumble Lost Rate 0.7% 0.7%
  • Time Per Play (sec) 29.4 29.9
  • Run Ratio 42.9% 44.8%
  • Starting Field Pos 26.7 29.5
  • Game Control 0.9 -0.9
  • Points 16.5 19.8
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