TV Schedule: 10:20 p.m. ET, ESPN
Stadium: Qualcomm Stadium
Weather: Low 66, High 81
Line: Houston (-3.5)
The Houston Texans are entering the 2013 season with one thing on their mind: Super Bowl. Finishing 12-4 a season ago, the Texans are looking to improve on that already-stellar record and it all starts with the offense. They finished seventh in the NFL in yards per game a season ago and quarterback Matt Schaub is a big reason for all of the success. He passed for over 4,000 yards and 22 touchdowns last season, making up for lost time in 2012. Arian Foster is also one of the top-three running backs, in my opinion, in the league. He rushed for 1,424 yards and 15 touchdowns a season ago and racked up his third straight 1,000-yard season. Andre Johnson and rookie DeAndre Hopkins will be major weapons in the pass game as Johnson is already prove, as seen by his 1,598-yard season in 2012.
On the other side of the field, the San Diego Chargers look to improve from a disastrous and disappointing 2012 season in which they missed out on the playoffs, lost Norv Turner and finished 7-9. Philip Rivers will be returning as the starting quarterback for the eighth straight season and will look to improve on his 3,606 yards, 26 touchdowns and 15 interceptions from 2012. Running back Ryan Matthews will shoulder the load in the run game as he is a guy that has the potential to break out for over 1,000 yards on the ground. Wide out Malcom Floyd and tight end Antonio Gates will be viable options for Rivers.
Defensively, the Texans have J.J. Watt and he is just a defensive genius. He loves to swat passes away from quarterbacks while also proving to be a sack artist. Houston had a top-10 defense a season ago and will be back up near the top in 2013. San Diego was a middle-of-the-pack defensive unit a season ago and will continue to be as such, especially if the offense falters.
PREDICTION: Texans 41, Chargers 24
Related: Houston Preview