The Houston Texans may own the worst record in football with 12 consecutive losses, but they also possess the league’s second-best passing defense, allowing only 183.3 yards through the air per game. Though it appears almost certain that the Denver Broncos will improve to 12-3 this Sunday in Houston, the Texans’ stingy passing defense will be a good opportunity for Peyton Manning and the Broncos’ offense to add wrinkles and work out their kinks before the postseason.
Assuming the Broncos win out their final two games against the lowly Texans and Oakland Raiders, and depending on how the next three weeks of the season go (including the AFC wild card games), the Broncos will play either the Baltimore Ravens, the Cincinnati Bengals, the Miami Dolphins or the Indianapolis Colts in the divisional round of the playoffs.
While the Broncos offense averages an astounding 38.2 points per game, all of these possible playoff matchups rank in the top-12 for points allowed per game. If the Broncos’ offense is hindered and teams are not forced to throw the ball in order to keep up with Manning, this team’s defense could struggle to force opposing offenses off the field and out of the end zone.
Though the Texans are only 2-12 this year, their problems have largely arisen from their offensive woes. The team’s defense has only allowed 30 or more points four times this year, and in those games, their offense has cumulatively turned the ball over 10 times.
This defense is the NFL’s eighth-best at getting off the field on third down and without all of their team’s offensive mistakes, they could have at least kept this oft-injured team’s in games, and possibly even in the playoff hunt as they lost five games by three points or less.
With All-Pros like J.J. Watt and Jonathan Joseph, the Broncos’ offense will be tested on Sunday. Especially after a poor showing against the San Diego Chargers last week, they must make key plays at crucial times against a good defense in order to build confidence heading into the postseason.
Written By John Spina. Follow him on Facebook or on Twitter @jsspina24.