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NFL : ATS Matchup
Sunday 12/22/2013Line$ LineOU LineScore




DENVER (11 - 3) at HOUSTON (2 - 12)
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Week 16 Sunday, 12/22/2013 1:00 PM
Board OpenLatest
DENVER - Current Season Performance
 Straight UpAgainst SpreadTeamOpponent
All Games11-3+0.88-511-338.217.2453.6(6.4)1.926.613.3371.5(5.7)1.6
Road Games4-2+0.23-35-136.518.5451.0(6.4)
Last 3 Games2-1-2.42-12-135.314.7460.3(6.6)1.027.719.7347.7(5.9)1.0
Grass Games9-1+2.67-27-337.916.5457.6(6.5)1.622.813.1352.9(5.5)1.3
DENVER - Current Season Statistics
Offense (All Games)
Opponents Defensive Avg.2411.720.830:1127-116(4.3)22-3661.9%253(7.1)63-369(5.8)(15.4)
Offense Road Games36.518.525.829:3830-129(4.3)26-4065.6%322(8)70-451(6.4)(12.4)
Defense (All Games)26.613.322.030:3927-105(3.9)23-3859.1%266(6.9)65-371(5.7)(14)
Opponents Offensive Avg.23.711.620.430:0927-114(4.2)22-3661.4%238(6.7)63-352(5.6)(14.9)
Defense Road Games32.013.724.232:3326-100(3.9)25-4162.7%308(7.6)66-409(6.1)(12.8)
DENVER - Turnovers, Penalties and Special Teams Statistics
 Turnovers LostThird DownsFourth DownsKickoff ReturnsPunt ReturnsPenalties
Stats For (All Games)
Opponents Avg. Stats Against0.
Stats For (Road Games)
Stats Against (All Games) 13-538.1%1-028.6%2-62(29.8)2-14(9.2)6-53
Opponents Avg. Stats For10.61.6 14-538.4%1-046.3%3-63(24.1)21-2(9.8)6-52
Stats Against (Road Games) 13-536.4%1-040.0%3-93(28)1-14(9.7)6-54

HOUSTON - Current Season Performance
 Straight UpAgainst SpreadTeamOpponent
All Games2-12-223-119-518.110.3359.1(5.4)1.826.813.4304.2(5.3)0.7
Home Games1-6-16.41-66-121.013.0404.0(5.9)1.926.79.1310.7(5.4)0.4
Last 3 Games0-3-3.61-22-118.09.0343.3(5.3)1.728.714.7355.0(5.5)0.7
Grass Games2-9-192-98-319.710.5390.0(5.7)1.926.612.5305.5(5.4)0.5
HOUSTON - Current Season Statistics
Offense (All Games)18.110.319.631:4926-114(4.3)24-4058.9%245(6.1)66-359(5.4)(19.9)
Opponents Defensive Avg.22.411.42030:2427-114(4.2)21-3561.3%236(6.8)62-350(5.6)(15.6)
Offense Home Games21.013.021.032:1328-130(4.6)23-4057.4%274(6.8)68-404(5.9)(19.2)
Defense (All Games)26.813.417.129:2029-121(4.2)17-2958.7%183(6.3)58-304(5.3)(11.4)
Opponents Offensive Avg.23.111.419.530:0027-111(4.1)21-3460.6%225(6.6)62-336(5.5)(14.5)
Defense Home Games26.79.116.730:0527-120(4.5)18-3160.0%191(6.2)58-311(5.4)(11.6)
HOUSTON - Turnovers, Penalties and Special Teams Statistics
 Turnovers LostThird DownsFourth DownsKickoff ReturnsPunt ReturnsPenalties
Stats For (All Games)
Opponents Avg. Stats Against10.71.72.113-538.3%1-046.4%3-60(23)18-2(8.1)7-57
Stats For (Home Games)
Stats Against (All Games) 14-535.9%0-042.9%2-61(25.8)3-35(13.3)6-48
Opponents Avg. Stats For0.90.51.4 14-537.2%1-044.8%2-60(23.8)22-2(9.4)6-52
Stats Against (Home Games) 14-432.0%0-066.7%3-67(24.6)2-24(9.8)6-52
Average power rating of opponents played: DENVER 18.9,  HOUSTON 20.6
DENVER - Season Results
 Team StatsOpp Stats
11/10/2013@ SAN DIEGO28-20W-7W56U22-8425-36-313135-13119-29-1980
11/17/2013KANSAS CITY27-17W-7.5W49U36-10424-40-323125-14421-45-2001
11/24/2013@ NEW ENGLAND31-34L-1L53.5O48-28019-36-132431-11634-50-3243
12/1/2013@ KANSAS CITY35-28W-5W50.5O31-13222-35-403225-15926-42-2931
12/12/2013SAN DIEGO20-27L-9.5L57U11-1827-41-277144-17712-20-1600
12/22/2013@ HOUSTON            
12/29/2013@ OAKLAND            

HOUSTON - Season Results
 Team StatsOpp Stats
11/10/2013@ ARIZONA24-27L4W42O21-7622-43-159129-9720-32-2353
12/1/2013NEW ENGLAND31-34L7W49O28-12115-30-264127-8829-41-3651
12/5/2013@ JACKSONVILLE20-27L-3.5L43O19-8333-58-323228-14913-28-1320
12/15/2013@ INDIANAPOLIS3-25L6L47U25-10718-34-132236-15219-32-1791
12/29/2013@ TENNESSEE            
DENVER: This is basically Peyton Manning's offense, which means they take what opponents give them when it comes to the running game. Offensive line coach Dave Magazu has brought zone blocking back to Denver, even if it's not to the extent that it was during the Mike Shanahan heyday. Rookie Montee Ball should lead the committee, as he's their best runner and an effective pass protector; there's no such thing as a 'running down' with Manning. It will essentially be a hot hand situation between Knowshon Moreno and Ronnie Hillman for the rest of the snaps. Manning is essentially doing the same thing he did in Indianapolis. It's a lot of pre-snap adjustments and, because of his deteriorating arm strength, more quick hitters. Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker will work on the outside as receiver 1 and 1A. They'll go to a three-receiver base with Wes Welker coming in, and the former Patriot will likely take over as Manning's No. 1 target. Joel Dreessen is more of a blocking tight end, though he does see a few safety-valve targets. Jacob Tamme's playing time figures to drop with Welker's arrival. The Broncos remained a balanced team in the red zone, mostly because opponents often kept extra defensive backs on the field against Manning. The Broncos tied the NFL lead with 52 sacks in their first year under DC Jack Del Rio in 2012, but departed with DE Elvis Dumervil (11 sacks) due to an agent fax machine error. However, OLB Von Miller (18.5 sacks) remains along with versatile OLB Wesley Woodyard (117 tackles). The addition of playmaking CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (16 INT, 4 TD in career) helps make up for losing CB Tracy Porter, and future Hall-of-Famer CB Champ Bailey is still playing at a high level. Having the NFL's easiest schedule also helps a lot.
HOUSTON: The cornerstone of Houston's offense remains its zone-blocking running scheme, though the club did slip from first to ninth in the NFL in terms of run/pass ratio. The offensive line has steadily developed into one of the NFL's best, a mobile group that specializes in (for now, still legal) cut blocking. It's a one-cut system for their backs, where Arian Foster thrives. The Texans seem to have lost some faith in Ben Tate, as Foster played a league-leading 847 snaps last season. The Texans use a conservative West Coast passing game that works off play-action but doesn't do a lot downfield. Andre Johnson is the centerpiece, a guy who gets moved around and is almost always Matt Schaub's first look. Tight end Owen Daniels still serves as the default No. 2 target, often working off Johnson on the same side of the field. Rookie DeAndre Hopkins will be more of a field stretcher on the opposite side. Foster was utilized less in the passing game last year, though Houston could look to rekindle the screen game considering Schaub's inability to get the ball deep. Houston is one of the NFL's most run-heavy red zone teams. Foster led the league in touchdowns of less than 10 yards last year (14) and had 71.9 percent of Houston's touches inside the 10. Just the presence of Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt (NFL-best 20.5 sacks, 39 TFL) is enough to make the Texans a strong defense, and the addition of playmaking FS Ed Reed (9 career TD) and the healthy return of ILB Brian Cushing makes them truly elite. CBs Johnathan Joseph and Kareem Jackson are stellar shutdown corners. Versatile Danieal Manning should have little trouble shifting from free safety to strong safety, and the team expects big things from OLB Whitney Mercilus in his second season.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER PRO FOOTBALL PREVIEW (DENVER-HOUSTON) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

(ADDS detail, quote on Schaub)

*Broncos-Texans Preview* ========================


Still in good position to claim home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, the Denver Broncos are poised to move on from last week's humbling defeat.

The visiting Broncos can possibly clinch a division title and the No. 1 seed in the conference when they try to extend the Houston Texans' team-worst losing streak Sunday.

Denver (11-3) entered last Thursday's home game with San Diego averaging league highs of 39.6 points and 465.6 yards, but was held to a season-low 295 while scoring its fewest points of 2013 in a 27-20 loss. Fortunately for the playoff-bound Broncos, New England couldn't overtake them for the top spot in the AFC as it lost to Miami on Sunday.

Tied with Kansas City atop the West Division, Denver owns the tiebreaker after sweeping that season series and can clinch the division with a victory and a Chiefs loss to Indianapolis. The Broncos can secure the No. 1 seed for the second straight season with a win, plus a Kansas City loss and a New England defeat or tie at Baltimore.

"I think it's a little brighter because we know what we've got to do to get home-field advantage: we've just got to keep winning," said receiver Andre Caldwell, who scored both Denver touchdowns against the Chargers.

"Even though we lost, we're still in the same position that we were in before that game. We've just got to handle our business and everything will fall in place."

The Broncos would appear to be in good position going forward against Houston (2-12) and Oakland, which is 4-10.

"Of course it feels better to control your own destiny," defensive tackle Terrance Knighton said. "But you don't want any (more) scares like that. We want teams to come through Denver. The good thing is we're in control of that again and we've got to handle our business."

The Broncos' top priority will be improving a defense that ranks 23rd with 371.5 yards allowed per contest. Denver yielded its first 100-yard rusher of the season when Ryan Mathews gained 127 last week.

The Chargers earned 103 of their 177 rushing yards on first down, went 6 of 12 on third and kept the ball for 38:49 - the longest by a Denver opponent this season.

"If you don't get off on third down, teams can run the ball on you," linebacker Wesley Woodyard told the Broncos' official website. "That's something that we have to continue to get better at. We can't let a team control the clock on us like that."

In an attempt to solidify a defensive front that's lost tackles Derek Wolfe and Kevin Vickerson to health issues, Denver signed end Jeremy Mincey after he was released by Jacksonville.

The Broncos were held to a season-low 18 rushing yards last week after averaging 188.7 in the previous three games. Without Wes Welker (concussion) and his team-high 18 third-down receptions, the Broncos converted two of nine third downs. Eric Decker had two catches for 42 yards after he totaled 16 for 291 and five TDs in the previous two.

Denver, though, appears to have a good shot to bounce back in a big way this week. Three shy of Tom Brady's single-season NFL record of 50 TD passes, Manning is 16-3 against the Texans. He threw for 330 yards and two touchdowns versus Houston last Sept. 23, though the Broncos lost 31-25 at home.

"He's having a tremendous year, one of the greatest years ever," interim coach Wade Phillips said. "It's going to be a big challenge for us. We're going to have to step up our defensive play, especially our pass defense."

Mired in a 12-game skid that is the league's longest single-season slide since the Colts started 0-13 in 2011, Houston ranks fourth in the NFL with 304.2 yards allowed per game but 25th with 26.8 points given up. The Texans allowed 20 first-half points last Sunday in a 25-3 road loss to Indianapolis, a team that scored 24 combined in the first two quarters of its previous six contests.

Quarterback Case Keenum won't play due to a sprained right thumb, with Matt Schaub getting the nod for an offense that's been held without TD four times this season. The last time the beleaguered veteran played, taking over late in a game against Oakland on Nov. 17 when Keenum was struggling, the home crowd booed Schaub so loudly when he entered the game that the offense was forced to use a silent count.

"I'm not worried about that because I know a majority of our fans are with us no matter what and they've stuck through no matter what," Phillips said. "We appreciate them. This is our last home game, so we need a lot of support and I think we'll get it."

Running back Ben Tate was placed on injured reserve after re-injuring one of the four broken ribs he sustained in Week 8. Dennis Johnson will start in his place.

Houston star receiver Andre Johnson needs one catch for a second straight 100-reception season and fifth in his stellar 11-year career. He had two catches for 72 yards - 60 coming on a TD catch - against the Broncos in 2012.

Game Notes:

Last Updated: 5/24/2018 2:22:23 PM EST

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