The Houston Texans began the 2013 NFL season as a Super Bowl favorite, with experts picking the Texans to crush all foes behind the talented arm of quarterback Matt Schaub. Fast-forward to Week 6, and today’s game against the St. Louis Rams is basically a must-win — and could potentially be Schaub’s last stand. In light of that pressure, the Texans are perhaps the most dangerous 2-3 team in the league, which makes this matchup one of the more intriguing games and worth watching on FOX or finding a way to watch Texans vs Rams online streaming live using one of several different methods.
The Texans may no longer be the odds-on Super Bowl favorite, but they still have enough weapons to be favored by more than a touchdown in today’s 1pm Eastern / 10am Pacific game. Ironically, quarterback Matt Schaub isn’t expected to be one of those weapons, as he’s inexplicably thrown a pick-six for four consecutive weeks. The Texans’ biggest strength this week is their defense, which will have to force Rams quarterback Sam Bradford into turning the ball over. The Texans have the top-rated defense in the NFL, allowing just 134.2 yards passing per game and 260 total yards per game. They’re still allowing 27.8 points per game, but the Rams defense is giving up 28.2, which certainly bodes well for the Texans today.
On the rushing front, the Texans defense doesn’t perform quite as well, which could mean good things for the Rams. St. Louis ground out 143 rushing yards in their win over Jacksonville last week, more than their rushing total from their previous three games combined. That productivity came from an unexpected source: rookie running back Zac Stacy, a fifth-round pick who tallied 78 yards on 14 carries, nearly doubling the Rams’ average yards per carry. Not surprisingly, Rams coach Jeff Fisher has said Stacy will get the start today.
If you choose to watch Texans vs Rams online streaming live or on FOX, you’ll also see the Rams continue to put their chips behind another rookie, wide receiver Tavon Austin. The Rams gave up three very high picks to take Austin with the eighth overall pick in this year’s NFL draft, but the decision hasn’t yet panned out. It should, but today’s game against the top-ranked Texans defense may not prove to be a good launching pad.
ESPN ran the numbers on Austin and found that so far this season, he has 23 catches for 156 yards and two touchdowns. If those numbers were to hold over the course of a full 16-game season, Austin would end the year with 73 catches for 499 yards and six touchdowns. Not bad for a rookie season, but not exactly numbers that would traditionally be expected from a top-ten pick. Austin may have to make up ground after today’s game, though, because as stated above, the Texans are giving up less than one and a half football fields per game in the air.
And that’s really what could tip this game in the Texans’ favor: their defense. Schaub can’t get much worse this year, so to say today’s game could be a turning point is almost pointless. The Rams generally struggle to move the ball on offense, but things are bound to improve against the NFL’s 23rd-ranked defense. Likewise, their top-ranked defense will go up against the NFL’s 29th-ranked offense, tipping the scales almost fully in their favor. If you can’t catch the game on FOX at 1pm Eastern / 10am Pacific, you can watch Texans vs Rams online streaming live on DirecTV with the NFL Sunday Ticket package. The package costs money, but the ability to stream the game (and others) if free once you sign up.