Two of the NFL’s best defenses prepare to clash as the Houston Texans (6-3) and their 7th-ranked defense head to Fedex Field to take on the Washington Redskins (6-3) and their 5th-ranked defense in Week 11 (November 18, 2018 at 1:00pm EST).The Texans opened as 3.0-point favorites.
Houston’s defense has made it awfully tough for opposing teams to find any room on the ground this year. Houston is only giving up 92.9 rushing yards per game (6th), and just 3.6 yards per carry (2nd). They flexed their muscles last time out, only surrendering 75 rushing yards to the Broncos in a narrow 19-17 win.
Houston’s toughness up the middle has resulted in a solid 20.4 PPG scoring average, good for 7th in the NFL.
If there is a weak point in this defense, it’s defending the pass. The Texans rank 16th in pass defense, allowing 243.4 yards per game through the air.
That means it’s going to be tough sledding for Adrian Peterson (672 rushing yards this season) on Sunday. Look for the Redskins to lean on Alex Smith (90.7 passer rating this season) and their aerial attack more than usual.
The Redskins’ defense has been every bit as good as Houston’s, allowing just 19.4 points per game (5th). Their success is largely due to their ability to create turnovers. Washington has generated 17 turnovers this season, the sixth-most in the NFL, and had four takeaways in last week’s 16-3 road win over Tampa Bay.
Deshaun Watson will need to put forth a similar effort to last week, when he threw for 213 yards and 2 TDs, but most importantly zero interceptions. In order for Houston’s offense, which ranks 16th in points per game, to put up enough points to win, they’ll have to play error-free football.