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2011 Season NFL Football Past Picks

September 01, 2011

01

Houston at Minnesota

Thursday 09/01 08:00 PM Eastern

3 units on Houston PICK () (risk 3 to return 3)  RESULT: LOSS

Houston has been perfect in preseason and has an experienced backup QB in Matt Leinart, a former starter. The defense has new faces in the secondary, but they have been aggressive and hungry, beating the Jets 20-16, the Saints 27-14, and a 30-7 win at San Francisco. The Texans have a new defensive coordinator in Wade Phillips and is using a 3-4 to much success. Defensive end J.J. Watt, the first-round pick, has been outstanding in camp as has the overall pass rush. They take on a Minnesota team that won’t use QB Donovan McNabb, so they will go with rookie QB Christian Ponder and Joe Webb, both with very little experience at the pro level. Neither has seen a lot of extended playing time. They have combined for no TDs and one pick. The RB depth is thin: Adrian Peterson, like most Vikings starters, probably won't play against Houston. RB Toby Gerhart, still slowed by a sore ankle and Achilles' tendon, probably won't play either, along with Lorenzo Booker who has a sore back. This offense is averaging 13 points in three games. The injuries to Scott Kooistra and Kevin Williams are a setback for the Vikings. All-Pro defensive tackle Kevin Williams won’t play. Most coaches want their starting five offensive line in place by the third preseason game, but the Vikings are still unsettled up front. They still don’t know who their right guard is, and the matter worsened when Scott Kooistra went on injured reserve last week because of a neck injury. The O-line is easily the biggest concern on this team. The offensive linemen also are being asked to get up to speed on a new blocking scheme under line coach Jeff Davidson, so the limited camp hasn’t helped. Play the Texans.

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