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New York Jets at Houston Texans, Week 12 preview: Zach Wilson returns

Zach Wilson, Tyrod Taylor
Zach Wilson, Tyrod Taylor, Jet X Graphic, Getty Images

Zach Wilson set to make his much-anticipated return

HOUSTON, TX—The prodigal son is set to return.

New York Jets rookie quarterback Zach Wilson makes his highly-anticipated return to action in Week 12 against the Houston Texans. And although Mike White filled in admirably (save for the Buffalo Bills disaster) and Joe Flacco held the fort down, the BYU product is the future of the franchise.

Fortunately, Wilson’s return game comes against a 2-8 Texans squad. Tyrod Taylor’s team has hung in tough for stretches over the team’s first 10 games, but they are one of the worst in the league—right there with the Jets.

With seven games remaining in the 2021 NFL season, the home stretch begins now for Wilson and Joe Douglas‘s young team.

Jets vs. Texans game info

  • New York Jets (2-8)
  • Houston Texans (2-8)
  • NFL, Week 11, Nov. 28, 2021, 1 p.m. ET, CBS
  • NRG Stadium, Houston, TX
New York Jets, Houston Texans, 2021, Week 12 Preview
New York Jets, Houston Texans, 2021, Week 12 Preview, Jet X Graphic, Getty Images

One of these 2-8 teams will win their third game this Sunday in Houston. (Well, that’s true unless the Jets and Texans treat the NFL world to a Pittsburgh Steelers-Detroit Lions treat of a tie.)

Mike LaFleur’s offense will look to keep the momentum going but with rookie Zach Wilson back at the helm. Meanwhile, defensively, Robert Saleh and Jeff Ulbrich’s unit will look to get back on the right track against the Tyrod Taylor-led Texans offense.

Jets vs. Texans history

  • The Jets lead the all-time series, 5-3.

The Jets lead the all-time series against the Texans by a 5-3 count. Interestingly, however, they have lost the last three after winning the first five.

The last two Jets wins in the series happened under Rex Ryan. In his head coaching debut, rookie Mark Sanchez led the Jets to a surprising 24-7 victory. A year later, Sanchez did it again, as his fourth-quarter comeback helped the Jets to a 23-17 win.

The last meeting went in the way of the Texans, a 29-22 victory over Sam Darnold’s Jets.

Jets vs. Texans odds (FanDuel Sportsbook)

  • Spread: Jets +2.5 (-110), Texans -2.5 (-110)
  • Moneyline: Jets +116, Texans -136
  • Over/Under: 44.5 (O: -110, U: -110)

Considering the Texans are a 2.5-point favorite at home, unofficially, Vegas favors the Jets (as the home team is usually worth three points).

Usually, it would be tough to bet on the Jets this season, but this is one game in which the sports bettor has a sane right to do so.

Jets vs. Texans injury report

New York Jets, Houston Texans, 2021, Week 12, Injury Report
New York Jets, Houston Texans, 2021, Week 12, Injury Report, NYJ Communications

New York Jets

  • Michael Carter (Ankle): Out
  • Corey Davis (Groin): Doubtful
  • Foley Fatukasi (Foot): Questionable
  • John Franklin-Myers (Hip): Questionable
  • Shaq Lawson (Wrist): Questionable
  • C.J. Mosley (Shoulder): Questionable
  • Nathan Shepherd (Elbow): Questionable

New York placed running back Michael Carter on IR Saturday, which means he’ll miss at least the next three games. Corey Davis is currently doubtful, which means Elijah Moore, Jamison Crowder and Keelan Cole will see big-time production.

The questionables include Foley Fatukasi, John Franklin-Myers, Shaq Lawson, C.J. Mosley and Nathan Shepherd.

Houston Texans

  • Jordan Jenkins (Knee): Out
  • Deshaun Watson (Not Injury Related): Out
  • Nico Collins (Hip): Questionable
  • Davion Davis (Illness): Questionable
  • Jonathan Greenard (Foot): Questionable
  • Lonnie Johnson Jr. (Illness/Foot): Questionable

Former Jets edge player Jordan Jenkins will miss his chance at a revenge game, while Deshaun Watson’s status is obvious.

Nico Collins, Davion Davis, Jonathan Greenard and Lonnie Johnson Jr. are all listed as questionable.

New York Jets’ keys to victory

Keep it simple for Zach Wilson

The big question is this: Will the Jets’ offense keep humming along with Zach Wilson back at the helm? While there could definitely be rust, the way LaFleur’s offense has been rolling, the Jets should be able to infuse him back into the unit.

The Jets would be wise to keep it simple for Wilson, especially early in the game.

Key in on Brandin Cooks

The Texans currently boast the NFL’s worst offense with 271.1 yards per game, and they severely lack quality weapons.

Wide receiver Brandin Cooks is the team’s lone dangerous threat, which means the Jets should key in on him and bracket him every chance they get.

Jets vs. Texans prediction

  • New York Jets 27, Houston Texans 23

This one could obviously go either way, but as long as the Jets offense doesn’t fall completely flat on its face, Zach Wilson could enjoy a nice beginning to the stretch run of the 2021 NFL season.

We’ll take the New York Jets over the Houston Texans in a tight one.

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