4* NFL 'Never Lost' Letdown Game of the Week
Carolina vs. Houston,
12/18/2011 13:00 EDT,
Score: 28 - 13
Point Spread: +6½/-110 Carolina
4* NFL 'Never Lost' Letdown Game of the Week on Panthers +6.5
This is a major letdown spot for the Texans, who came back from 13 down last week and scored with 2 seconds left to beat the Bengals and march into the playoffs for the first time. It will be tough to get up for this 4-win Carolina team, which is better than its record shows, in the aftermath of last week's events.
With Schaub and Leinart out, the Texans have really relied on a defense that is among the best in the league. That unit, however, will likely endure momentary lapse without defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, who underwent surgery on his kidney Thursday morning.
The Panthers have led in 12 of 13 games this season because they have one of the best offenses in the league. They rank 5th in the NFL with 398.8 yards per game and 12th in scoring with 24.1 ppg.
Houston's offense has struggled in recent weeks under Yates, not producing more than 20 points in any of its last 3 games. I don't believe the Texans will be able to score enough to cover this number, even against a suspect Panthers' defense. Consider that Houston is 0-8 ATS all-time under coach Kubiak when matched up against teams who give up 27 or more points per game. The Texans have lost to these foes by an average score of 22.5 to 20.9. We'll pound the Panthers.