Check out our questions and Mark’s answers below!
How do you feel about QB Davis Mills, and are you confident in him going up against Denver's defense?
(Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports)
There is a theory with quarterbacks that they are either the tractor or the trailer, and he seems to be more of a trailer. However, that doesn’t mean he’s deleterious for the Texans in the short-term or in the long-term. Mills does a good job of taking what the defense gives him and not taking big chances. Right now, it is working because the Texans are built around having a defense that cultivates takeaways and dominates on the ground. As long as Mills’ ball distribution is absent of giveaways, that is a winning strategy. The thing is Houston will be in more street brawls with that type of play than offensive showdowns as were the case in the latter half of the 2010s.
How has ex-Bronco Isaac Yiadom looked for the Texans, and does he play much?
(Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports)
He looked good in preseason, but the former Broncos 2018 third-round pick has been relegated to special teams with 28 such snaps in Week 1. Yiadom did not log a defensive snap against the Indianapolis Colts. Houston is content to go with cornerbacks Desmond King, Steven Nelson, and rookie Derek Stingley ahead of Yiadom on defense. Second-round rookie safety Jalen Pitre’s versatile role in the secondary also makes it difficult for down roster guys like Yiadom to find defensive snaps.
For fantasy managers, do you expect Dameon Pierce to pull ahead of Rex Burkhead in the backfield rotation?
(Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)
At some point it has to happen. Coach Lovie Smith indicated in his Monday presser that he would like to see Pierce get more touches, and reiterated his stance in his Wednesday presser. If the Texans can get the ground game going, they are going to feed the rookie. However, if they have to rely on more passing situations to move the offense, as was the case against the Colts, then they will deploy Burkhead more.
Do the Texans have a weakness the Broncos might be able to exploit, either on offense or defense?
(Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports)
DE Jerry Hughes was able to get two sacks and an interception against a very stationary Matt Ryan. If Russell Wilson can utilize his scrambling ability to keep plays alive or just pick up positive yards, it should frustrate and wear down Houston’s defensive line rotation. The Texans also had some communication issues along their offensive line in Week 1, which the Broncos could exploit early and take away the run game, which means more Burkhead and more of Mills dropping back.
What's your prediction for Sunday — who wins and why?
(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
It is puzzling that the Broncos are favored by 9.5 points, unless the altitude and hostile environment of Empower Field at Mile High is going to be a big factor. Denver looked discombobulated in Seattle, and even though the Texans gave up a 17-point fourth quarter lead, they were still trading blows with a respected AFC team in the Colts. It could be another low scoring affair for both sides with the Broncos flipping the score from the Nov. 4, 2018, matchup: Broncos 19, Texans 17