The Los Angeles Rams opened as 14-point favorites against the Houston Texans in Week 8, according to Sunday night’s odds at DraftKings sportsbook. If that feels like an insurmountable deficit, consider that the Rams were 15.5-point favorites against the Detroit Lions in Week 7 but only won 28-19.
And the Rams even trailed entering the fourth quarter.
Despite strange outcomes like that one, Los Angeles is no less facing a Houston team that hasn’t given much effort to win games recently. The Texans lost to the Arizona Cardinals by a 34-5 score on Sunday and they have now scored nine points or less in four of their last five games. Houston has failed to score a touchdown in four of their last five games.
But that was without Tyrod Taylor.
The starter in Week 1, Taylor led the Houston Texans to a 37-21 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, with 449 total yards of offense. In Week 2, Taylor left the game when he was 10-of-11 for 125 yards with a touchdown and Houston had a 14-7 lead over the Cleveland Browns. Taylor then exited the game and the Texans offense has cratered, losing six straight games.
Tyrod Taylor is expected to return to practice this week.
If Taylor returns to the Texans in Week 8, it would be foolish to compare them to the Houston Texans who had Davis Mills as the starting quarterback. And we would have to think that a 14-point advantage is largely influenced by how poorly Davis Mills has played at quarterback.
The Rams showed on Sunday that teams at all ends of the spectrum can end up looking closer to each other in talent than expected, even when they aren’t really that close in “talent.”