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NFL: NY Jets at Houston Texans Preview
by Nick Parsons

New York Jets @ Houston Texans -2.5 (34.5)

What they did in 2010:

Jets: 11-5 SU and 9-7 ATS; 4-4 ATS at home and 5-3 ATS on the road; the O/U was 12-4.

New York was 2-2 SU/ATS in the pre-season.

Texans: 6-10 SU and 5-10-1 ATS; 3-5 ATS at home and 2-5-1 ATS on the road; the O/U was 11-5.

Houston was 1-3 SU/ATS in the pre-season.

Starters: Jets coach Rex Ryan has now gone on record to say that Plaxico Burress will not be playing in this contest.

Santonio Holmes will start as usual though and the newly acquired Derrick Mason as well.

C Nick Mangold said he expects to start after leaving practice last Thursday with a stinger, but RG Brandon Moore will be sitting this one out with injury.

Mark Sanchez and the first team offense reportedly lagged behind the defense during 11 on 11 periods; however that was apparently Sanchez's most productive day of practice thus far; "Tuesday we had a great day in the indoor on offense and started to turn the tide a little which is good," Sanchez said. "We want to keep it competitive. That's our main focus, staying competitive once we get our plays in."

Ryan said Thursday that Matthew Mulligan and Jeff Cumberland will be a "2 and 2a" option behind Keller mostly because Mulligan is a better blocker and Cumberland is a bigger passing target.

On the other side of the field: The Texans have a lot of young players to evaluate, position battles to sort out, players to keep healthy and many more areas of concern.

Andre Johnson is the number one receiver, but the second receiver spot is up for grabs; Jacoby Jones just received a 3 year/ $10 million deal and Kevin Walter got a new deal last year so the team plans to keep both for awhile; it will be interesting to see who wins the spot after the preseason is over.

There is also a battle for the RB position; Ward, Ben Tate and Steve Slaton will all be battling it out for the second spot (note thought that the Texans went to camp with four running backs competing for three spots. Now three of the four are sidelined because of hamstring injuries).

The two biggest Free Agents brought in this year to bolster a weakened secondary were Danaiel Manning and Johnathan Joseph.

It's been reported that the starters aren't expected to get much time on the field (maybe 10 snaps); position battles and backups will see most of the action in the first pre-season matchup.

Things to remember: Keep your eyes on the list of wounded for the Texans which has been growing by the day; the list of notable starters injured continues to climb.

Get all of Nick Parsons' NFL picks at Vegas Experts.

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