|Texans defensive end J.J. Watt leads the NFL with 7.5 sacks. (US Presswire)|
Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J. (turf, outdoors)
When: Monday, 8:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Spread: Texans by 8
Forecast: Clear with temperatures in the 40s.
Records: Texans (Overall: 4-0, AFC South: 2-0); Jets (Overall: 2-2, AFC East: 2-0)
Past results: Two most recent meetings -- Nov. 21, 2010: Jets 30, Texans 27; Sept. 13, 2009: Jets 24, Texans 7. Series record: Jets lead 5-0.
What matters: After their first 4-0 start in franchise history, many believe the Texans are the NFL's best team. Houston has an opportunity to prove just that on a big stage in prime time for Monday Night Football. After New York's 34-0 loss to San Francisco, the popular topic this week is how much the Texans will see Jets QB Tim Tebow. The Jets have lost two of their best players for the year to injuries the last two weeks in CB Darrelle Revis (left knee) and WR Santonio Holmes (left foot).
Who matters: DE J.J. Watt was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Month for September after getting an NFL-leading 7.5 sacks in the first four weeks. He headlines a unit that ranks No. 1 in the league in total defense (273 yards per game). QB Matt Schaub has been efficient, completing 66.9 percent of his passes with seven touchdowns and one interception.
Key matchups: RB Arian Foster leads the league with 25.8 rushing attempts per game and is tied for the lead with four rushing touchdowns. The Jets have allowed a league-worst seven rushing touchdowns and opponents have rushed for 172.8 yards per game, second worst in the NFL. If the Texans can run the ball effectively, they will be tough to beat.
Injuries of note: S Quintin Demps (forearm) will be out Monday. WR Lestar Jean (knee) has made progress, but Texans coach Gary Kubiak said Jean might be “an end-of-the-week decision.” RB Ben Tate (toe) missed practice Thursday, and his status will also be determined later this week.
Inside stuff: Kubiak said the Texans have used rookie QB Case Keenum and WR Trindon Holliday to simulate Tebow's role in the Jets' wildcat offense. Holliday (5-5, 169) is 10 inches shorter and 67 pounds lighter than Tebow, but he has been used because of his speed.
Connections: Jets LT D'Brickashaw Ferguson protected Schaub's blind side in 2002-03 at the University of Virginia. Both had their jerseys retired in Charlottesville on Sept. 1.
Stat you should know: Schaub has led the Texans to a win in each of his past eight starts. During that stretch, Houston has outscored its opponents 259-98.
Record watch: WR Andre Johnson is 76 yards shy of 10,000 career receiving yards. He would be the 37th player in NFL history to reach that milestone.
Bulletin board quote: LT Duane Brown is looking forward to the Monday night stage: “It's great that the nation is starting to recognize what kind of talent we have and giving us more prime time games. We're taking it as a regular business week, just preparing the same, but at the same time, we each know that it means a lot. It's a big stage. You've got to be ready to perform.”
Looking ahead: The Texans return home for a telling two-game stretch. Houston hosts Green Bay on Oct. 14 before taking on Baltimore on Oct. 21. The football world will know just how good the Texans are after their next three games.
Prediction: Texans 27, Jets 17
Follow Texans blogger Sean Bielawski on Twitter @CBSTexans.