An old baseball cliche states championship teams are built on strength up the middle. The Jets have similar strengths defensively. Sione Pouha, David Harris, and Bart Scott constitute an elite combination up front. Aside from the first half last week, it is difficult to remember any time in which they did not totally control the trenches. Football Outsiders has the Jets in the top five in stuffing runs up the middle.
The Texans love to run it up the middle. Their interior offensive line creates more running room than any team in the league. The middle of the field is the location of almost 40% of their carries.
Arian Foster has Houston posting the best average of yardage created by running backs according to the Outsiders, while Scott and Harris have the Jets in the top three in preventing big plays in the open field.
These are reasons I feel good about this game. The Jets are strong defensively to counter what Houston does well offensively. Darrelle Revis should be able to check Andre Johnson on the outside. On the inside, Pouha will likely be able to hold his own against Chris Myers, Antoine Caldwell, Mike Brisiel, and former Jet Wade Smith. Harris and Scott will be able to work in traffic to slow Foster down.
The Jets don't necessarily need to dominate Houston's offense like they did last year to win. They have the horses to at least fight to a standstill defensively. The Gang Green offense should be able to dominate the Texans defense.