Tag Archives: Houston Texans

NFL Buckeyes (2017, Week 3)

Week three of the 2017 NFL season kicked off Thursday night with an intense thrilling NFC West matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and the Los Angeles Rams.

The star of the night for the Niners was running back Carlos Hyde. Hyde came into the night as the NFL leader in yards per carry after having an explosive game last Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks’ vaunted defense. The self-proclaimed “El Guapo” scored two rushing touchdowns to go along with 84 rushing yards on 25 carries, and 3 catches for 10 yards. But it wasn’t enough as the Rams held on late to win 41-39.

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ Buckeye Duo of Ryan Shazier and Cam Heyward played in the craziest game of the day in the “Windy City” against the Chicago Bears. Shazier led all players with 11 solo tackles, 2 forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. Heyward added 3 solo tackles. Pittsburgh suffered its first loss of the season in overtime 23-17.

Three Buckeyes led the way for the New Orleans Saints in their 34-13 win over NFC South division rival Carolina Panthers. 2nd-year wideout Mike Thomas caught 7 passes for 87 yards and a touchdown, Ted Ginn Junior caught 2 passes for 44 yards and a touchdown to go along with one carry for 15 yards, while defensive back Vonn Bell had 4 tackles (2 solo) to help the Saints get their first win of the 2017 season. Rookie Marshon Lattimore missed the game with a concussion. 8th year safety Kurt Coleman made 9 tackles (6 solo) and rookie Curtis Samuel had 2 catches for 5 yards and one carry for 31 rushing yards in the loss for the Panthers.

Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins had 7 tackles (5 solo) in the Eagles 27-24 win over Eli Apple and the New York Giants. Apple made 5 tackles (3 solo) and linebacker Curtis Grant made one tackle in defeat. The Giants are now 0-3, while Philadelphia moved to 2-1.

Malik “ball-hawk” Hooker grabbed his 2nd career interception for the Indianapolis Colts against the Cleveland Browns. His first came last week against the Arizona Cardinals. Hooker also made 3 tackles (2 solo). John Simon had 6 tackles (4 solo) and a sack as Indy got their first win of the season 31-28.

Denver Broncos cornerback Bradley Roby collected 4 tackles (3 solo) and broke up one pass in their 26-16 loss to the Buffalo Bills. Tight end Jeff Heuerman missed the game with a shoulder injury. On Buffalo’s side, defensive tackle Adolphus Washington made 2 solo tackles in the win.

Braxton Miller caught one pass for 15 yards for the Houston Texans in their 36-33 loss to the defending Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots. Patriots special teams star Nate Ebner made 2 tackles for the winners.

Darron Lee made 2 solo tackles for the New York Jets in their 20-6 win over the Miami Dolphins. Joey Bosa made 6 tackles (3 solo) and a half sack for the Los Angeles Chargers in their 24-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs

On Sunday Night Football, two former Buckeyes lined up against each other. Washington wide receiver Terrelle Pryor Senior against the team that drafted him to play quarterback, the Oakland Raiders and rookie cornerback Gareon Conley. Pryor caught two passes for 19 yards to help Washington move to 2-1 with a 27-10 victory over Oakland. Conley had 4 tackles (3 solo) in defeat.

Ezekiel Elliott had a bounce back game for the Dallas Cowboys against the Arizona Cardinals on Monday Night Football to close out week three. Elliott, who rushed for only 8 yards on 9 carries last week against the Denver Broncos, had 80 rushing yards on 22 carries and scored a touchdown. He also made 3 catches for 14 yards to help the Cowboys win 28-17. Rookie Noah Brown caught his first NFL pass for 13 yards for Dallas. Rod Smith made one tackle on special teams for the Cowboys. Offensive tackle Alex Boone made his 2017 debut with the Arizona Cardinals. He started the season in training camp with the Minnesota Vikings.

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2017 NFL Rookie Most Likely to…

The 2017 NFL Draft Class was full of star power and several of those members will light up the League real soon. Photo Credit: ESPN.com

The dawn of the 2017 NFL Season has arrived and a new crop of college stars are preparing to make their mark in pro football.

Teams put a premium on defense this past draft. 131 defensive players were selected to 118 offensive. 34 of those players were cornerbacks, the most of any single position, 5 in the first round. If you combine the 3 Safeties, defensive back was the most selected unit in the draft. In all 67 defensive backs were picked in 2017.

I’ve done this exercise the two previous seasons and I’ve hit on some already, some are close to happening, and I’ve missed VERY BADLY on one. My apologies to my fellow Ohio State Alum Joey Bosa.

As with any draft in every sport, the situation you’re drafted to is more important than when you’re selected. It’s fun and difficult to predict how these guys will affect their team’s success or failures. So, here’s how I see several of this year’s crop of rookies careers panning out.

Most likely to lead the NFL in passing yards…. Patrick Mahomes (10th overall pick/Kansas City Chiefs). Andy Reid and his staff moved up to select the Texas Tech QB. Everyone knows the Red Raiders offense is a hyper passing scheme that tends to lead to video game numbers that doesn’t necessarily transition to the NFL. But, Mahomes should be different because he’s no “check down Charlie” like current Kansas City quarterback Alex Smith. Mahomes has the arm strength to push the ball down the field and Reid, a west coast offense guy, who’s called plays for Donovan McNabb when the Philadelphia Eagles went to four NFC title games and a Super Bowl, Brett Favre when he won three consecutive NFL MVPs and Michael Vick when he revived his career after a stint in prison. Mahomes has a real QB whisperer in his ear.

Most likely to lead the league in rushing yards…. Leonard Fournette (4th overall pick/Jacksonville Jaguars). He will play with a quarterback, in Blake Bortles, that has led the league in turnovers with 63 since entering the League in 2014. Bortles struggled to hold on to the starting job in the preseason, with Coach Marrone going as far to say he preferred to not have Blake pass the ball.

The Jags coaching staff already believes in smash mouth defense and a ball control offense.  In 2016 the Jags running game averaged 4.2 yards per carry, which was 17th in the NFL, and 101.9 yards per game that was 22nd. Fournette alone will improve those numbers. He’ll have to if Bortles can’t shake the yips.

Most likely to lead the NFL in receptions, receiving yards and receiving TDs… Taywon Taylor (3rd round, 72nd pick/Titans). The ball is like a magnet to his hands. During his senior season with the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers he broke and set the school’s single season record for receptions and yards with 98 catches for 1,730 yards to go along with 17 TDs. He finished his career with a school record 253 catches for 4,234 yards and 41 TDs.

The Titans have a strong running game with DeMarco Murray, Derrick Henry and Marcus Marriota running the read-option. What they need is a threat in the passing game and Taylor will provide just that.

Most likely to lead the league in sacks… T.J. Watt (30th overall pick/Pittsburgh Steelers). First reason, it is in his blood lines. He’s a Watt. Second, he plays for the Pittsburgh Steelers in a 3-4 scheme that is only successful when it’s LBs blitz the QB. He got his first sack on Pittsburgh’s first defensive trip on the field in their first preseason game, he followed that up with another sack on the first play of their second defensive drive. At Wisconsin he collected 11.5 sacks in the 27 games he played. It’s what he does. Third, he’ll have the likes of Cameron Heyward and Stephon Tuitt occupying offensive linemen to allow him to get free, plus with Ryan Shazier, Vince Williams and Bud Dupree playing alongside him, offenses won’t be scheming to stop Watt. Initially.

Most likely to lead the NFL in turnovers… Deshone Kizer (2nd round, Pick 52nd/Cleveland Browns). This organization has been snake bitten at the quarterback position since they returned to the League in 1999. Nearly 30 have started a game for the Browns in the last 18 seasons.

Cleveland is in the midst of a fire sale and don’t have much around Kizer at the skills positions. Their leading receiver from 2016, Terrelle Pryor, is in Washington and their second leading receiver, tight end Gary Barnidge, is still on the free agent market. The current leading receiver from 2016 is running back Duke Johnson Junior who had 52 catches for 514 yards.

Coach Hue Jackson has made the decision to start Kizer week one against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Therefore his growing pains are going to start early and he may very well have to shoulder the entire offense load. That’s not a good thing. Cleveland’s coaching staff and management is willing to suffer through his development, while investing in his future. He may fulfill this prediction of mine in season number one.

He will have to rely on guys who may not be on the roster next season as the team goes through a rebuilding period. It’s safe to say the turnovers will pile up, even it they aren’t entirely his fault.

Most likely to lead the League in interceptions (takeaways)…. Tre’Davious White (27th overall pick/Buffalo Bills). He hails from DBU better known as LSU, the same school that brought the NFL Patrick Petersen, Tyrann Mathieu and Morris Claiborne to name a few. The Bills still have a strong front seven that will put pressure on opposing QBs causing them to force some passes where they shouldn’t. Plus he plays in the AFC East where outside of Tom Brady, the quarterback play is VERY shoddy.

Most likely to be Offensive Rookie of the Year…. Christian McCaffrey (8th overall pick/Carolina Panthers). The Carolina Panthers will be attempting to lessen the workload on Cam Newton after his off-season shoulder surgery. Thus, they drafted McCaffrey in the first round to make use of his versatility. The Stanford alum is an all-purpose back that can contribute in the running, passing and return game. He’s going to get the most opportunities of any offensive player in this draft class.

Most likely to be Defensive Player of the Year…

Linebackers and defensive ends have dominated this award. Basically, pass rushers. The guy I really like is San Francisco 49ers LB Reuben Foster out of Alabama (31st overall pick/San Francisco 49ers). He never should have fallen this far, but, character issues hurt him.

The Niners used their two first round picks on defense (DT Solomon Thomas 3rd overall pick). While everyone is expecting new Head Coach Kyle Shanahan to rev up the offense, the San Fran D has drastically declined since the days competing with Seattle for the NFC West crown under Jim Harbaugh. Foster will rack up the tackles on a team that was the 32nd ranked defense last season. If he has the numbers and as a unit they continue to climb to a top ten team, many voters will point to him as the catalyst.

Most likely to be steal of the draft… Jake Butt (5th round, 145th pick/Denver Broncos) a nasty knee injury in Michigan’s bowl game is the reason he fell this far. Coming into the 2016 College football season, he was a projected first round pick. It was between him and Alabama’s O.J. Howard, who was selected in the first round by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, as to which was the better all-around tight end.

Denver has young QBs who will need a safety blanket in the middle of the field. He will be that. Plus, he will draw lots of one-on-one coverage with Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders stretching defenses out deep down field.

Most likely to be a perennial All-Pro…. Ryan Ramczyk (32nd overall pick/New Orleans Saints)He comes from Wisconsin where they churn out as many All-Pro offensive linemen as the state does butter. Not really, but you get it. Joe Thomas of the Cleveland Browns, Travis Frederick of the Dallas Cowboys and Kraig Urbik of the Miami Dolphins to name a few.

Ramczyk will be charged with keeping Drew Brees up right so he can continue to pass for 5,000+ yards a season. One of the easiest ways to make an All-Pro team is to block for a QB that puts up historic numbers or a RB that is a top five rusher

Most likely to be NFL MVP…. Only six non-QBs have won the award in the last twenty seasons. The six players were running backs and one of them (Barry Sanders, 1997) shared it with Brett Favre. Therefore it’s not going out on a limb for me to predict a QB from the 2017 class will one day etch their name on the trophy.

With that being said, I’m going with DeShaun Watson (12th overall pick/Houston Texans). He’s a better version of Dak Prescott. No disrespect to the Dallas Cowboys quarterback and reigning Offensive Player of the Year. But, Watson has the same intangibles to lead a team and a better skill set. He’s shown it on the biggest stage in back-to-back National Championship games against a vaunted Alabama Crimson Tide team. His college coach Dabo Sweeney said he has some “Michael Jordan in him.” It’s hard to disagree after what we’ve already seen. The Texans are tailor-made for him to step in and lead them to glory.

Most likely to be Super Bowl MVP… Once again I’m going with DeShaun Watson. He has the number one ranked defense. The only thing that has been missing from the Houston Texans over the last three seasons has been a competent QB. Watson is more than competent and very capable of leading a team as he showed in college at Clemson. He’s a big gamer and his abilities will be even more amplified by a coach that’s already work with arguably the greatest QB of All-Time, Tom Brady.

 

Buckeyes in the NFL (Week 5, 2016)

Bosa made his long overdue debut with the Chargers and had a career day. Photo Credit: Chargers.com

The highest Buckeye selected in the 2016 draft–3rd overall–made his long awaited debut in week five and appeared to be well worth the wait. Defensive end Joey Bosa lined up for the San Diego Chargers against the rival Oakland Raiders after missing the entire preseason to a contract holdout, and the first four games of the regular season to injury. Bosa had 5 tackles (2 solo) and two sacks in the Chargers 34-31 loss to the Raiders. His fellow rookie, linebacker Joshua Perry, had 3 tackles.

Ezekiel Elliott had another explosive day for the Dallas Cowboys. The 4th overall pick in the 2016 draft rushed for his third consecutive 100+ yard game. Zeke had 134 yards and 2 touchdowns on 15 carries. He also added 3 receptions for 37 yards in the ‘Boys 28-14 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. On the other side, kicker Mike Nugent only score 2 points for the Bengals on two extra points and he missed a 50+ yard field goal.

Elliott tied with Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith for the most consecutive 130+ rushing yard games vs. the Bengals. Photo Credit: Cowboys.com

The week got off to a good start on Tuesday for former Buckeyes with the news that 11-year linebacker A.J. Hawk signed with the Atlanta Falcons on Tuesday after being without a team for the first four weeks. Hawk was drafted number 5th overall in 2006 by the Green Bay Packers where he played until 2014 and won a Super Bowl ring (SB XLV). He spent the 2015 season with the Cincinnati Bengals. Hawk didn’t register any stats in the Falcons 23-16 upset victory over the previously undefeated defending Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos.

There was supposed to be a prime Scarlet and Gray match up on the field in the trenches in Pittsburgh when the New York Jets faced off against the Steelers; center Nick Mangold versus defensive lineman Cam Heyward. But, both left the game with injury. Heyward left in the first half with a hamstring injury and did not return. Mangold left in the second half with a lower leg injury. Meanwhile, Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier was inactive for the second straight week, while the guy who replaced him at Ohio State, Darron Lee had 4 tackles (4 solo). Lee continues to be New York’s leading tackler on the season. The Steelers won 31-13.

Terrelle Pryor seemed the be only Cleveland Brown to show up in their blowout loss to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Pryor had 5 catches for 48 yards and 2 rushes for 3 yards, he also had to play quarterback as the starter Cody Kessler and his backup Charlie Whitehurst were both knocked out of the game with injuries. TP was 1 of 3 passing for 5 yards as Cleveland lost 33-13. Special teams ace and U.S. Olympic Rugby player Nate Ebner had 3 tackles for the Patriots in the victory.

Running back Carlos Hyde of the San Francisco 49ers rushed for 78 yards and earned his lead leading 6th rushing touchdown on 22 carries Thursday night against the Arizona Cardinals. The self-proclaimed “El Guapo” also caught 6 passes for 36 yards in the Niners 33-21 loss to the Cardinals.

Rookie Wide receiver Braxton Miller of the Houston Texans made his return to the lineup after missing the last two games with a hamstring injury. He had one catch for 12 yards in the Texans 31-13 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. Linebacker John Simon had 6 tackles (3 solo) for Houston in the loss.

Other OSU Alumni news of note, New York Jets rookie wide receiver Jalin Marshall was inactive for the loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, while rookie defensive back Eli Apple of the New York Giants missed the Sunday night matchup with the Green Bay Packers with a hamstring injury. Rookies Vonn Bell, Michael Thomas and veteran linebacker James Lauriniatis of the New Orleans Saints were on a bye this week. Their next game is next Sunday versus the Carolina Panthers in Nawlins.

Several Buckeyes hit the field in primetime on Monday Night Football. Ted Ginn Junior, Corey “Philly” Brown, Kurt Coleman, offensive lineman Andrew Norwell of the Carolina Panthers face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Charlotte.

The Houston Texans Mt. Rushmore

After a slow start, the Texans franchise is starting to find its footing in the NFL.

If the Houston Texans were a person, they’d probably be getting their temporary driver’s license right now and probably entering their freshman year of high school. The Texans played their first season in 2002. In the last 15 seasons they’ve won 3 AFC South Division titles and made the playoffs 3 times. 

While the city of Houston has an accomplished pro football history, the newest Houston franchise doesn’t. Like most teenagers, they haven’t done much, because their future is still ahead of them. But there have been a few men who have helped steered the team in the right direction, and should be acknowledge as so.

Here is the Houston Texans Mount Rushmore.

CRITERIA:
  • No owners, unless they were also coaches, and their place on this list is based on their contributions as coach. No General Managers or Personnel executives. Just those who directly affected the games on Sunday. I will make a separate list for those contributors soon.
  • Key contributors to the team’s history and success, not just fan favorites or box office draws.
  • Can you tell the franchise’s story without them? If no, they’re on the list.

Andre Johnson (2003-2014) is the team’s all-time career leader in games started (169), catches (1,012), receiving yards (13,597) and receiving touchdowns (64). Johnson holds 8 franchise records, and five NFL Records. He is the only wide receiver to catch 60+ passes in his first 8 seasons, have the most games with 10+ receptions in a season (7), have the most seasons with 100+ receptions (5), the most seasons with 100+ receptions and 1,400+ yards (4) and the most games with 10+ receptions.

Johnson is a 7-time Pro-Bowler (2004, 2006, 2008-2010, 2012, 2013), 5-time Houston Texans Team MVP, 4-time All-Pro 2006, 2008, 2009, 2012) and 3-time NFL Alumni Wide Receiver of the Year (2006,2008,2009). Johnson has spent last season with AFC South Division rival the Indianapolis Colts, and will spend this season with another division rival, the Tennessee Titans.

J.J. Watt (2011-Present) in just four short seasons has made his impact as the best defensive player in team history, and is now working his way up the All-Time list. His 74.5 career sacks, and 15 forced fumbles are the most in team history. His 298 solo tackles ranks him fourth. In 2014, he became the only player in NFL history to have two 20+ sack seasons in a career. The 3-time AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year (2012,2014,2015) is also a 4-time Pro-Bowler (2012-2015) and a 4-time 1st-team All-Pro (2012-2015).

Arian Foster (2009-2015) had an injury plague last couple of seasons in H-Town, but the former undrafted running back is the Texans all-time leader in rushing yards (6,472), rushing touchdowns (54) and carries (1454). Foster is a 4-time Pro-Bowler (2010-2012, 2014), 2-time All-Pro (2010,2011), twice led the NFL in rushing touchdowns and the 2010 NFL rushing champion. Foster is the first player in NFL history to rush for more than 100 yards in his first three postseason games.

Mario Williams (2006-2011) was the first pick in the 2006 draft–a somewhat controversial pick at the time–and quickly became the Texans defensive identity. Williams is still second in franchise history in sacks (53) and forced fumbles (11). Williams made two Pro Bowls as a Texan (2008,2009) and was a 2nd-team All-Pro in 2007, the same year he was awarded the NFL Alumni Defensive Lineman of the Year.

Time for Texans to Get Young

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Texans are 2-4 with more questions then answers.

I’m not talking about the team’s collective age or taking a shot at free agent safety Ed Reed’s birth certificate—he’s 35—I’m talking about hometown hero and former AFC South divisional foe Vince Young.

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Young spent time with the Green Bay Packers this past preseason and it looked like he was going to make the roster when they cut Aaron Rodgers’ back up Graham Harrell, but it didn’t happen. Now he is sitting at home, campaigning for jobs and so are Houston’s most notable fans.

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Young was 30-17 (.638), with 2 Pro Bowl selections in his 5 Years as the starter with the Tennessee Titans, while playing for a Head Coach in Jeff Fisher who didn’t want him—he wanted Matt Lienhart.

By the end of his time there, Young became known more for his meltdown in Nashville—he threw his equipment in the stands following a game and then sitting in an empty parking lot in what was called a potential suicide attempt—than his play that helped revive the Titans franchise post the Steve McNair/Eddie George era.

Then of course he brought the ultimate kiss of death on the 2011 Philadelphia Eagles by dubbing them the “Dream Team” when they signed several big name free agents.

After bouncing around to Buffalo and Green Bay he sits in his Houston home waiting on another opportunity and I don’t see why the Texans shouldn’t give it to him. On a team that has all the ingredients of a Super Bowl contender, Matt Schaub has proven he isn’t the QB to get it done. His back up T.J. Yates who actually played well in Schaub’s absence as a rookie, proved Sunday why he isn’t the answer (Yates extended the Texans streak of consecutive games with an interception returned for a TD, Schaub threw 4 of the 5.)

So why not give VY a shot. What do you have to lose if you’re a Texan? His stats with Green Bay were not abysmal, honestly in a back up you want someone who plays similar to the starter, VY and “Discount Double Check” have different styles, so that was never going to be a fit. Young’s scrambling ability is an element that can threaten an opposing defense and help an offensive line that has given up 14 sacks so far in 2013. Young’s athleticism will also add to a running game that ranks 7th in league at 136 yards a game.

Gary Kubiak and the Texans missed out on Josh Freeman when Tampa Bay released him, they better not miss out on Young, or Kubiak and the rest of the Texans coaching staff will be next to Vince looking for work.