Cincinnati travels to Houston for the first game in what should be — fingers crossed — an exciting weekend of football. Almost exactly one year ago, the Bengals made the same trip, losing in a 31-10 blowout. One year later the expectations for both teams are considerably different.
Houston’s late season swoon — losses to New England, Minnesota and Indianapolis — cost them their first postseason bye in team history. Meanwhile the Bengals head into Saturday afternoon’s clash riding high, winning three straight games to close out the year. To the tape. Read the rest of this entry »
It is difficult to imagine a single play resulting in a higher production of justified finger-pointing and warranted blame than what occurred during Thursday’s Thanksgiving Day game between the Houston Texans and Detroit Lions.
When something happens that is considered contentious, the controversy typically arises out of differing perspectives. What seems obvious to me is anything but for someone else. What’s so remarkable about the hullabaloo that erupted out of last week’s 81-yard touchdown run by Texans running back Justin Forsett is the lack of disagreement over the sequence of events.
Down by ten points, more than half way through the third quarter, Houston quarterback Matt Schaub handed the ball off to Forsett on second down with ten yards to go. The running back was granted a hole by his offensive line as devastating as a wound in need of suture. However, six yards after the line of scrimmage he was tackled by Lions safeties Erik Coleman and Louis Delmas.
Despite a knee and an elbow both touching turf, Forsett popped up in one continuous motion, in a manner that only the supremely athletic would even attempt, and ran 75 additional yards into the end zone through a why-bother Detroit defense.
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I know, at first it doesn’t seem like there’s a fantasy connection here, and we usually like to have one of those when we’re writing about things, and especially when we’re writing about stuff. But oh, there is one, and it’s real and spectacular.
More on that in a minute. But first, let’s relive the play that — in this Internet ranter’s un-humble opinion — ended in a far more egregious lack of officiating competence than the now infamous Hail Mary play the replacement officials botched earlier this year during the Green Bay-Seattle game.
I’m of course referring to Justin Forsett’s 81-yard touchdown run that shouldn’t have been a touchdown at all yesterday, a play that eventually really, really mattered when the Texans needed overtime to beat Detroit 34-31. The run occurred during the third quarter, and while Arian Foster’s backup rumbled for a nice little eight-yard gain, every conceivable angle showed that he was quite clearly down. Both his elbow and knee touched the ground, so by definition he was a downed runner, and the play should have ended.
It didn’t, and when the officials missed Forsett’s contact with the ground he smartly kept running, and running. His touchdown was the difference in the game, meaning the officials were also the difference in the game. And when that happens, pitch forks happen. Anger happens. Shame happens.
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Passing is generally a lot easier when the opposition’s top cornerback is watching football instead of playing football. Matthew Stafford, this is your life. Today.
As was widely expected, Johnathan Joseph’s game-time decision didn’t go in his favor, and he’ll miss the Texans’ game against the Lions today in which the winner gets to eat all of the turducken. This, of course, is fun news for Stafford and Calvin Johnson owners, as a Texans defense that overall ranks seventh against the pass while allowing an average of 213.6 yards per game is a shadow of itself in the secondary without Joseph.
Please recall how this other, much weaker Texans defense looked without Joesph against the Jaguars in Week 11, and the lethal, feared gunslinger you know as Chad Henne. Kareem Jackson replaced Joseph, and he was repeatedly and thoroughly burned, with Henne passing for 354 yards. Our abacus indicates that’s 141 more yards than Houston’s per game average against the pass. That’s, um, a lot.
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Tip 302: Resolve family tension by directing anger at universally hated figure.
At its best, American Thanksgiving is a time to gather the family from all corners of the globe and eat lots of food. The cousin you haven’t seen in seven years, the uncle who just got out of prison — they’re all there. Hey, you might even get to talk about the recent election in a civil manner. It’s just politics after all.
At its worst, American Thanksgiving is a time to question the sanity of your mother as your family camps outside a Best Buy for five days, subsisting on uncooked ramen noodles and expired canned chili. A discussion about the recent election turns into an alcohol-fueled fist fight between brother-in-law Rex (America is doomed) and cousin Jeffrey (America is doomed and he’s a Muslim). Read the rest of this entry »
After missing last week’s sloppy affair in Chicago, TE Owen Daniels will play for Houston when the Texans host Jacksonville at 1pm. Daniels should be inserted into starting lineups in all formats, though the Jags haven’t allowed a touchdown from a TE this season. Jacksonville’s pass defense ranks in the bottom third of the league. Play OD with confidence.
Sorry for yelling. The all caps conveys multiple emotions, starting with anger, and then getting to despair.
But yeah, you saw this coming, right? RIGHT? Welp, Daniels is now officially inactive for tonight’s prime-time game between the Texans and Bears, and with the late start to this game hopefully you rolled with your backup tight end. It really doesn’t matter who that was, because any points is better than no points.
If you’re in a deep league and you didnt have an appealing option on your bench, stop reading this now and pick up Daniels’ backup Garrett Graham. Kellen Davis or Tony Moeaki will work too, as they’re both widely available and they also play in prime-time games (the Chiefs are set for their latest embarrassment against the Steelers tomorrow night).