Producer Paul’s Picks: Week 16

Producer Paul’s Picks: Week 16
December 21, 2013, 3:45 pm
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The Texans' beating the Broncos would not be the biggest upset of the weekend. Pearland beating Allen or Katy losing to Cedar Hill – now those would be upsets.

Picks in bold:

Saints +3 at Panthers

I would have taken the Saints even if they had won in Saint Louis, but after that embarrassment, I would take New Orleans giving three points on the road in Carolina. Also, the Panthers are losing in the first round of the playoffs. Not. A. Believer.

Cowboys -3 at Redskins

If the Cowboys win this game, it does not matter how the Eagles do against the Bears; next week it will be Cowboys vs. Eagles for the NFC East. So I pose this question Cowboys fans: Would you rather:

A. Cowboys get blown out at home a la 44-6 game from a few years ago. The band-aid is ripped off and you’re numb by the end of the first half.

OR

B. Tony Romo has the ball in his hands with a chance to win the game at the end of the fourth quarter.

I’m willing to bet there are more than a handful of fans who would prefer the Cowboys to put out them of their misery by halftime rather than watch another End-of-the-Season Patented Romo Choke Job.

Dolphins -3 at Bills

The Dolphins lose the tiebreaker to the Ravens and are two games back of the Patriots, but I’m gonna say they go into next week with a chance to get into the playoffs.

Rams -4 vs. Bucs

I can’t believe Greg Schiano even made it onto the next University of Texas head coach bracket.

Jets –1.5 vs. Browns

Good to see Ed Reed continuing to take zero accountability for being a shell of his former self.

In part, according to the AP:

"Even reading your blogs, listening to your comments knowing half of you don't know as much about football as you think…unless you sit in the film room with us, break film down or even know the schematic part of it. You ask the questions, but that doesn't mean you're an expert at what we do. It's funny to me reading it. I smile at it, laugh at it, but that's your job. "Some of your jobs, you take it and try to tear people down. You tear the team down. Not understanding it's the team, you'd rather point the finger at one individual."

First it was the Texans coaches getting outcoached, now it’s the media. Keep pointing the finger at everyone except yourself, Ed.

Dude, you robbed the Texans blind. Stop being so bitter.

Chiefs –7 vs. Colts

The last time I took the Colts getting points on the road against the team I thought they should beat (Arizona), they got waxed. I don’t think the Colts are the better team, but it looks like they’re gonna get waxed again. If I’m Indy this is a recon mission for a team I’m probably going to play at home in the first round.

Vikings +8 at Bengals

Speaking of the first round of the playoffs, the team everyone wants to play: Cincinnati!

Jaguars +5 vs. Titans

Remember when the NFC East was the ugliest girl at the dance and the AFC North was the girl you didn’t want to be next to when the lights came on? The AFC South is making both of them look borderline desirable.

Broncos -10.5 at Texans

Speaking of that, this is why the entire time early in the season I said Matt Schaub should remain the quarterback until the season is all but over. Case Keenum had a few nice first halves and zero wins.

From Week 5 :

He (Schaub) could throw multiple interceptions per game, maybe even a few more pick 6s, and the Texans won’t – and shouldn’t – make a change until they are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs.

There’s no doubt that Texans ownership drove the move to Keenum, but if Gary Kubiak stuck with Schaub (he may have been fired much earlier, BUT) the Texans are probably at least still alive in the playoff hunt in the worst division in football.

Seahawks -10.5 vs. Cardinals

It was a good run, Bruce Arians and company.

Lions -10 vs. Giants

If I’m a Giants fan, I’m very much hoping John Mara orchestrates a very slightly less messy Mack Brown-type exit for Tom Coughlin. Even as I’m writing it, it sounds pretty absurd for a guy who won two Super Bowls, but it feels like it is time.

Raiders +10 at Chargers

List of guys I think the Texans should pass on:

Lovie Smith, Ken Whisenhunt, Bill O’Brien.

The first two are a little too stale and I just don’t think get you to where you want to go. O’Brien -- I respect what he’s done at both levels; he’s probably the biggest reason Mat McGloin ever sniffed an NFL job, and I don’t think he would be a bad hire, but I’m just not feeling it.

Packers -1.5 vs. Steelers

Everyone in the NFC is cheering for Pittsburgh. And by “everyone,” I mean the Saints and the Seahawks.

Patriots +2 at Ravens

All four New England losses came on the road. Ravens are 6-1 at home. So naturally, the Patriots take out their revenge from last season’s AFC championship loss.

Eagles -3 vs. Bears

It is kind of ridiculous to think that if the Cowboys somehow lose to the Redskins, the Eagles can clinch the NFC East with a win.

49ers -14 vs. Falcons

Jon Gruden might as well entertain Texas’ head coaching pitch with this as his 2013 swan song. Could be an interesting trivia question in five years: Who played in Jon Gruden’s last Monday Night Football game as a broadcaster?

Last Week: 7-7-1. Season: 103-101-6

Texans - Team News
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Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster (knee) is listed as probable for Week 9. He'll be all systems go against the Eagles' solid run defense.
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Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) is listed as probable for Week 9. Johnson is a legitimate WR1 against the Eagles' inconsistent secondary.
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Jadeveon Clowney - LB
Jadeveon Clowney (illness) is expected to miss Week 9 against the Eagles. Updating a previous item, Clowney appears to be over his early-season knee injury. But he is dealing with an illness. Clowney's absence is an upgrade to Nick Foles'...
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Alfred Blue - RB
Alfred Blue (ankle) remained limited in Thursday's practice. Arian Foster's caddie is in no danger of missing Week 9.
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Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) returned to Texans practice Thursday, getting in a limited session. Johnson was never in any danger of missing Sunday's game against the Eagles. With six teams on bye for Week 9, Johnson is a WR1.
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Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster (knee) returned to Texans practice Thursday, getting in a limited session. The Texans are just managing their superstar back's reps. With DeMarco Murray facing the Cardinals' elite run defense, there's a case to be made for Foster as Week 9's No. 1...
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Alfred Blue - RB
Alfred Blue (ankle) was limited in Wednesday's practice. Blue got first-team reps with Arian Foster (knee) not practicing. The Texans also held out Andre Johnson (ankle) on Wednesday.
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Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) did not practice Wednesday. The Texans are limiting Johnson's reps for rest purposes. He didn't suffer any setbacks last week and should be fine for Sunday's game against the Eagles.
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Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster (knee) did not practice Wednesday. It's a new injury for Foster. Coming off his three-touchdown performance, it's possible the Texans are getting him some rest. Foster will be a top-three running back in Week...
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Zac Diles - LB
Texans signed LB Zac Diles. CB Elbert Mack was waived in a corresponding roster move. Diles' addition is a sign the Texans aren't expecting Brian Cushing (knee) back for Week 9.
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Garrett Graham - TE
Garrett Graham was held without a catch in the Texans' Week 8 win over Tennessee. Graham was targeted just one time on the day, a seam shot from Ryan Fitzpatrick that predictably fell incomplete. Graham has been a very minor part of the offense, making...
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Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson caught seven passes for 55 yards in the Texans' Week 8 win over the Titans. Johnson saw a team-high dozen targets. He was followed by Titans top CB Jason McCourty for much of the afternoon, leaving DeAndre Hopkins to work on sophomore Blidi...
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DeAndre Hopkins - WR
DeAndre Hopkins caught five passes for 95 yards in the Texans' Week 8 win over the Titans. Hopkins was targeted 11 times compared to 12 for Andre Johnson. Hopkins picked up chunk yards on all of his grabs, and was stopped at the five-yard line on one grab where...
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Alfred Blue - RB
Alfred Blue rushed for 42 yards on 14 carries in the Texans' Week 8 win over the Titans. Blue added a 22-yard catch. With the Texans clobbering the Titans late and Arian Foster having already piled up 173 yards and three touchdowns, Blue got plenty of run late...
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