3 and Out: Johnson, Graham ready for Rams
Welcome to Schaub Island.
It’s simple really: if you want to turn the page on the season, then keep clamoring for T.J. Yates – or for the crazies – Case Keenum. The only chance this team has to make the playoffs, much less make any sort of playoff run, is with Matt Schaub under center.
The Rams are the perfect opponent for Schaub to get his confidence back, have a mistake free limited game and start working his way out of an interception nightmare that extends back to late last season. If Schaub doesn’t turn it around, the season is over, but he’s also your only hope to turn this season into any sort of success.
Let’s take a quick trip back to November 2008 in Philadelphia. The Phillies had just won the World Series! But that’s neither here nor there. After Donovan McNabb’s infamous “I didn’t know there were ties in the NFL” game, Andy Reid benched McNabb after another poor performance the next week in the first half against the Ravens (as Gary Kubiak probably should have done against the Niners to show Schaub he means business). Kevin Kolb did not play any better in the second half and when many people expected Reid to go back to Kolb the next week, he instead stuck with McNabb (Maybe it’s something about University of Houston QBs on a roster that causes turmoil). That team, in much more dire straits at 5-5-1, turned it around, clinched the playoffs with a 44-6 win over the Cowboys, and went all the way to the NFC title game. Where they choked.
I’m not saying that will happen to this Texans team, and I am not comparing Schaub directly to McNabb, but if that team turned the page to Kolb = season over. Same situation here. So you’re saying there’s a chance!
Fearless prediction: Schaub and the Texans beat the Rams this week, then go into Kansas City (make no mistake, tough place to play) against what will be a 6-0, overconfident Chiefs team (opponent’s record entering this week: 7-18) and the Texans pull that win out.
Houston heads into the bye 4-3 with a home Sunday night showdown against the Colts looming, and a chance to jump right back into the AFC South race.
Picks in bold:
Texans -7.5 vs. Rams
Eagles -1 at Bucs
Maybe something happens to your brain when you get named word-that-rhymes-with-ME-Sean. DeSean Jackson – remember he said all the NFL teams better get in shape after Week 1 and the Eagles have gone 1-3 since – thinks it’s a good idea to tell Darrelle Revis he is faster than him. Great! Let’s have a race! LeSean McCoy tweets that Knowshon Moreno sucks after his day against the Cowboys helped the Eagles pull into a tie for first place. Oh yea, Nick Foles!
Chiefs -9.5 vs. Raiders
This sets up the Chiefs’ game against the Texans in a week.
Packers -1 at Ravens
The Packers could be gearing up to roll off about 10 straight. “Toughest” games over that stretch: Monday night at home vs. the Bears at Thanksgiving at Detroit. They could carry a 10-game win streak into Dallas on Dec. 15.
Steelers +3 at Jets
Pittsburgh wins this game, hosts the Ravens next week….
Bengals -7 at Bills
As a senior in high school, Thad Lewis was evaluated as the 10th best dual threat quarterback and the 65th best quarterback overall. So there’s that. Screw it – call it the Hoyer effect: BILLS +7 vs. Bengals
Lions +1 at Browns
If Calvin Johnson is out, Kris Durham, Ryan Broyles and Kevin Ogletree look to be Matthew Stafford’s top targets. I know you’re wondering, so here you go:
Durham: 19 rec, 287 yds, 2 TD
Broyles: 27 rec, 371 yds, 2 TD
Ogletree: 67 Rec, 820 yds, 5 TD
Yup. Those are career numbers. And then there’s this:
Johnson in 2013: 21 rec, 321 yds, 4 TD
Panthers +3 at Vikings
Christian Ponder, no one can take away last year’s December win against the Houston Texans when you helped crush their first round bye hopes. Looking at the numbers, (16-30, 174 yds, one TD), you didn’t even play all that well. It must have been the 48 rushing yards (second highest of your career), because it sure felt like they couldn’t stop you.
Broncos -27 vs. Jaguars
If my life depended on it, I’d have to take Manning and lay the points. It does not (just to clear that up), but if it did.
Saints +1 at Patriots
Saints really have not been getting all that much respect in Vegas. I do believe they win by at least a touchdown. The Patriots aren’t stopping ‘em, looking forward to seeing Brady try to keep up with them.
Seahawks –13.5 vs. Titans
Is it too soon to say Monday Night Football, Dec. 2, Saints at Seahawks for the home field advantage in the NFC?
49ers -11 vs. Cardinals
The 49ers are 31st in the NFL in passing yards (181.6). As in second to last. I know they didn’t even pass the ball against the Texans, they had Matt Schaub doing that for them, but Colin Kaepernick has not even completed half of his attempts in 3 of 5 games this season.
Cowboys -6 vs. Redskins
Tony Romo played the best game of his life for 57 minutes. And then he Romo’d. As I tweeted after it happened, at some point he has to be thinking: “Another slow day, eh God?” Redskins fans heading to Duffy’s Irish Pub hope so.
Chargers +1.5 vs. Colts
Speaking of the divisional race, Colts are overdue for a big letdown. But on Monday Night Football on national TV?! Yes. It’s an AFC South thing.
Last Week: 8-5-0 Season: 35-35-2