The Houston Texans sit atop of the AFC South with a 6-3 record after going “Across the Pond” to defeat their divisional foe in the Jacksonville Jaguars 26-3. Most will look at the outstanding play of MVP candidate Deshaun Watson who is having a great year thus far (2,432 passing yards, 23 total touchdowns, 5 interceptions), but two off season trade acquisitions have stepped up to help propel the Texans to the top.
Wide receiver Kenny Stills has made the most of his time on the field since coming to the Texans along with offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil via trade with the Miami Dolphins. Stills has filled in quite nicely as Watson’s downfield threat with Will Fuller out due to a hamstring injury. He currently leads the team with 16.7 yards a reception so far this year and with Watson’s increased use of his tight ends the last three games, the field is wide open for the seven-year veteran.
Playing on his sixth team in six years, I think running back Carlos Hyde has finally found a permanent home in Houston. Hyde was acquired from the Kansas City Chiefs in a trade this summer to join Duke Johnson in the backfield after Texans starting running back Lamar Miller was lost for the season in the preseason.
Hyde leads the team in rushing with 704 yards and his 160 this past weekend against the Jags help propel them to victory. He is second on the team behind wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins in first downs gained at 37 and leads the team with runs over ten yards with 20.
Houston will definitely rely on him coming out of the bye week as they have three tough games against teams who all made the playoffs last year in the Baltimore Ravens, Indianapolis Colts, and Super Bowl Champs, New England Patriots.
Bienvenidos a Miami
Rapper/Actor Will Smith had a hit record back in 1998 titled, “Miami” that debuted at number 17 on the Billboard charts. That number is higher than the amount of wins the Miami Dolphins have had since 2017 (14). But they finally got in the win column this past weekend by defeating the New York Jets and put to rest all of the “Tanking for Tua” rumors. Ok. Let’s not jump ahead of ourselves. I still believe that they will only win two games this year and get the first pick in the 2020 NFL draft.
Although they got the win, the Dolphins ran into the same problem they have had all season and that is second half scoring. They put up five points in the second half on Sunday, but to their credit they only gave up six to the Jets who have a plethora of issues themselves. Through eight games this year Miami is averaging 3.1 points in the second half, while their opponents average 68. That includes five games of not scoring at all and only scoring three points in the third quarter. I bet after the win the Dolphins played another Will Smith hit in the locker room:
“Getiin’ Jiggy Wit It.”
“Na na na na na nan a nana.”
Don’t look now but something special is brewing in the Bay (California) and it has nothing to do with the Golden State Warriors. The San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders are a combined 12-4 this season. Yes, it is a little one-sided with the 49ers being undefeated with an 8-0 record and the Raiders at 4-4. Both teams have taken the NFL by surprise with no one expecting the hot start from San Francisco and the above .500 record of Oakland who dealt with the former wide receiver, Antonio Brown fiasco before the season started.
The glory days could soon be returning for the proud franchises with playoff berths this year. Oakland’s last trip was a 27-14 loss in the Wildcard game to the Houston Texans in 2016 and San Francisco hasn’t been since they lost 23 -17 in the NFC Championship game to the Seattle Seahawks in 2013. That will be a major turnaround since they were a combined 8-24 last season.
These two teams with very loyal fan bases, will take on their divisional rivals this week as the Raiders face the Chargers and the 49ers take on the aforementioned Seahawks. Both games will be in primetime slots which lets you know what a difference a year makes.
SARGE’S AFTER ACTION REVIEW
Aaron Rodgers needs to take responsibility instead of taking shots at his teammates in the loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. His 35 passing yards at halftime was worse than any teammate hanging out in Beverly Hills.
The Dallas Cowboys fans have to be on some type of anxiety medicine with the roller coaster ride they were on in the Sunday night game against the New York Giants. Dallas has yet to establish an identity this season and it keeps fans on the edge of their seats every game.
I don’t know what’s going on in Detroit, but they are that team that just can’t get over the hump. Their current record is 3-4-1 with three losses by a combined 12 points. Once again, they lost a game with an incomplete pass on 4th and goal to the Oakland Raiders and I don’t know if that is coaching or quarterback play.
Browns needs to fire Freddie.
Jets s needs to fire Adam.
Titans needs to fire Mike.
Falcons needs to fire Dan.
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is the truth. Anyone that can confuse the best head coach in history in Bill Belichick deserves the last word. Great game young man.