In this space, about a month ago, I asked you to take a minute to participate in the Million Fan Salute. The three cities that garnered the most salutes would "earn rewards that will directly benefit local military units, such as improvements to on-installation athletic facilities."
Good news, BRB. Houston won. I got this e-mail a few days ago:
The Million Fan Salute campaign organized by USAA and NFL finished yesterday and the Texans won the most votes! I can say with certainty that that was possible thanks to the support of key people like you that actively encouraged fans to participate. Thanks so much for helping out and making the Texans and a local military unit a winner. We greatly appreciate it.
Thanks to all of you who voted. You made a difference, and the military units that call the Houston area home will benefit for it. Well done.
On to the predictions, which will be very quick because I'm barely conscious.
1. I'm a bit taken aback by the news that Johnathan Joseph and Bradie James won't play tomorrow, but I don't think it's a killer. I believe Jake Locker, inaccurate as he may be, will have some success against Brice McCain/Alan Ball (if he plays)/Brandon Harris; Kendall Wright will find the end zone.
2. Whitney Mercilus' first start will see him notch two sacks, one of which will cause a fumble. Brett Kollmann will get the vapors and write a Rookie Review next week that is nothing more than MS Paint hearts and flowers over stills of Mercilus. You'll be disgusted yet oddly entertained, as it'll still be the best breakdown of Mercilus' play you'll read anywhere.
3. A wise man has suggested that Gary Kubiak is going to return to a more run-oriented attack after two weeks of throwing the ball all over the yard. That sage will be proven correct, as Arian Foster is going to run his arse off tomorrow. Arian hits pay dirt twice and far exceeds the 86 yards rushing he had in the first meeting with the Titans. Mark him down for 119 yards on the ground.
PUT YOUR NAME ON IT: I do not expect as dominant a performance from the good guys as we saw when they last played the Titans. That Texans defense has Brian Cushing, Brooks Reed, and Johnathan Joseph. While I'm confident Mercilus will step up, no Cush (or Bradie James) or J-Jo significantly weakens the Texans inside and in the secondary. As much as I'd like to be wrong, I'm not seeing a blowout. I am, however, seeing the eleventh Texans victory of the 2012 season. Texans 30, Titans 21.
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