Your 4-5 Texans enjoyed a good bye week break, which gave them time to heal up for their final seven games of the regular season. They also took this time to reload at the quarterback position, naming Ryan Mallett as the new starter. Let's hope that the offensive line pulls together to protect Mallett, as we need to see what he is capable of under center, and if he can put that big arm to work in stretching the field and creating explosive plays for the Texans.
Texans in the Community
Today, David Quessenberry joined fellow teammates and cheerleaders out in the community with a #PassItForward campaign:
J.J. Watt for NFL MVP
J.J. Watt continues to draw attention as a potential NFL MVP candidate:
He certainly deserves it after all that he has done to help elevate his team. Watt would be only the third defensive player in history to win it: 1971 Alan Page (DT for the Minnesota Vikings) and 1986 Lawrence Taylor (LB for the NY Giants) are the only other defensive players to be named league MVP.
It sounds as though Jadeveon Clowney is feeling better:
I'd be shocked if Jadeveon Clowney didn't play against the Browns this week. Hearing that the bye week did wonders for the rookie OLB.
— Jayson Braddock (@JaysonBraddock) November 10, 2014
Although nothing "official" has been reported, Jayson Braddock has quite a strong record of breaking news related to injury updates for the Texans. It would be great to see Clowney perform at 100% through the rest of the season. Speaking of Clowney's overall health, NFL.com's Albert Breer had an interesting piece on how Clowney was assessed before the draft:
One of the concerns with the first overall pick back in the spring was that he was such a "kinetic" athlete that he'd be predisposed to soft-tissue injuries. Sure enough, in his first NFL game, he hit a soft spot in the rugged NRG Stadium turf and suffered a meniscus injury that's lingered. In April, Clowney's off-the-charts score on the "force plate" test, administered by the Atlanta Falcons, garnered a lot of headlines. But clubs were just as interested to hear what else was found about his physical makeup. Dr. Phil Wagner, who created the test, told me then that, "(Clowney's) movement signature validates that he's both very physically gifted and physically resilient. What we found is he's not a large injury risk, and he certainly has a lot of tools." Hearing that would be encouraging to teams, but the fact that it was even brought up shows there was a level of concern.
Tomorrow the Texans will be back at work in preparation for their next game in Cleveland. The Browns are in sole possession of the AFC North with their 6-3 record, and this will be a strong test for Houston. Cleveland is riding high on a three-game winning streak, capped off by last Thursday's 24-3 domination of the Bengals in Cincinnati. This game may set the tone for how the Texans finish 2014. There is a real chance for them to rally behind their new quarterback and earn a shot at competing for a playoff berth.
Around the AFC South...
The Titans are 2-7 after losing to the 6-4 Ravens last week. Tennessee will be hosting the 6-4 Steelers next Sunday. It may disgust you to do so, but from a mathematical perspective, Texans' fans might need to be pulling for the Titans to win that tilt in order to help align the larger AFC wild card picture.
The AFC North is very tightly stacked, and the Texans could use some help in the final stretch:
The 1-9 Jaguars return from London, where they showed fans across the pond how not to do that American Football thing; they lost to Dallas 17-31. Jacksonville is now officially on their bye week, a fact that many broadcast networks appreciate greatly.
The Captain's Log Summary
|Bravo Zulu Winner
|Social Media Chaperone
|Dead Poets Society
|Beef and Merlot Pie
|Mojo Foster Slays Titans
|Historian of Greek Mythology
|The 3:13 to Santo Poco
|Novelist of heroes
|Fish Called Wanda
|Deviled Scotch Eggs
|Failure to Launch
|OL Pass Interference
|The Northern Trench
|Lord Commander Night's Watch
|A New Hope
|Field Turf Technician
|Guardians of the Galaxy
(Bravo Zulu is a naval signal, conveyed by flag hoist or vocal, for "Well Done")
J.J. Watt and Arian Foster are both tied with being honored three times each this season, and they could have been named the best contributor in just about every game. Whitney Mercilus has won twice, and he continues to perform well under the direction of coach Mike Vrabel. Hopkins collected the honors once in Week Three , and we'll hope to see him shine even brighter with a stronger-armed quarterback in the pocket going forward.
Who will earn recognition in the next seven games? Will Clowney break through? Will Brian Cushing return to form and dominate a game? Will legendary Andre Johnson demonstrate his greatness at the receiving end of big-play passes from the new signal caller? What about Ryan Mallett earning top honors and creating some thunder and excitement?
Stay tuned, as the second half of the Houston Texans' 2014 season is revving up this week!
Texans vs Browns coverage