If you have a few drinks, squint, and then have a few more drinks, you can almost see a scintilla of accuracy in last week's "Three and Out." Then again, if you're one of those people who wants "unmitigated truth" and "accountability" in your prediction posts, I suppose you could find some nits to pick. Sure, Andre Johnson didn't have a touchdown catch, and Arian Foster had considerably more rushing yards than I originally contemplated, and the Texans' offense resembled a well-oiled machine far more than I expected it would.
Me? I prefer to accentuate the positives and quickly move past any alleged shortcomings, near misses, egregious misses, and/or whiffs. Like any good cornerback or shiftless blogger, I have a short memory (when it suits me).
1. Confession that I believe I've aired on BRB before: I loathe Eli Manning. I thought he was overrated coming out of Ole Miss. Super Bowl wins notwithstanding, I think he's still extraordinarily overrated as a QB in the NFL. But the real crux of my fervent dislike of Eli stems from the way he forced his way out of San Diego leading up to and during the 2004 NFL Draft.
A team drafts you, and that's where you go. Veterans, not rookies, have earned the privilege of deciding where to play. If Eli really didn't want to be a Charger, his move was to refuse to sign a multi-year deal. Of course, there was no way Eli or any other rookie would do that; the NFLPA would have had a kitten, and the overwhelming risk of injury or failure demands that players sign multi-year deals for as much money as possible, especially as rookies. Still, if Eli really thought San Diego was a toxic environment, he had options beside staging that absurd power play. I've never liked the way Eli--a grown man, not a toddler--let his father be the heavy back then, and I've always been disgusted that he got his way.
That said, I don't think that Eli Manning has been as bad as his stats make him appear to be, especially last week. My hunch is that Eli is going to have himself a good game on Sunday despite being hounded by the Texans' pass rush all afternoon. He'll throw one interception, but he'll throw for two TDs and 230 yards.
2. Arian Foster will have his quietest game of the season on Sunday. That's not saying much, as Foster has rushed for over 100 yards in each of the first two games of the season. From what I understand, the Giants' linebackers aren't anything to write home about, so I do expect Foster to find the end zone while being "contained" to 91 yards on the ground. Look for Alfred Blue to get an increased workload as well. Bill O'Brien knows he can't rely on Foster to carry the ball 25+ times every week.
3. Ryan Fitzpatrick will have his first turnover of the season. He will, however, offset it with a touchdown pass. To Andre Johnson. I mean it this time.
PUT YOUR NAME ON IT: Before the season started, I called a 3-1 start for your 2014 Houston Texans. This game against the Giants, in New Jersey, was the game I expected the Texans to lose in that first quarter of the season. While the Texans have looked better than I thought they would, and the Giants have looked worse than I thought they would, I'm standing by that prediction. The Giants desperately need this game, and I believe they'll win a close one. Texans 17, Giants 20. Tell me how little my faith is in the Comments below.
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