We come upon two men battling between floating tracks of lands, sizzling on top of lava. The two men are fighting to the death with light-sabers.
Bill O'Brien: "I have failed you, D.J.. I have failed you."
D.J. Swearinger: "I should have known Ed Reed were plotting to take over!"
Bill: "D.J., swag is evil!"
D.J. "From my point of view, the Texans are evil!"
Bill: "Well, then, you are lost!"
D.J. "This is the end for you, my master."
O'Brien flips to solid ground in front of Swearinger.
Bill: "D.J. it's over. I have high ground."
Swearinger charges O'Brien. O'Brien avoids the brash charge and cuts all of Swearinger's limbs off -- leaving him to burn in the lava.
(End scene. No, I don't like the prequels)
Now the infographic:
Now for the X-Factors:
The coaches, especially George Godsey. If he abandons the run game, we're doomed to see more of the same sh.t we've seen this season. If he mixes up his playcalling, and makes use of Polk, Grimes and Blue, we've got a realistic chance against one of the better defenses in the NFL. Our offense is trash so far this season, and the inability to put points on the board and/or muster long drives is wearing out the defense. He got the top job. He needs to show he's creative enough to do something with it, even though the cupboard is bare. We're all happy that we have a coaching staff capable of making adjustments during the game, but the fact of the matter is that for the first two games, our team has come out of the tunnel and sh.t the bed for the first half, which points to be unprepared. That's not okay, because we've been digging a hole for ourselves that our piece of sh.t offense can't claw us out of in the second half. We need to start strong and stay strong through all four quarters rather than come out like a limp d.ck and gradually stiffen as the little blue pill takes effect. Sorry for being graphic, but this sh.t is getting annoying.
Ryan Mallett. Just because you HAVE a cannon arm, doesn't mean you always need to USE it. Sure, NFL wide receivers should catch a reasonably "catchable" ball no matter the circumstances - but Mallett needs to learn (in his late 20s!?!?) to ease back a bit when he doesn't need to fit the ball in a tight window. I don't see any end in sight for Houston's running game woes with these RBs and this OL, so I expect another pass-heavy outing for Mallett. If he gets anywhere close to 58 attempts, my liver is going to fail considering how much the Astros have put it through in the last couple of weeks.
Johnathan Joseph. Joseph hasn't looked all that well so far this season, and Power Forwards Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans are a difficult match-up for any CB. With Jameis Winston willing to push the ball down the field, Joseph will have to up his game to stop Jackson and Evans.
Brian Cushing/Bernardrick McKinney -- I fully expect the Texans to get good pressure on Winston, which means that the inside linebackers are going to have to ride that fine line between stopping Winston if he scrambles, while not abandoning coverage on the checkdowns. Given what we've seen from Cushing when he tries to run side to side this season, I don't have particularly high hopes for his performance in this role. That said, the ILB play is going to be the difference between the Texans' winning a squeaker and the Texans' being comfortable all day.
Johnathan Joseph. RAC had him play almost exclusively on Ted Ginn last week with a huge cushion. If he does the same this week, he will be on either Evans and Jackson ,who can just eat up short routes against him until he is forced to creep up. Joseph looks slow so far this season, and the safeties are, well, abysmal. This is a horrifying thought when matched up against the best doubles volleyball team in the NFL. If TB has even a little bit of success throwing the ball deep and HOU gets in a hole, the 2015 season may be over after just three weeks.
Jadeveon Clowney. Bucs rookie left tackle Donovan Smith has struggled mightily so far in pass protection this season, and Clowney really needs to get home a couple times this game to help prevent Jameis Winston, Vincent Jackson, and Mike Evans from burning this secondary over the top. If Winston isn't put on his back early and often, I worry a little bit about this defense's ability to contain the deep ball.
This week's X-Factor will be Shane Lechler. I have no logical reason to believe he will be anything but excellent. I am, however, fresh off watching Michael Dickson mishandle a punt and simply cannot handle another miscue at that position from a beloved team. Seriously, if anything goes wrong in the kicking or punting game for the Texans today, I'm gonna snap like a twig.
P.S.: I predicted Randy Bullock would miss a FG today. There's a decent chance these are the last words I'll ever type.
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