Better late than never, this week’s case of Battle Red Balls arrives somewhat deflated from being handled by the Patriots in New England, but ready to drop regardless.
This week, if history is any indicator, the Texans will get back on track as they take on the team not good enough to still call themselves the Oilers.
With ten days to rest, the sting of an embarrassing loss on Thursday Night Football fresh in their minds, and the Ninja Assassin Antonio Smith ready to do battle in front of a rejuvenated Brian Cushing, the team is prepared to let it be known they can win without J.J. Watt.
With that in mind, let’s get down to ball handling.
Offense: Brock Osweiler. He has the best game in his nascent Texans career, throwing for 3 TDs and committing zero turnovers.
Defense: Jadeveon Clowney. People will feel better about the prospects for Houston's defense without J.J. Watt after Clowney sacks Marcus Mariota twice on Sunday
Offense: Lamar Miller finally breaks a big one, scoring the team's only touchdown, which becomes the play of the game to help Houston win a close one.
Defense: Whitney Mercilus benefits from the Titans line spending way too much time worrying about Jadeveon Clowney, which lets Whitney get two sacks and forced fumble.
Offense: Fuller V will fly forever.
Defense: Joseph-Jackson-Johnson will produce a couple of picks. The Titans' quick passing offense is horrendous. Marcus Mariota locks onto a read and their awful receivers are expected to beat man coverage. They haven't and won't against Houston. With these three, it will lead to some turnovers.
Offense: Jaelen Strong. Who says 6'3 WRs can't play in the slot?
Defense: Whitney Mercilus. Taylor Lewan get's Nam-esqe flashbacks when he sees the number 59.
Offense: Lamar Miller has his breakthrough game with 140 yards rushing. The offensive line finally figures out how to run block.
Defense: Brian Cushing leads the team in tackles. With J.J. Watt lost for the season, Cushing is now the veteran leader of the defense.
Offense: Brock Osweiler plays the part of the guy who is The Man. Now he finally backs it up with his play with Watt on the shelf. The real question is can he sustain it beyond this week?
Defense: Whitney Mercilus steps up big time and wreaks havoc on the Titans while Jadeveon Clowney is buried in double-teams. (Whitney will get doubled too, but he'll still make a significant impact).
Offense: DeAndre Hopkins gets this game ball because he's the only player on this unit that I have absolute confidence in right now.
Defense: Kevin Johnson has the first multi-interception game of his career and makes Mariota pay for testing him.
Offense: Nuk comes through for a team that needs a confidence booster and a victory to right the ship.
Defense: The defense back trio takes advantage of Mariota's mistakes to help out the offense in a major way.
Offense: DeAndre Hopkins is still the best player on this offense and he has a history of decimating the Titans' defense. Over two years and four games, he averages 136 yards and a TD against Tennessee. He'll continue that streak this Sunday.
Defense: With J.J. out, the Titans will focus their attention on Clowney, allowing Whitney Mercilus to sack Mariota more than once.
There ya have it, folks. The Battle Red Balls are bouncing. Tell us which players you’ll hand your balls to in the comments below.
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