One thing we’ve learned so far this season by giving out these premature balls is that height doesn’t equate with quarterback skill... or yards per catch... or wins... or much else worth having a ball over.
But, as lifelong Texans fans (that’s the life of the team, none of us are only 14 - although BFD, Capt. Ron and I have that many years in the post-sobriety fan club), one thing we've learned is that just when all hope has been abandoned, the Texans rise up and smash an opponent, rekindling that Battle Red Fire in all of us to keep us coming back for more like a moth into flame...
Our powers of prognostication are unmatched in the ball-giving world, as you have learned over the past eight weeks! So, without further adieu... or odor... or any other Texas Rangers, here are the Battle Red Balls for the Week Eight tilt against the woeful Lions of Detroit.
Offense: Alfred Blue - With Lamar Miller injured, Blue handles the rock and puts on a good display for 100 yards and a TD.
Defense: Bernardrick McKinney - He'll have a sack and be all over the place with tackles in the run game.
Offense: C.J. Fiedorowicz, who has been the biggest beneficiary of Checkdown Brock. He's also been catching balls this year, which helps.
Defense: Benardrick McKinney should have a field day against a questionable offensive line and a team that likes to throw screens.
Offense: Brock Osweiler. I have no real basis for this prediction. I just assume since everybody things he's radioactive burning garbage that he'll turn in a 300 yard, 3 touchdown performance to make us think he might be worth something again.
Defense: Whitney Mercilus. He's going to make John Stafford's life hell, and about kitten time for it, too.
Offense: Brock stepped up in a big way last week. It was his first game of the year without an interception. He'll continue that slow and steady improvement this week by not turning the ball over again.
Defense: Andre Hal. It's about time he got an interception, right?
Offense - C.J. Fedorowicz. Assuming the Lions continue to defend against the deep shots as many Texans opponents have since the New England game, it legitimately seems like C.J. has turned some kind of corner from worthless to "approaching mediocre."
Defense - A.J. Bouye will build on the momentum of the solid game he had against Denver and continue to make the case for a nice new contract from... someone.
Offense: DeAndre Hopkins. If he and Brock don't sync soon, the whole team may sink soon. This is the game that becomes a turning point for both, and Hopkins leads the way on offense in front of a frenzied home crowd at NRG Stadium.
Defense: A.J. Bouye. He's the top graded CB in the NFL after 7 weeks, and he'll keep that rolling against Detroit.
Offense: Braxton Miller - O'Brien goes to the guy on the roster with the most God-given talent at quarterback for a handful of wildcat plays, and Miller hits one for six - the only Houston offensive touchdown of the game.
Defense: A.J. Bouye - who better to win this than the one member of the secondary who's ballin' at an elite level? A pick-six off Stafford for Bouye will finally make opposing OCs fear him.
Offense: Will Fuller. He's been awfully quiet lately, but he'll get behind the Lions' secondary at least twice on Sunday, with one of those catches going for a 30+ yard touchdown.
Defense: Jadeveon Clowney. I like to picture Matthew Stafford pulling the covers up to his chin and whispering, "Clowney's comin'" when he unsuccessfully tries to go to sleep on Sunday night.
Who do you think stands out on Sunday?