It’s that time of week again, when the longest standing five week old tradition in Battle Red Blog history takes the field. That’s right, kids, it’s Battle Red Ball day!
(insert celebratory fanfare)
This week, the team faces what the hype-masters of the NFL world are calling the Houston Texans’ biggest challenge so far this year in the Minnesota Vikings - a team with very, very little offense, but a defense worthy of being named the “Purple Reign.”
It seems that when a defense gets a nickname, people expect them to dominate everyone like the Steel Curtain of Pittsburgh in the 70s. But this Vikings team isn’t Mean Joe Greene and his angry pack of mad dogs, so let’s not get carried away just yet.
Since Captain Ron declared this the official Statement Game for the Battle Red Ballers, will start with his ball-handling skills:
Offense - What a brutal situation. Brock is still trying to get a grip on the controls of this offense, and I suspect that he'll have a rough outing on the road against one of the league's best defenses. I was tempted to say Duane Brown for righting all that is wrong with the left side of that offensive line, but let's face it, the guy is going to need a few games to get back into "football shape" after being out so long. I'll go with DeAndre Hopkins for moving the chains at key times in the game. Unfortunately, I don't have any confidence that the Texans’ offense will score a touchdown in this tilt.
Defense - Kevin Johnson will have the best game for the defense, feasting on Sam Bradford's mistakes while he attempts to force passes while under pressure.
Offense- Ryan Griffin. The Texans have been targeting TEs heavily the past two weeks. Expect Griffin to see heavy usage with CJF and TE Overlord Stephen Anderson both nursing injuries.
Defense- A.J. Bouye. He's quietly been having a nice season as a member of the Texans’ nickel and dime packages. In particular, he's been utilised against opposing TEs to great success, and I'm hoping he can do a similar job against the resurgent Kyle Rudolph.
Offense - I will go with Ryan Griffin as well. I expect a lot of Cover-2 man in this game as the Vikings attempt to double DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller, so Griffin should get targets early and often.
Defense - Whitney Mercilus. He's got a juicy matchup this week against a potentially bad tackle tandem for Minnesota, so now would be a good time for him to have another three-sack game.
Offense - Tough choice, considering I expect the Vikings’ defense to dominate this game. I'll go with DeAndre Hopkins. I just think after what happened last week the Texans will work the ball to him, Xavier Rhodes be damned. So I expect a solid bounce-back by 10, but not anything that will help us get a W.
Defense - I don't seen any reason the Texans can't have a lot of success on defense in this one. I like Houston to stop the run and force Sam Bradford into action. Assuming the Texans have A.J. Bouye draped all over Kyle Rudolph in this one, I like him to come up with another solid game in what is turning out to be quite a contract year for him.
Offense - Duane Brown. Brock finally has someone who can protect his blind side long enough to make some throws, and Lamar Miller follows the Pro Bowl tackle for big gains.
Defense - A. J. Bouye. The man seems to have a knack for being in the right place at the right time in key moments, and he'll be the recipient of Sam Bradford's first pick of the season... and maybe the second.
Offense: Braxton Miller. He returns to action and promptly scores his first NFL touchdown.
Defense: Johnathan Joseph. As sure as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, Sam Bradford must throw interceptions. It's fitting that his first of the season is to a Texas team on TX-OU Weekend.
Offense: Man, I don't know. The only thing I'm looking forward to is a potential Will Fuller punt return where Cordarelle Patterson is in coverage.
Defense: Kevin Johnson, because he's good at breaking on the ball. He doesn't have a pick yet and turnovers are the only way the Texans can win this one.
Offense: I'm going to go with a wild card here and say Jaelen Strong. I want to say Will Fuller like everyone else, but I'm having a hard time trusting Brock Osweiler to get the ball to him regularly.
Defense: Kevin Johnson. The one thing that might save us is Sam Bradford is still Sam Bradford, and he's due for a garbage game...right?
Offense: DeAndre Hopkins - after his one catch, eight yard game last week, it's clear he was just saving himself for a 200 yard game this week.
Defense: Vince Wilfork continues his solid start and notches a sack along with lots of disruption in the run game
Now that the Masthead has given away their balls, what are you going to do with yours? Tells us in the comments below!