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Thursday Night Wildcat

Has there been a better time to run the wildcat...ever?

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Before even allowing the media to ask a question, David Culley started off his Monday press conference stating that yes, starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor will not be playing for the Texans this week. Culley then went on the say, “Eh, maybe we’ll throw in a couple more wildcat packages and throw Mark (Ingram) and the boys back there.” I love this answer for multiple reasons. One, I love how David Culley seems to answer every other question the media ask him with, “We want to run the ball and do it physically.” Yes to all of that. Secondly, I need a Wildcat Thursday Night Football game in my life.

Thursday night was made for wild football. Nobody in the NFL likes it. The players, the coaches, the ball boys, none of them. The only people crazy enough to enjoy it are the fans. A team’s prep and recovery time is cut in half. I can think of no worse situation than a defense having to prepare for something so out of the box and physical like the Wildcat formation. Add on top of that, Carolina’s defense is the one that has to travel on a short week. Panthers defensive coordinator Phil Snow might be seeing the ghost of the 2008 Miami Dolphins on Thursday night at NRG Stadium.

Ronnie Brown and the Dolphins started an NFL Wild Cat trend in 2008
Photo by Robert B. Stanton/NFLPhotoLibrary

The Wildcat is an offensive shotgun formation where the ball is snapped directly to a skill position player instead of a quarterback. It has been around since the invention of football and will be around long after we are all gone. It involves a lot of motion and misdirection that confuses the defense and creates mismatches. It is the triple option of the NFL. I can think of no better time to pull it off than Houston’s upcoming prime time game.

The Texans have run the Wildcat already this year, scoring the second touchdown of the season on a jet sweep to Philip Lindsay, so we know they can run it. Having said that, David Culley might’ve been joking Monday morning when he said he wants to run this package more this Thursday night—I sure hope not.

I mean, what would you rather see tomorrow night? A rookie quarterback struggle against a top NFL defense and have the Texans play a conservative game? Or play all four running backs, get a new definition to the word “physical”, and get wild on these Panthers? I know my answer. Do you know yours?