Three headlines, two questions, and one bet after the late loss to the Saints

Colvin's rough day highlighted in loss

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Happy to be at the Watson magic show

Deshaun Watson was amazing on Monday night. Not much else can be said. He survived another poor performance from the offensive line, he escaped far more pressure, and he made big throw after big throw.

"He's a very instinctive, great player, plays with poise, always looking to improve, and he's a winner," said head coach Bill O'Brien. "I think that's what I was saying after the game and that's what I told our team."

Watson is a little banged up according to O'Brien but it isn't anything too serious. He said it was "normal bumps and bruises" for his star quarterback.

Watson added another bump and bruise in all likelihood on his big strike to Kenny Stills. O'Brien praised him for his toughness in that moment.

"To hang in there and take a hit and to deliver that ball with the accuracy that he delivered it – that one play kind of says it all about the guy."

Watson's potential is through the roof for the Texans right now.

Running back duo impresses in debut

I have to be honest, I didn't expect much out of Carlos Hyde. He was on his fourth team in less than a year and his stats that matter have been just dropping and dropping over the past few seasons.

That ain't the Carlos Hyde who played in New Orleans last night. He had plenty of juice and took care of business.

Hyde and his running buddy Duke Johnson combined for 140 yards on the ground on 19 carries. That's 7.3 yards per carry. They don't have to be that but the running game can be effective especially as the line continues to gel going forward.

Howard and Coutee almost ready

Tytus Howard and Keke Coutee didn't play on Monday but they were close to playing.

Bill O'Brien said both players were very close and "there's a chance" both will be playing on Sunday when the Jaguars come to town.

Where was Watt?

No tackle. No sack. Not even a quarterback hurry.

Ryan Ramczyk won handily against Watt on the right side of the Saints line. He graded out as the second best tackle in the opening weekend on NFL action with the majority of his work coming against Watt.

Bill O'Brien made it clear Watt is an impact player even if the box score doesn't show it.

"So, I think that they did a good job," O'Brien said. "Give them credit, but I also think that he still impacted the game. I know that he didn't show up on the stat sheet, because we're all so used to him showing up on the stat sheet because of what just a great football player he is, but that doesn't mean he didn't impact the game."

The natural idea is Jadeveon Clowney could have helped and we'd all be foolish to not think that is the case. Clowney, however, is a Seahawks defensive player and not on the Texans. Houston needs some help and in a hurry from the pass rush standpoint. Yes, Drew Brees gets the ball out quick and rarely gets sacks, but there has to be some success up front. The players added in the Clowney trade need to figure out how to help fast.

Can Aaron Colvin bounce back?

Aaron Colvin gave up too much space on the last offensive play for the Saints and he gave up too much other stuff as well. He was picked on all night by Drew Brees.

Pro Football Focus had Colvin down for allowing eight of nine completions for 117 yards and a touchdown. The one that wasn't a completion was a drop.

Colvin has to be better if he is going to be the slot option on this team. He hasn't flashed any of his success from his time in Jacksonville. There may not be better option on this team right now for the slot so Colvin and the Texans have no choice but for him to bounce back.

UPDATE: Colvin was cut by the Texans Tuesday

I bet Gardner Minshew is going to have a tough time this weekend

Despite being upset with Romeo Crennel and his defense, the longtime defensive coordinator is stellar against rookie quarterbacks.

Last year Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen struggled while Sam Darnold, who was one of the best quarterbacks late in the year, succeeded against the Texans defense. Crennel should have plenty dialed up for the Jaguars new starting rookie.

Minshew will be getting the ball out quick. He made some big plays in defeat when he came in for Foles. This won't be a cake walk but history should stay on the Texans side.

Deshaun Watson had an up and down day. Tim Warner/Getty Images

So what does Bill O'Brien have in store for a Sunday encore in the clock management follies department? All's well that ends well for the Texans if another Billy Botch episode comes with another win. Get it and home games vs. the Panthers and Falcons make 4-1 a very legit possibility.

The Texans have a good shot to get the win in Los Angeles Sunday. They may have half the crowd rooting for them. The Chargers have the lamest homefield advantage in the NFL. L.A. has largely yawned at them since their move up the coast from San Diego. In their home opener the Chargers couldn't sell out the 27,000 seat soccer stadium serving as their temporary facility. Next season they move into the monument of wow and greed they'll share with the Rams. That place will hold about 70,000.

On the field it's a big game for the also 1-1 Chargers if they hope to hang with Kansas City in the AFC West race. The Chargers' three following games are at the joke Dolphins, then home vs. the not good Broncos and the Roethlisberger-less Steelers.

For the Texans, one major subplot is a constant. How porous will the offensive line be? Deshaun Watson has been sacked 10 times over the first two games. The Chargers have one of the NFL's better pass rushing duos in Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. If the Texans can protect, opportunity knocks for big plays downfield with the Chargers down both of their starting safeties. Rookie All-Pro Derwin James is on injured reserve recovering from a broken foot, Adrian Phillips broke an arm last Sunday at Detroit.

Warm California sun

So if you were 300 strikeout man Gerrit Cole, what would you be thinking about re: 2020 and beyond? I mean after next month ideally helping the Astros win the World Series. And if you are the Astros what are you thinking?

In his two Astro seasons Cole has been tremendous. The ballclub is tremendous, and if Cole re-signs it that much more figures to stay tremendous for at least another couple of seasons. But Gerrit Cole is to become the most highly coveted free agent on the market. The low end of what he should be able to command is probably in the six years 150 million range. Heck, he could get seven years 250 million.

Next year the Astros payroll is set to soar into competitive balance tax territory. Meaning, in addition to the payroll itself, the Astros are looking at paying millions in penalties if they pay up to keep Cole. To counter that the Astros certainly could pivot and trade Zack Greinke. They basically will be open to giving away Josh Reddick and the 13 million he'll make in the final year of his contract.

Maybe Jim Crane and his partners say this is such a special era, we'll forego huge chunks of profits to keep this core together. That would be fantastic, but drawing a line on how far they'll go to keep Cole would not be miserly. Long term megadollar pitching contracts carry large risks. Cole turns 30 next season.

Cole grew up in Southern California. His wife too. It's where they live in the offseason. He went to high school under five miles from Angels Stadium and grew up an Angels fan. The Angels have a desperate need for starting pitching. Even with Cole though, the Angels can't essentially promise perennial contender status. But the Dodgers can, every bit as much as the Astros, and the Dodgers have much deeper pockets. If the Coles want to spend the rest of Gerrit's prime pitching years living year-round back home in SoCal, no one should take offense. Still, if the Astros’ bid is competitive when factoring in income tax rates, proven comfort level with the team, air conditioned comfort for home games…

Big weekend for Aggies

Better college football schedule this week after the garbage card of a week ago. The biggest game nationally is seventh ranked Notre Dame at number three Georgia. Big game for Texas A&M vs. Auburn at Kyle Field Saturday. The 17th ranked Aggies are three and a half point favorites over the eighth ranked team in the nation. A hard fought loss wouldn't be shameful, but would mean that with games yet to come vs. Alabama, at Georgia, and at LSU, the Ags would have to pull off at least one upset to finish better than 7-5. 75 million dollars to lure Jimbo Fisher were not spent to yield any 7-5 seasons.

Buzzer Beaters:

1. Major Applewhite would have coached the Cougars to a 1-3 start much more economically for UH than Dana Holgorsen has. 2. The Tulane Green Wave wearing powder blue uniforms is just as dopey as the St. John's Red Storm and Duke Blue Devils wearing black. 3. Names that Houstonians should rule out for daughters: Bronze-Imelda Silver-Allison Gold-Alicia

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