Signs the line is about to get right and Mercilus will stay hot off the edge

Could the offensive line be settling in for Texans?

A little Texans six pack for you on this Friday. The Texans play the Falcons on Sunday at NRG stadium.

Do your eyes deceive you?

Lookie there! The Texans are 8th overall in the advanced metric. The stats don't match the eye test right now though.

The Texans are still 31st in QB Sacked Percentage according to TeamRankings.com.

Not every hit or sack is created equal, and it isn't like Watson gets crushed every time someone gets to him. But, they add up. He still takes too many hits. There are positives though and there is a chance this improves.

ESPN's stats have Tytus Howard as the second-best tackle in football in the above metric. They have guard Max Scharping fourth in the same metric. Greg Mancz will not be back at right guard with his concussion. Zach Fulton will be back at right guard.

Laremy Tunsil has been extremely solid at left tackle since the first game as well.

There is hope the Texans figure this offensive line situation out. Atlanta is a full sack worse per game than last year's team and last year's team was putrid in rushing the passer. If the Texans can't keep Watson upright against Atlanta they may never keep him clean.

October encore?

Whitney Mercilus just came off his best four-game stretch of his entire career. The closest thing to what he did in September is the end of 2015 where he had five and a half sacks but certainly not as many forced fumbles and no interception.

This is what people thought Jadeveon Clowney could do on a regular basis. Mercilus is playing the right position and he has worked almost everyone he has come up against. This week Jake Matthews is the opponent for Mercilus. The son of Oilers legend Bruce Matthews has been decent this season checking in about average on the season according to Pro Football Foucs. He's allowed two sacks and 10 total hurries.

Mercilus is fifth in the NFL with five sacks. He has the most pass rushing snaps from the right side of a defense. This could be a solid opportunity to keep his hot start going.

Texans to honor McNair

The man who brought football back to Houston will be honored at halftime of Sunday's game. Robert C. McNair will see his name up in the Ring of Honor next to Andre Johnson. McNair has thankfully been remembered much better than some of the things he made headlines for in his final year or so.

McNair's actions spoke louder than his words and his actions said he loved Houston and his football team. It wasn't always easy for fans to get along with his patience as an owner, but there is no doubt the city of Houston is a much better place thanks to McNair.

Keke Coutee's chance to shine

Just three catches on seven targets for 18 yards. Not ideal for a player who was ready to breakout after a stop and start season last year. Coutee hasn't quite found his groove with Deshaun Watson and the time missed could be factoring into the issues.

With Kenny Stills recovering from some leg injuries Coutee could take over some of the workload at wideout. If he got clicking, and then Stills returned, the offense would be incredible. It will be interesting to see how the Texans account for Stills' absence. He and Coutee are different players so there has to be some small adjustment at least if Stills can't go.

New old guy on the block

He might be 38 but Mike Adams has gotten better with age. In fact, his best seasons came after the age of 33. It is hard to determine exactly what his role will be as the team's top three safeties are all healthy right now. It is never a bad idea to bring in reinforcements when the Falcons, Chiefs, and T.Y. Hilton coming up the next three weeks.

And I was all like Julioooooo haha

The above video was awesome until you realize Malcolm Butler and the Titans defense shutdown Julio Jones and ended his touchdown streak. Alas, he is still a monster scoring 12 touchdowns in his last 13 games and totaling up 1,182 yards.

I have no idea how the Texans plan to slow down Julio Jones. He might be too fast for Johnathan Joseph and he might be too experienced for Lonnie Johnson. Not to mention, Mohamed Sanu and Calvin Ridley are dangerous as well. Oh, and Austin Hooper can crush from the tight end spot.

This will be one of the toughest games all season for the secondary. If Romeo Crennel can't scheme something up the Texans could find themselves needing to win a shootout on Sunday.

Oh and if you don't get the reference in the title click here.

NFL Playoffs: Conference Championship

NFL Playoffs: Conference Championship good, bad and ugly

Getty Images

The NFL Conference Championship Weekend is their Final Four. You don't get the games played in the same place, but there is a buzz in both stadiums because each team knows theyarethisclose to a Super Bowl. Here are my observations:

The Good

-Chiefs' quarterback Patrick Mahomes is the real deal. We gawk at his arm strength and ability to make throws in spaces and from angles that'll challenge physics. But his athleticism and escapability are underrated. Prime example was his 27-yard touchdown run right before halftime. Not only did he evade the rush and scramble to the outside, but he tightroped along the sideline, cut back inside, then carried a couple defenders across the goalline. He led the Chiefs in rushing yards with 56.

-49ers running back Raheem Mostert has played on five different teams in his five year career. In his second stint with the 49ers, he's turned himself into an valuable piece of that offense. Although they use a stable of backs, it was Mostert who set a new team postseason rushing record with 196 yards and there was still almost 20 minutes of football left to play!

-We will have a great matchup of coaches in the Super Bowl. Head Coaches/Playcallers: Chiefs' Andy Reid vs 49er's Kyle Shanahan; defensive coordinators: Chiefs' Steve Spagnuolo vs 49er's Robert Saleh. The meeting of the minds with two weeks to prepare should give us a good game. Key word: should. Please guys, no blowouts.

The Bad

-Derrick Henry was dubbed "King Henry" after his recent rushing performances. He was unceremoniously removed from his throne by the Chiefs' defense. 69 yards on 19 carries and a touchdown with a long run of 13 backed up the tough talk from Chiefs' defensive end Frank Clark who said earlier in the week leading up to the game that Henry wasn't hard to tackle.

-Packers' quarterback Aaron Rodgers looked a little off. He missed a few key throws, including an interception that ended any hope they had of coming back because it led to the 49ers having a short field and going up by four scores instead of the Packers being down by two scores. It was a minute before halftime, but the way the 49ers were running the ball, that pick was a backbreaker.

-The NFL fined Chiefs' offensive lineman Eric Fisher $14,037 for an unsportsmanlike conduct for his double-fist beer touchdown celebration during last week's win over the Texans. I thought they turned the corner when they started allowing more touchdown celebrations. So let me get this straight: you can choreograph a dance routine with the whole team, but can't pretend to chug beer from a league sponsor? Talk about hypocrisy.

The Ugly

-With the score 28-17 Chiefs with 7:44 left in the game, 3rd&6 on the Chiefs' 40-yard line. Titans' corner Tramaine Brock Sr. fell down and was called for a holding penalty on Sammy Watkins as he was falling. The worst part of that play: Watkins broke open and Mahomes found him for a 60-yard touchdown. Later when they were down by 11 with 3:59 left, Brock was called for a 41-yard pass interference on 3rd&10 with the Chiefs on their own 19-yard line. Those plays sealed the deal for the Titans.

-49ers running back Tevin Coleman was carted off the field in the 2nd quarter with an injury to his right elbow. An arm injury must be pretty damn bad if you're carted off. Thoughts and prayers to the running back I thought the Texans should've signed. Major props to him wanting to come back to the sidelines to be with his teammates wearing a sling.

-The 49ers outrushed the Packers 185 to 51...IN THE FIRST HALF! They were up 27-0 and had "only" passed for 40 yards. That's all they needed since the Packers couldn't stop the run. Mind you, they ran the ball 22 times to get the 185 yards. Packers defense looked like wet brown grocery bags trying to hold two gallons of milk.

And then there were two. Through all the strife and struggle, we have our Super Bowl 54 will be a matchup of arguably the best on their respective sides of the ball: 49ers and their defense vs the Chiefs high octane offense. However, don't sleep on the 49ers' ability to score, or how well the Chiefs' defense has been playing as of late. Ultimately, I have the sads. We only have one meaningful football game left. Hopefully the 49ers and Chiefs give us something to talk about. I won't mind seeing a 24-21 or 31-27 game. As long as we don't get a multiple score blowout, I'm good. Props to the Titans and Packers for putting up a good fight. It just wasn't good enough. From 32 to two. And there will only be one.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome