Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images
3 Headline, 2 Questions, and 1 Bet ahead of the last road game of the regular season for the Texans.
Basically AFC South champsBill O'Brien doesn't hold back with reporters
The Texans basically secured the AFC South and the fourth spot in the AFC side of the playoffs with their Sunday win. The Titans can even the season record but Houston has a stranglehold on tiebreakers even if the Titans take care of their business.
The Texans would have to lose to Tampa Bay and then lose to the Titans and then they'd be in danger of losing their playoff spot altogether.
So, essentially, the Texans will again be AFC South champs short of a massive failure at multiple levels.
That will mark O'Brien's fourth AFC South championship in six years at the helm of the organization. Since he was hired in 2014, he will have made the playoffs more than John Harbaugh and Mike Zimmer. He could have the same amount of first place finishes as Jason Garrett should the Cowboys hold onto the NFC East crown.
I say all that to say this: It doesn't matter if he doesn't win in the playoffs. Period. It is time for the Texans to win playoff games, plural. They also need to take care of their business these final two weeks should the Chiefs slip up and open up the three seed for them.
Film room pays off
Film Study makes the difference!! https://t.co/3v8yfyiYCl— Justin Reid (@jreid_viii) December 16, 2019
Justin Reid on Sunday. Bradley Roby against the Patriots with an interception. Both touted they saw those plays coming on film the week leading up to the game.
Bill O'Brien downplayed the frequency of film helping noting the looks have to sometimes be right but he did tout his team's preparedness when it comes to studying film.
I will say this, when the Texans are on, they're on. The Titans had been scoring like crazy before the game against Houston and the Texans held them scoreless in the first half and to just 21 for the game. Outside of two final Patriots drive the defense did a good job again. Hopefully the film success continues for the Texans.
Ridiculous throw from Watson to Hopkins on PA. pic.twitter.com/B9ySIuKcCe— Rivers McCown (@riversmccown) December 15, 2019
DeAndre Hopkins was a monster in the clutch. In the fourth quarter he had four catches for 98 yards. The four catches went for 25 yards, 35 yards twice, and three yards. Up to that point he had just two catches for 21 yards.
Hopkins finds a way to get open in key moments and it seems like earlier Watson either missed him or really shied away from the heavy coverage. Obviously Hopkins and Fuller's return led to the open looks for Kenny Stills in the first half. Hopkins was the catalyst for the two scoring drives in the fourth. He is sensational.
How about Hyde?
Carlos Hyde : 26 carries for 104 yards & a TD (Over 1,000 yards rushing on the season) pic.twitter.com/Bng7LXPjzo— Lee Harvey (@AyeThatsLee) December 15, 2019
He's a thousand yard rusher for the first time in his career. He's fit better for this offense and what Bill O'Brien wants in a back than anyone else in their time in my opinion. Really nice addition by the front office when they were in dire need of a player of Hyde's skill set.
Can Watt come back?
Bill O'Brien didn't rule it out.
"J.J. (Watt) is working very very hard. He's certainly made progress based on his work ethic and who he's working with in the training room. We will see how it goes."
That certainly isn't a no. Not a resounding yes either. Watt would likely need to practice some in the regular season so if it was going to be the case for him to return we may know shortly.
Meanwhile, T.J. Watt is close to replicating the production from his brother's first few seasons and big brother couldn't be happier as seen above.
I bet the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are about out of steam
Chris Godwin left the Buccaneers win over the Lions with a hamstring injury. That comes one week after Mike Evans had his season ended via a hamstring as well. That leaves Tampa Bay without their top two pass catchers and their only players with over 500 yards receiving. Breshad Perriman just had his best game with the Buccaneers but he's now the number one basically with the injuries.
Jameis Winston leads the league in passing yards and is second in touchdowns but leads the league in interceptions by a wide margin. I have to imagine the turnovers will come when he doesn't have two premier wideouts to get the ball to on Saturday. Especially when Tampa could need to throw the ball a ton if they get behind.
Tampa has done a great job this season fighting to seven wins. The Texans have more than enough to make sure they don't get to eight this week.
The Houston Texans may not have come away with a victory over the Jags on Sunday, but they did come away with a ringing endorsement from Skip Bayless.
While that may scare some people reading this, he does make some good points. His two main reasons for backing the Texans over Jacksonville should be no surprise. DeMeco Ryans and CJ Stroud.
Skip loves DeMeco's demeanor on the sideline and how he appears in total control of his team. And with CJ, Skip can't remember a quarterback with this much poise in his rookie season. His ability to use his legs and make accurate throws is something he's never seen. He already looks like a player 10 years into his career.
Plus, Skip says he felt like Stroud outplayed Lawrence even in the loss. Which led him to look up their QBR scores from the game. And sure enough, Stroud had a higher score.
Be sure to watch the video above as the guys discuss Houston's playoff chances, why free agents will want to come to the Texans, and Richard Sherman shares some inside information on DeMeco Ryans.
If you want to jump ahead to Skip's Texans praise, simply hit play on the video below.