CODY STOOTS

The Friday Stoots 6-pack for Week 5

J.J. Watt will have a tough test this week. Bobby Ellis/Getty Images

1. Can my buddy Patrick Mahomes do it again or can he do it again? When it looked like Denver had him bottled up he unleashed "Showtime" Mahomes on them in short order leading a road comeback. The Jacksonville Jaguars come to town as the toughest test quarter-pole MVP has faced. This is a potential AFC playoff preview and Andy Reid will have to coach up his young quarterback to avoid the deadly pitfalls a Jaguars defense presents. If they can't slow Mahomes down the question will be, who can?

2. The Falcons and Steelers have to be near the top of the early season disappointment list and they square off with each other Sunday. One of these high-powered offenses is going to leave this game with one win. That seems crazy when both were easily thought of as playoff contenders and the Steelers Super Bowl contenders. The Falcons have excuses in injuries destroying their defense. The Steelers have fewer excuses, James Conner has filled in admirably for Le'Veon Bell and their defense returns a ton of the players that made them good last year. Both coaches should be staring down the hot seat if this early season dip continues. 

3. Stop me if you've heard this before but the Patriots are loaded again. Tom Brady looks deadset on fighting Father Time to the death and now the Patriots have a piece of the puzzle they've been missing, a hammer. Sony Michel is the first guy in a long time they can turn to over and over again and at any moment have him break a big one but hold up between the tackles. James White is as dangerous as ever. Josh Gordon is coming along nicely as well. Julian Edelman is back from suspension and they still have Chris Hogan and Gronk. The defense stinks, maybe one of the worst they've put on the field recently, but their offense is as good as ever. 

4. I know Ezekiel Elliot is the big target on the Cowboys. The Colts though just tore up the Texans defense with a few guys you've never heard of so I am a little worried about one Dallas player having a big day. Cole Beasley is the slot king of South Oklahoma and he's far better than any Colts receiver that isn't T.Y. Hilton. His craftiness and ability will be on full display Sunday night. So, while Elliot grabs attention don't forget about the short-game superstar Beasley. 

5. The AFC Defensive Player of the Month J.J. Watt and AFC Defensive Player of the Week Jadeveon Clowney have a tough task this week. Their toughest, actually. Watt spent a month eating up backup tackles who frankly aren't La'el Collins. Tyron Smith, despite recent bouts of injuries, is still a top tackle in the game. Where they will have to show up against the Texans award-winning duo is slowing down Watt and Clowney in the rush game. Both absolutely wreck the rushing attack of an offense and if Elliot can't get going the Cowboys will have no hope Sunday night. 

6. Sunday Night Football last year was an absolute nightmare for the Texans. Against the Chiefs, the team lost Whitney Mercilus for the year and J.J. Watt broke his leg, looking the most human he has ever looked. The big bright spot was, as usual in 2017, Deshaun Watson. It was a terribly slow start as the whole franchise was in shock during the first half. Watson warmed up in the second half. He tossed four touchdowns and made the final score look respectable. It was underwhelming to see what the offense did with a lead last week. They should've put the Colts away. Hopefully, the Texans don't need second-half heroics from Watson on this year's Sunday night affair. It would be great to see the offense get a lead, really get a team down, and bury them. No better opponent than the Cowboys. 

Could next season be the one for Watson? A few have done it before in year four

Watson could join elite company with Super Bowl run in fourth season

Deshaun Watson was magical in the win. Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

The Countdown to "Mahomes Magic" vying for Lombardi's Prize is rapidly approaching. His arrival and amazing ascension to becoming the "face" of the NFL has been meteoric in nature. So the obvious question for us in Houston, is "how" can Deshaun Watson next year land on center stage representing the AFC at next year's Super Bowl at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa? For Deshaun, he'll be entering his fourth NFL season. Have no fear Texans fans, there have been a handful of quarterbacks who have won an NFL Title in their fourth campaigns.

January 12th, 1969 - Joe Namath

​Joe Namath in his 4th season, was an 18 point underdog, led the Jets to one of the games biggest upsets, beating the heavily favored Colts by a score of 16-7. What made this even more remarkable, was that the Colts in the previous round had defeated the Cleveland Browns by a score of 34-0. Namath was not "amazing" that day, completing 17 of 28 passes for a mere 206 yards, but it was "enough" to claim MVP honors at the Miami Orange Bowl. The Jets failed to defend their title the following year, eventually losing to Hank Stram's Cheifs in Super Bowl IV. (The last time Kansas City appeared in a Super Bowl contest)

January 26th, 1986 - Jim McMahon

​Jim McMahon "The Punky QB" aided with Buddy Ryan's famed 46 Defense, and a the league's #1 rushing attack, trounced the New England Patroits in his 4th NFL Season by a score of 46-10. A late hit by Charles Martin during the 86' Regular Season resulted in a separated shoulder, placing Mad Mac on the shelf, and essentially ending the Bears quest for a repeat.

February 3rd, 2008 - Eli Manning

Similar to Namath and the Jets upset in 69', this game is regarded as one of the greatest upsets in NFL History. New England was installed as a -12 point favorite on this day and were chasing perfection, having completed a perfect regular season, and post season. Eli Manning in his fourth year pulled off the miracle, as the Giants were merely a wildcard entry into the playoffs. Prior to this upset, a NFC Wildcard had never captured a Super Bowl Title. Eli threw for 255 yards, and a pair of touchdowns, the most memorable coming in the final moments when David Tyree made the remarkable "helmet catch" in a 17-14 upset victory.

So Houston, fear not !!! A QB can take a franchise to Super Bowl Glory in his 4th season!!!! Or in the case of Patrick Mahomes, possibly as early as a third!

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