CODY STOOTS

The Friday Stoots NFL 6 pack

Will Fuller is a threat when on the field. Photo by Edward Clarke

Six things headed into the weekend to ponder about the NFL. Drink it in. 

1. How about Baker Mayfield playing hero in the third game of the season for the Browns. I love Mayfield. He's a baller and I believe he will be very good in the league. He can put it where he wants it with ease and as soon as the coaching gets better around him Cleveland will have a dangerous weapon. Think about the AFC at the quarterback position right now. It's incredible. 13 of the 16 teams have their franchise guy or future franchise guy. (Miami, Jacksonville, and Denver in case you were wondering.)

2. The Kansas City Chiefs have the hardest task of any undefeated team trying to stay unbeaten. While they are at home, the 49ers are coming to town. The Chiefs have allowed almost 900 yards passing in two games but thanks to Patrick (Insert Nickname Here) Mahomes and his 10 touchdowns they're 2-0. I imagine Jimmy Garoppolo and Kyle Shanahan will have plenty cooked up for a putrid Chiefs defense. 

3. Ryan Fitzpatrick has been one of the best stories in the early part of the NFL season. FitzMagic has the Buccaneers off to their best start since 2010 despite being a 35-year-old journeyman who seemed to be placeholding Jameis Winston's spot. The NFL doesn't usually have happy endings and stellar stories like his rarely last. The Steelers are desperate and aren't that different from the 2017 team which finished fifth in total defense. Magic isn't real and Monday, unfortunately, FitzMagic comes to an end as well. 

4. Will Fuller's return can't be understated. He's a potential star at the wideout position and is a far more complete pass catcher than many thought he could be in the NFL. Eli Apple is the Giants starting corner opposite Janoris Jenkins and he hasn't practiced. With Apple out, it could be backups on Fuller meaning another huge day for him. 

5. The Giants allowed six sacks on Sunday against the Cowboys and have allowed eight this season. Dallas didn't have to send much pressure to get some of those sacks either. The Texans have only allowed one less sack and also have put Watson in danger plenty. Each team has underperformed rushing the passer with the Giants having one lone sack and the Texans just three. When there is so much underperforming someone is bound to impress Sunday. 

 

6. The Texans and the Giants both desperately need a win. Just 2.9 percent of the teams who start 0-3 have ever made it to the postseason. The last time a 0-3 team made the playoffs was the 1998 Buffalo Bills. They were one of five teams to ever do it. None of those teams played for a conference championship. If the Texans have designs on a successful season avoiding the bad part of history is in their best interest. 

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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