NFL REVIEW

The good, bad and ugly from Sunday's NFL action

Jordy Nelson and the Packers missed Aaron Rodgers but ran the ball well against New Orleans. Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Week seven of the NFL brought the usual excitement. However, there were moments when you’d grab your hair to pull it out, as well as moments in which you’d feel utter confusion. Here’s my personal look into week seven:

The Good

-Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay is the real deal. He’s clearly established himself as one of the best young coaches in the league. Not only has he found a way to get something out of Jared Goff, he’s managed to use Todd Gurley as an all-around back. I’m impressed so far and look forward to seeing what he can produce in the future.

-Despite their heart-breaking loss to the Oakland Raiders on Thursday night, the Kansas City Chiefs have the league leader in passing yards (Alex Smith), rushing yards (Kareem Hunt), and second leader in receiving yards (Tyreek Hill).

-Shot out to some oldies but goodies still getting it done. Most know quarterbacks Tom Brady and Drew Brees are up in age, yet still performing. But what about the Carolina Panthers’ Julius Peppers at age 37 sixth in the league with 6.5 sacks?

-Props to Jeff Heath of the Dallas Cowboys. Heath is primarily a safety. However, he’s also a former high school kicker. Heath managed kickoff duties, 2/3 PATs, and a few tackles. This was a true throwback performance to the days of two-way players.

The Bad

-For all the talk about the New Orleans Saints now four-game win streak, their defense is still a sieve. They managed to give up 181 yards rushing to the Green Bay Packers knowing Aaron Rodgers was out at quarterback.

- Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy had the most touches (115) without a touchdown through week six than any other player in the league. Unacceptable for a player of his caliber coming off the year he had last year. He managed to score twice this week. The Bills are 4-2 after narrowly escaping the Tampa bay Buccaneers, but could easily be 2-4. Getting McCoy the ball more in scoring situations could help the Bills’ chances at success this year.

-The New York Jets are ruining their chances at taking a top quarterback in next year’s draft by playing well. I know winning is the name of the game, but Josh McCown isn’t the future, neither is any other quarterback on the roster. While I’m happy to see them playing well despite obvious appearances and moves in the offseason, don’t try too hard guys or you’ll ruin your chances for a top 3-5 pick.

The Ugly

-The Indianapolis Colts are a bad football team. They lost 27-0 to the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday and gave up 10 sacks. Even if franchise quarterback Andrew Luck was playing, I highly doubt their 2-5 record would be any better.

-Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer broke his arm in the team’s 33-0 loss to the Rams. At 37, I’m not sure how much Palmer has left. With wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (34) coming to the end of the road and newly acquired Adrian Peterson (32) filling in for David Johnson, I think it’s time the Cardinals hit the reset button.

-Cleveland Browns all-pro left tackle Joe Thomas tore his tricep Sunday against the Tennessee Titans ending his 10,363 consecutive snaps played streak. I admire his loyalty to the team and the fans, but I hope this gives him the impetus to ask for a trade to a contender. He’s a first ballot Hall of Famer who deserves to play more meaningful games before he hangs it up.

One thing I’ve learned over the course of this season is that there are no for sure title contenders. Teams I thought would not be very good, (Saints, Rams, Titans/Jags) are division leaders. On the contrary, teams I thought would be contenders (Cardinals, Dallas Cowboys, Oakland Raiders), aren’t leading their divisions and may not make playoffs. The parity the league has been looking for is definitely here this season. When asked this past weekend who I thought would be title contenders this year, I said half the damn league right now! Every team .500 and above has a shot to win this year at this point in time. Over the next few weeks, we should see water find its level.

*Bonus: Tweet of the day goes to @B1ackShefter with his Cam Newton/Rollo from Good Times comparison.

The organization has also made a significant front office change

Texans promote from within for new DC as changes begin

Getty Images

A few of the Texans changes are just a sign of Bill O'Brien's increasing power.

Romeo Crennel is out

This was a move that had to be made. Despite issues with health and talent, the Texans defense was not anywhere close to good enough under Romeo Crennel. A top five points per game number in 2018 turned into the 19th best figure in football in 2019 capped off by defensive ineptitude against the Chiefs in the playoffs. The Texans were also bottom five in yards per game.

The Texans once before had Crennel leaving the defensive coordinator spot with the promotion of Mike Vrabel to defensive coordinator only to have the long-time coordinator return when Vrabel was hired by the Titans. Hopefully this move works out better than the last time as Vrabel oversaw a massive drop off in his one year at the head of the defense.

It wouldn't be unusual to expect to still see Crennel with the Texans considering the youth and inexperience as a coordinator the new team's defensive coordinator possesses.

Anthony Weaver is in

I didn't believe the Texans would turn to Anthony Weaver as their next defensive coordinator, perhaps opting for more experience, but here we are. I really enjoy this risk the Texans are taking.

Weaver is well respected across the NFL and people I have talked to mentioned they thought he might have been ready to coordinate a defense before last season. There is a thought he will be a head coach in the league eventually if his success as a position coach carries over to the coordinator job.

Weaver has been in Houston coaching the defensive line for four seasons after two seasons doing the same in Cleveland. I don't need to tell you the Texans defensive line has vastly overachieved when you think about the actual investment the team has made in it to this date. Weaver has turned player after player into contributor and has coached up D.J. Reader, a late round pick, to near the top of his position.

Weaver played under Rex Ryan when Ryan was the defensive line coach and defensive coordinator in Baltimore. He also coached under current Packers defensive coordinator Mike Pettine in Cleveland.

This is no easy task for Weaver. He takes over a side of the ball with quite a few holes to fill via either free agency, trade, or the draft. His side of the football lacks overall talent and there aren't a ton of avenues to get a talent influx for the Texans defense.

A new leader of the defense, and hopefully new direction, could be a huge move for a side of the ball that underwhelmed in 2019. Of course, they didn't underwhelm anywhere near the level of underwhelming the offense was, but there have yet to be many changes on that side of the ball.

The last time the Texans promoted from within for this position, they failed miserably that season on defense bottoming-out. The team will have to hope Weaver has different results.

Contract expert shown the door

This was a huge shocker to me from the front office side of the Texans. When I talked at length about the Texans with people around the NFL there was always a conversation about how no matter what the structure was when it came to the general manager situation the Texans could lean on Chris Olsen to make sure their contracts were lined up right.

Olsen was very well thought of around the league. Now, the Texans have one less front office mind to lean on as the non-GM situation seems to continue.

I would say though, over the past year, the Texans have handed out some very un-Olsen type deals to players. Nick Martin's contract seemed pricey. Whitney Mercilus potentially was overpaid a great deal. But there were still plenty of really good deals made in the past year.

The Texans are set to negotiate two of the biggest contracts in franchise history this offseason with the expectation quarterback Deshaun Watson and left tackle Laremy Tunsil get new deals.

For whatever reason, Bill O'Brien and Jack Easterby along with whatever other people sit on the council of decision-making have decided the contract expert was not needed. This could be because they have someone in mind for these duties but it also could mean something much bigger.

This could be a clearing so the Texans could hire a general manager. Now, I believe O'Brien would still maintain power over said GM but I also think it would take a lot off O'Brien's plate while still allowing him to work with the offense to a great degree.

O'Brien can't continue at his current pace. He was spread too thin and the team suffered for it. A general manager could take some of those duties off his hands while allowing him to get back to the offense in a more full-time capacity. Again, I believe O'Brien would remain the final decision maker on most everything, but it wouldn't hurt to have that title on someone and help the Texans top employee

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome