JERMAINE EVERY'S OBSERVATIONS

The good, bad and ugly from the Texans win over the Browns

Deshaun Watson (right) threw a nice TD pass to Jordan Thomas. Bob Levey/Getty images

The Texans bullied the Browns en route to their ninth consecutive win. Here’s how I saw the 29-13 win:

The Good

-Deshaun Watson made some really nice touch passes. One to tight end Jordan Thomas for a touchdown particularly stood out. The pass had to get over the underneath coverage, but deep enough for Thomas to make the catch without the safety drifting over to help. Did I mention it was on a play action rollout?

-Zach Cunningham made a couple unbelievable plays in pass coverage. He played the pass lane in zone and broke up one pass on a third down, and then he intercepted a pass by playing the pass lane and returned it for a touchdown. Plays like these, and his sideline to sideline speed

-Justin Reid is the real deal. He had a forced fumble to take away a for sure touchdown. A lot is said of his playmaking ability, but he can hit as well. In the fourth quarter with the game decided, the Texans were in cover two to keep everything underneath. Reid nearly decapitated Jarvis Landry when he ran from the hash mark to the sideline to make the play.

The Bad

-Kareem Jackson got called for a 47-yard pass interference penalty on a deep ball that may not have been catchable. He tackled Antonio Callaway and the ball fell about four to five yards in front of them. That could have led to points had Jonathan Joseph not picked off Baker Mayfield two plays later.

-Jabrill Peppers shot through the B gap (between the offensive tackle and guard) on a blitz and Lamar Miller whiffed on the block. That could’ve gotten Watson hit cleanly had he not side-stepped Peppers and ran for a first down. As good as Miller has run the ball, his pass protection lacked severely on this play.

-In the first half, the defense picked off Baker Mayfield three times and held the Browns to 46 yards passing. They gave up 351 in the second half and didn’t record a sack.

The Ugly

-Browns defensive end Myles Garrett sacked Watson on their opening drive and pulled him down via a horse collar tackle. The penalty wasn’t called because Watson was in the pocket. This is a very rare instance in which the quarterback isn’t protected. It looked worse than what it was and could have been scary given Watson’s history with knee injuries.

-Watson continues to unnecessarily extend plays and get himself hit. This will come back to haunt him one day if he continues to do so. It’s one thing to extend plays by moving around, but doing so by risking your health is dumb. Don’t be dumb.

-Offensive line depth is a problem. Only dressing seven guys and having two of them get hurt in multiple games this year isn’t good. That is not how you want to go into the playoff run. This is the second time in three games it has happened. While it’s too late to make a trade or getting a 300 pounder of his couch, maybe practice squad garage sale shopping can be an option.

Bonus

-Andre Hal made a great play to intercept a pass in the first half. His Tony Toe Tap pick took points off the board as he picked off the pass in the end zone. To come back from cancer to play at a high level in the same year is unbelievable.

Great all-around game by the Texans. There’s still work to do. Offensive line depth, Watson screwing around extending plays, and defensive brain farts are all issues. The run game is going strong. Despite some bumps along the road, 9-3 with a three game division lead is pretty sweet.

 

Cheerleaders are supposed to be hot. Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

In this age of safe spaces and emotional support animals I understand the plight of the modern day cheerleader and power dancer. They shouldn't have to hear hurtful words.

Longtime Texans cheerleader director Alto Gary was accused of calling her cheerleaders crack whores and porn stars when they wore too much makeup. This week a MIlwaukee Bucks cheerleader said she was locked in a dark closet and had to endure jiggle tests and fat grabbing.

These methods are probably unnecessary. Are they lawsuit worthy? That's for smarter people to decide. The Bucks did settle a suit for $250,000 because they underpaid their cheerleaders. That's something I can get behind. But that's arguable as well.

Exactly what are we looking for in our cheerleaders as 2018 comes to a close?

There are two main priorities in the cheer game: looks and dance-ability. We've gotten away from the gymnastics aspect. In high school competition it's still important but in the pro game we've gone to more synchronized dancing.

What we haven't gotten away from is how important it is to look good. As politically incorrect as that might be, it isn't going away anytime soon, maybe ever. We want our cheerleaders to look good. Sorry. Call me a neanderthal. Political correctness will never overcome a guy's pentiant to look at pretty girls. It just won't.

What we have here is the issue of how the cheerleaders are being treated and paid. Are the hurtful words necessary? No. But guess what. Stuff happens when livelihoods are on the line. You know what coaches call their players when they gain weight and get out of shape? You don't want to know. It's ugly. Body shaming? You bet. Happens every day in locker rooms all across the country at every level.

Some coaches are just mean and will pick at any inadequacy. Others use it as a motivational tactic. Who wants to be shamed publicly? No one but if I stay in shape I won't catch the coach's wrath so I stay in shape.

Let me make this perfectly clear though. I am anti-eating disorder. I like a little meat on the bones. That cheerleaders have to be Victoria Secret models is a thing of the past. Nothing wrong with some muffin tops in my book. I would be a great cheerleader director. After practice we'd order a few pizzas.

I'd be the only one who would do that but OK. Maybe I would change the game. Probably not but maybe.

As far as the inferior pay goes, I'm not sure that will change anytime soon. I don't want to be mean but let's be real. Cheerleaders are part of the game. They are not the game. Unless you are extremely perverted (and there are much better ways to get your perv on) the only people that are there just for the cheerleaders are their family and boyfriends/husbands.

The players are the product and they're expensive. Periphery attractions have to be affordable or the business plan doesn't work. Cheerleaders can and should make more than the miserly owners have been paying them but they're never going to get rich cheering. They're just not.

My cousin was a Honey Bear back in the day. She didn't make squat but she loved what she did and no one can ever take that away from her. There's a certain pride that goes along with it, not only for her but for the whole family. My cousin was hot enough to be a Bear's cheerleader. None of my friends had family that hot. I lauded that over them.

Let's not relent to political correctness on this. We just can't. Should directors lock cheerleaders in closets? Grab their fat? Wrap them in cellophane? Probably not. Should they at least make minimum wage and maybe more? Sure.

But we can't lower our hotness standards. They have to be smokin' hot and dance well.

I want my mechanic to know engines and fix my problem. I want my doctor to diagnose and cure my ills. I want my pilot to take off and land without incident and I want my cheerleaders and/or power dancers to be hot and dance well. That's the job. Period.

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