Can Hilton get the Texans again and can the Colts slow down Hopkins?

Hilton, Desir's health big keys in game with Colts

www.colts.com

The Friday Stoots Six-Pack is here for you. Crack it open.

Watson learning from Verlander

Among the things in this amazing Deshaun Watson article is his relationship with Astros star pitcher Justin Verlander.

QB1 taking plenty of cues from SP1.

They eat dinner and watch film together and Watson has tried to learn from Verlander's calm.

Watson's demeanor is evident. The joy is short. The failure even shorter on his memory. He might be getting ready for the Colts but he will be watching his buddy try to close out the Yankees for sure.

Red zone resurgence

Last year the Texans ranked 29th in the NFL with about 50 percent of their red zone looks going for touchdowns. This year the Texans are the best in football with almost 72 percent of red zone possessions going for six.

This. Is. Incredible. Huge credit to Bill O'Brien and Deshaun Watson for getting on the same page.

Not only is it better, it looks EASY sometimes. They are really in a groove.

Oh, and by the way, Colts offense is smack dab in the middle in the same stat. Their defense? 30th in the NFL. It is a GREAT matchup for the Texans this week. Just have to get into the red zone.

Hopkins stopper out of commission?

Pierre Desir didn't practice on Thursday. His status for Sunday is up in the air with a hamstring injury.

Last year in three games with the Colts against the Texans Desir allowed six catches on 12 targets for 99 yards. He intercepted the above ball and added two pass breakups. Now, it is worth noting Hopkins was banged up in the second and third showdown. Now, it seems Desir is hurt.

If he cant go, along with fellow secondary member Kenny Moore and pass rusher Justin Houston, the Colts might be in trouble from a talent standpoint in slowing down the Texans passing attack.

Halloween Hilton is as scary as can be

Eugene Marquis "T. Y." Hilton has been an absolute terror for the Texans to cover in his career. Now, lets point out a lot of this was with Andrew Luck tossing him the ball.

In 2017 Jacoby Brissett was the quarterback throwing him the ball. One of the best games, the 5-175-2 game, was with Brissett tossing him the ball.

Regardless, he's a monster. He can change the game. He has had great games with Johnathan Joseph guarding him and it would seem if Bradley Roby can't go it would be Joseph on Hilton again.

Hilton could be a big key if the Colts get the ground game going too. If Marlon Mack is forcing the defense to creep up, it will be much easier for Hilton to creep up. If the front seven can slow Mack without safety help, that leaves a little more help for Hilton.

Last stand for the right leg?

Ka'imi Fairbairn hasn't been solid this season. He needs to be better. There has been a lot of speculation new holder Bryan Anger has been part of the issue. It is worth noting a penalty wiped out a earlier Fairbairn miss in the Saints game in the first week of the season.

I spoke with former NFL kicker Nick "Nick the Kick" Lowery this week. He didn't seem to think the conversation around the laces was that important to the situation.

"That's overrated," he said. "It does help to not kick the laces, but it's not a reason to miss. If it's a long field goal, it might take a little bit of distance off. It really doesn't take accuracy off if you keep your form."

That's just one kicker but it is interesting the more you read the less the laces feel in the level of importance. Not that it isn't important, but the less and less they are important.

Just watch this

Awesome. I knew some of things already but a great telling of an amazing story and where Hopkins comes from.

Kevin C Cox/Getty Images

We all love football, especially the NFL. There is a reason it is the most popular sport in the country.

The other sports leagues need gimmicks. Baseball is weighing a really dumb playoff plan. The NBA looked at a possible tournament. Anything to try to be more relevant, to try to close the gap on the NFL.

So why is the one sport with the best postseason thinking about messing it up?

Last week, a report came out that the NFL was looking to add two more playoff teams for the 2021 season. Essentially, each league would have seven playoff teams. There would be byes for the top team in each conference. The second-best team would no longer get a bye. Last season, in the AFC, the Ravens would have had a bye. The Texans would have still faced the Bills, and the Patriots would have also faced the Titans. The Chiefs would have hosted the 8-8 Steelers.

In the NFC, San Francisco would have had the bye. The Saints would have played the Vikings, the Eagles would have faced the Seahawks and the Packers would have hosted the Rams. The results likely would have played out the same.

But did we really need to see a Steelers team with no quarterback? Are the extra games worth it?

On the surface, yes. more meaningful games. More to bet on. Could that really be a bad thing?

Yes. One of the things that makes the NFL unique is that it is not easy to make the playoffs. Basketball and hockey let in half the league or more. Letting in more than 12 out of 32 waters things down. Can the playoffs really improve by adding less quality?

The NFL already has it right. Why change it? More money? More teams staying in the race later in the season?

The NFL barely had enough quality teams last season. The playoffs featured upsets, including the Titans knocking off New England and Baltimore. In the end, we got two quality teams in the Super Bowl. Why mess with it?

Greed. Better TV deals. It is just two games, but that's two more high-profile TV games to sell.

Sometimes, sports leagues can outthink themselves. In this case, the NFL does not need to change. Why mess with something that is working? The NFL playoffs don't need improving. Is that Chiefs-Steelers matchup really worth it? Teams like the Colts, Jets, Broncos and Raiders would have been in the playoff mix until near the end of the season. On the surface, this all sounds great.

But at the risk of sounding like "get off my lawn" guy, sometimes the old ways are the best. The NFL has not changed its playoff format in 30 years. During that time, the sport has seen unprecedented growth and become the dominant sports league in America.

Why change what works just to add more money to a multi-billion dollar industry? Why reward more mediocrity in a league that welcomes too much of it as it is?

The playoff expansion appears inevitable, so complaining will do little good. Still, it is a bad idea. Messing with a playoff format that works can go two ways; it could improve the product, but the more likely result is more bad teams, and more mismatches.

At least it guarantees Bill O'Brien stays employed forever, as the 9-7 train will likely get you to the playoffs from here on out.

That is not a good thing, and this is a change that will not be for the better.

Messing with something that has worked for 30 years is a bad decision. But the NFL will make more money, and two average teams will get a chance to get rolled in the first round.

What could possibly go wrong?


SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome