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.

Bears 31, Cowboys 24

Cowboys vs Bears: Good, bad and ugly

Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

In a must win game, the Cowboys did the unthinkable. They lost to a team with a quarterback who may not even be a starter next year. The game on paper didn't look bad, for the Cowboys only lost by seven points. But the game was dominated by the Bears after the Cowboys scored their opening touchdown. This was very similar to their game against Buffalo last Thursday. The Cowboys started hot then faded into obscurity as the game progressed.

The Good

- Ezekiel Elliott was once again the best player on the Cowboys offense. Sure Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup were able to each acquire 6 catches for 83 yards and 109 yards respectively, but most of their receptions came in garbage time when the Bears where playing a prevent defense, Elliot on the other hand was doing his best to carry the Cowboys offensively. He gained 81 yards on 19 carries and scored two touchdowns. However, his efforts weren't enough, for the Cowboys offense looked stagnant when Elliott wasn't being fed the ball.

- Just like last week, the Cowboys offense did not get off to a slow start. On their opening drive, the boys looked like they had game planed properly for the Bears' defense, and Dak Prescott was able to march down the field with ease. This lead to a touchdown run by Elliott and gave the Cowboys a quick 7-0 lead. After this drive though it's as if Prescott and the Cowboys couldn't get first downs or convert simple offensive plays. The defense was able to pitch a shutout until garbage time in the 4th quarter.

- The Cowboys' defense was not great either giving up 31 points to the Bears. However, the one Cowboy who could not be blamed on defense was Jaylon Smith. He was second on the team with 8 tackles and had two miraculous stops in the end zone to prevent the bears from scoring a touchdown twice. He has become the leader of the Cowboys defense and plays his heart out every game. He has stepped up the most since Leighton Vander Esh's injury, and Jerry Jones is starting to look like a smart man for giving Smith his extension.

The bad

- Do not let Prescott's numbers fool you. Most of his completions came in the 4th quarter with the Bears playing prevent defense. Prescott looked great in the opening drive, but afterwards looked as though he couldn't quarterback to save his life. Just like last week when the Cowboys played the Bills, Prescott and the Cowboys looked atrocious after their initial score. Prescott went 1-9 after their first touchdown and did not look good until the 4th quarter. Troy Aikman said it best when he exclaimed that Prescott's numbers were "fake stats." His numbers suggest he had a good not great game, but to those who watched the game know Prescott had a Blake Bortles like game in which he didn't accumulate good QB numbers until garbage time. This is three subpar games in a row for Prescott, and if he is not careful, he can kiss that long-term extension good bye.

- Brett Maher wasn't terrible like he was last week, but he wasn't good either. He missed one field goal on Thursday from over 40 yards for the 6th time this season. He is now 1-7 on field goal attempts from 40 yards or more. He has now missed 10 field goals this season total, more than any kicker in the last four years according to FOX Sports. His job security now comes into question, and it's easy to see the Cowboys replace Maher this offseason. The Cowboys have reportedly worked out multiple kickers before this week, so It would also not be surprising if Maher is replaced before the season is over.

- There was only one thing worse than the Cowboys' offense and that was their defense. As previously mentioned, Jaylon Smith was by far the best player on defense, but everyone else was pretty much a no show on defense. They allowed the Bears to score 31 points and Mitch Trubisky looked like a Pro-Bowl caliber quarterback for the first time this season. To put some perspective on his performance, Trubisky's QBR was 80.6. He is averaging a QBR around 40 this season, meaning he played twice as good as he was expected to against this Cowboys' defense. In addition to their inability to stop Trubisky, the defense as a whole had an exceptionally hard time tackling all night, which lead to the Bears gaining extra yardage and extra opportunities to score. Injuries to Vander Esh and Jeff Heath have derailed this Cowboys' defense, and their matchups between the Rams and the Eagles don't bode well for this struggling defense.

The Ugly

- Costly penalties killed the Cowboys Thursday night. Xavier Woods got called for holding on Allen Robinson on a 3rd and 9. This would have forced the Bears to kick a long field goal on 4th down, but instead the Bears scored shortly thereafter to go up 24-7. Michael Bennet also got called for an avoidable penalty. On 3rd and 2 in Cowboys' territory he jumped off sides which caused the Bears to get an easy first down. This penalty also resulted in a Bears touchdown. In total, the Cowboys had 6 penalties for 52 yards. That can be blamed on bad coaching and a lack of discipline.

- The ugliest part of the game took place on the sidelines. Jason Garrett didn't look liked he cared that he was losing to the Bears. He looked as though as if he knew this would be his last season with the Cowboys, so he is just going through the motions of his job until his inevitable departure comes to fruition. The Players on the sideline didn't seem emotional affected either, but rather in shock. Michael Bennett's face after the bears scored their third touchdown was pure shock. It's clear the Jason Garrett has lost the locker room, and his players respect.

- Let's face it, the Cowboys don't even look like a playoff contending team. If it wasn't for the fact that they play in a bad division, the Cowboys could have been written off after their loss to the Jets. Time and time again they constantly fall under pressure, and when their games become must win games, they fold like a house of cards. Despite all of the talent this roster has, they have continued to underperform and shot themselves in the foot time and time again. This was a must win game, but for a multitude of reasons the Cowboys just can't seem to win the big game when it matters the most. To quote a famous ESPN personality "They are an accident waiting to happen. What can go wrong will go wrong for the Dallas Cowboys."

Even though the Cowboys have lost three games in a row, they are still in first place in their division due the NFC East being a joke, They look to defend their pity title when they square off against the playoff contending Rams next Sunday in what looks to be a lopsided affair. The Rams have bounced bag since their slow start, and look to claim a Wild Card spot as the season comes to a close. It will be a rematch of the 2019 NFC Divisional Playoff Round matchup, but this Cowboys' team is a lot different for last year's team.

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