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

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

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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.

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Fortunately the Texans have given us plenty of ammunition.

Reminder: If you would like a copy of some of my original short stories, please email me at faour975@gmail.com. They are free, but asking those of you can afford it for a $10 minimum donation for our employee assistance fund. If you can't donate right now, I am happy to send it to you for free. It includes a new story about Jesse Christian from Jesus Just Left Chicago.

Now, back to the Texans. This is not a Bill O'Brien hit piece. My opinion of him is well known. Instead I wanted to reach out to the hardcore fan base and share their opinions.

The DeAndre Hopkins trade has angered fans more than anything I have seen in a long time. Maybe it is the added stress of the world falling apart, but fans rightly lost their minds. However, the daunting issue that followed is the way quarterback Deshaun Watson reacted. His cryptic tweets made it clear he was not happy with the deal.

It also has led to speculation that Watson himself could be traded.

Some sites have even gone so far as to speculate as to what a trade would like like. While such a move seems improbable, after O'Brien's deal to ship out Hopkins, anything seems possible. And while the Hopkins trade was a body blow, dealing Watson could be the knockout punch for a lot of fans.

However, there is a contingent that will stick with the team no matter what. I reached out to several of them to get their opinion of a potential Watson trade. The most common responses:

"It would suck, but this is my team ride or die."

"If they think it's the best thing for the franchise."

And even, "I trust Bill O'Brien."

I am not here to judge or argue. I have a lot of respect for hardcore Texans fans who support their team no matter what. I merely wanted to gauge what their response would be should the unthinkable happen.

Several were more than happy to share their opinions publicly, but I chose to keep everyone anonymous to prevent them from getting the inevitable Twitter "how the hell can you think that" responses. You can always attack me with that. I've made no bones about my thoughts on the Texans GM/coach. I wanted to give the team's most dedicated supporters a voice.

I was surprised there were a few who are not sold on Watson.

"If he decides to trade Watson, it is because he doesn't think he can win with him. Maybe people will realize Watson is just not that good. O'Brien had similar success with a lot of other quarterbacks. He even made the playoffs with Brock Osweiler."

The one response that really resonated - and maybe in these times we can all relate - was that hardcore fandom for many of them is about more than the team.

"My husband and I have had season tickets for years. We have sat with the same people, became friends, tailgated and traveled to road games together. For us it is about camaraderie, friendship, and the Texans have given us that. We would not give that up for anything. We just have to hope they do the right thing, but we will be there no matter what."

To me, that is the best explanation. There are relationships we all have around different things, and they are important. I've developed similar friendships through poker, horse racing, basketball and several other things over the years. Why not around a sports team?

Hopefully, cooler heads will prevail, and the team will move on with Watson as its quarterback. If not, there is a contingent out there that will stick with the team no matter what. Those fans deserve a voice so that's what I have given them here in hopes that maybe those of us who don't get it at least understand where they are coming from.

If we ever get back to normal, these fans will still be at games, tailgating, cheering and having a good time. We should not fault that, just as they should accept that some fans will be up in arms.

It will be interesting to see how things play out over the next few months. Hell, we might not even have NFL football this year. O'Brien has undoubtedly lost some of the fan base, but it is hard to see how much. But we know there are always fans who stick with it no matter what.

Hopefully this gives some insight into why.



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