Two offseason acquisitions come up big for Texans in win over Pats what's that mean for the future?

No GM, no problem for Texans

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3 Headlines, 2 Questions, and 1 Bet after the Texans beat the Patriots and get ready for the Broncos.

Jacob Martin finally breaks out

Jacob Martin had a big day for the Texans against the Patriots. I'm not breaking any news there, but as the above stats indicate this was finally a game he put it all together. The Texans desperately needed it too. Not to say he wasn't helped out, the rest of the line had their fair share of pushes and even Bradley Roby got a sack, but Martin was giving the Pats fits all night.

He has a lot of speed and Bill O'Brien mentioned as much when he said he sees Martin going "100 mph" and lauded his practice routine. This is what the Texans hoped for when they added Martin. A young player, under team control, that can grow into a key role player for this defense. I am sure he is slightly ahead of schedule in that regard.

Oh, and for the folks keeping track at home, Jacob Martin is healthy and a half a sack off Jadeveon Clowney's sack total on the year. Yes, Clowney plays Monday and can add to it, but he's dealing with a core injury that is expected to limit him.

Duke Johnson

This type of game is what we all envisioned from Duke Johnson when the Texans sent what is now a third round selection to the Browns. Up until this point Johnson hadn't put together a ground and air game that impressed at the same time. Last night he ripped off 90 total yards. It was his highest yardage total since week one in New Orleans. He was also targeted in the passing game a season-high six times.

If this is the Johnson the Texans are going to get going forward and the Carlos Hyde-led ground game is going to pick up watch out for what the Texans offense could be. Bill O'Brien intimated Monday Johnson's involvement was in the gameplan and if that is a mainstay going forward we maybe have just scratched the surface on Johnson's actual usefulness.

No general manager, no problem for me

Look, tell me the Texans have been managed poorly under the Bill O'Brien and company general manager leadership group and I will call you a liar. Plain and simple. Sure, there has been a hiccup or two, but the situation has been overwhelmingly positive so far. The Laremy Tunsil/Kenny Stills trade pays off week after week while additions like Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson have played well. The reshaping of the secondary on the fly through injuries has been impressive as well.

Is it the worst idea to let this crew operate a draft? No. You will know right off the bat if they can get it done though. It's not like they could hire Nick Caserio before the draft anyway so unless they were going elsewhere with that hire the current system was set to run free agency and the draft anyway .

I would be worried about the money. There is a possibility for a tremendous spend this offseason with Deshaun Watson potentially getting a new deal, Tunsil hunting money, and D.J. Reader and Bradley Roby expiring on the defense. I also expect J.J. Watt to want an adjustment on his deal.

Brian Gaine was a bargain hunter, I don't anticipate the current administration to be similar. The Texans have the money, and it leads to the star wideout, quarterback, left tackle, and pass rusher getting locked up for a few years there is nothing wrong with that.

Should the Texans try to get Bradley Roby locked up?

Bradley Roby has been as advertised in his role with the Texans. He is physically gifted and the flashes of first round talent are apparent in his play. Sure, there has been an issue here or there and he was hurt for a while but he played excellent against the Patriots.

I don't want to overreact to one good game, so let's see how he plays against his former team as well as the other games left on the Texans schedule. He is certainly on his way to achieving what he set out to do when he signed with the Texans. Roby intended to take a one-year "prove it" deal and enter free agency again hoping to cash in.

The right number might entice Roby to alter his strategy but it would be prudent for the Texans to see what else he can do this season now that he is healthy.

Can J.J. Watt come back? Sure. Will he?

I don't believe J.J. Watt is going to play again this season, regular season or the playoffs, but I would be happy to be wrong. His pectoral injury doesn't seem like it is anywhere close to as serious as the one Whitney Mercilus suffered in 2017. The thought and rumor was Mercilus was healthy enough by the end of the season, if the Texans had been in contention, to play.

It would stand to reason the same could apply to Watt. If by some chance he could return in week 17 for instance, the team could ease him back into the game and then ramp up his snaps in the playoffs for as long as they go.

Watt is third in QB Hits according to Pro Football Focus. He is the only player who has played in less than 10 games in the top ten. He obviously could help the Texans. For Watt though, there is a lot of risk.

There is no more guaranteed money on his contract. If he was hurt again that could hinder negotiations but at the same time a healthy-ish Watt could cause chaos and drive his tag way up. It is quite the risk if it gets to the decision.

As for the rumors, Bill O'Brien decided to take a pass on addressing it.

"I'm not going to get into all those things...we really need to focus on Denver."

I bet the Broncos are fired up to be playing with Drew Lock

Drew Lock looked like more than a capable passer at times in his NFL debut against the Chargers. He hit Courtland Sutton twice for a score but passed for just 164 yards. He threw a really bad interception that almost cost the Broncos horribly in the second half. Not bad though for his first NFL action that matters.

There's life though. He is clearly the team's quarterback next year and there are young pass catchers who need to grow with him like Sutton, DaeSean Hamilton, and fellow rookie Noah Fant. There's obviously still some talent on defense there as well. The Broncos are a live team compared to plenty of other teams who look like they've quit on their season.

O'Brien was emphatic on Monday he doesn't care about Denver's record he believes them to be a good football team. What I believe O'Brien has to drive home this week is the Texans beat the Patriots, but don't let beating the Patriots beat them against the Broncos.

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Bears 31, Cowboys 24

Cowboys vs Bears: Good, bad and ugly

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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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