The Pallilog

On Texans-Colts, college football in Texas and more

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The Texans winning the AFC South at 11-5 has already certified 2018 as a good season. But they have to beat the Colts for the season to be considered any better than good. The division title rings hollow if the Texans lose at home to the Colts for the second time in less than a month.

Both teams rose from the near-NFL dead to get here. The Texans going 11-2 after their 0-3 start, the Colts an even more amazing 9-1 finish to climb from a 1-5 ditch. The Colts appear to be the slightly better and more balanced team right now, but it's the same team that lost 6-0 at Jacksonville the week before winning at NRG Stadium.

Within one game past performance, trends, and any other data can mean absolutely nothing. The Texans sure hope so on this: Deshaun Watson was the most sacked (62 times) quarterback in the NFL this season, and also the most sacked per pass attempt among full-time starters. Andrew Luck threw 134 more passes than Watson this season, and was sacked just 18 times. The Texans did sack Luck four times in the first meeting, but the Colts were minus injured left tackle Anthony Castonzo and Luck did throw for 464 yards and four touchdowns.

Luck should edge out J.J. Watt for the NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award. Both have had marvelous return seasons, but Luck is more critical to his team's success. He lit up the Texans' secondary to the extent that if his two games vs. the Texans were extrapolated over a 16 game schedule Luck and not Patrick Mahomes would be the rightful Most Valuable Player winner. Unless Watt or Jadeveon Clowney has a superstar level game there's not much reason to believe Luck won't be prolific again, unless Texans Destroyer T.Y. Hilton is significantly hindered by his gimpy ankle.

For the Texans, Keke Coutee could be a serious wild card. Coutee's seemingly porcelain hamstring is cleared to play, will it hold up in his first game since November? Coutee could make some hay working underneath as the Colts' defense rightfully focuses on DeAndre Hopkins. In last month's loss to the Colts Hopkins posted a season low 36 receiving yards on just four catches. Remember, in the game at Indy Coutee debuted with 11 receptions. If the Texans' running game remains as inept as it's been the past four weeks, someone other than Watson or Hopkins needs to produce.

Bowled over

Other than the playoff semifinal games, other than for preening purposes and coach bonuses, college football bowl results mean very little. Teams play for the first time in several weeks, motivation levels vary, and increasing numbers of players are opting to skip the bowl game and the injury risk that comes with playing,

That said, for the two flagship college programs in Texas the needles are pointing up in 2019. Though Darrell Royal is spinning in his grave if Longhorns consider a 10-4 season means "We're baaaaack!"

While the Horns took it to fifth ranked Georgia, the Aggies blew out an overmatched North Carolina State team. So when the final AP rankings come out after Monday's Alabama-Clemson championship game, for just the second time this millennium Texas and Texas A&M will both finish in the Top 25. 2012 is the only season before this one it's happened. How amazingly lame is that?

Jimbo Fisher's 9-4 debut season in Aggieland goes down as good but not better than that, and certainly not the results that will be deemed acceptable over the life of Fisher's 10 year $75 million dollar contract. Among the Aggies' road games in 2019: at Clemson, at Georgia, and at LSU. A&M must break through and win at least one of those (and not blow any home games) for Fisher to really have the program on the come.

Right now, Tom Herman's upcoming third season at UT in would have Texas favored in every game on its schedule. That includes LSU in Austin, and post-Kyler Murray Oklahoma at the Cotton Bowl.

The undefeated

While UH football tries to buy status by lavishing Dana Holgorsen with a five year $20 million dollar deal, it's Cougar basketball doing the great things. 14-0 for Kelvin Sampson's squad heading into Sunday's home game vs. Penny Hardaway's Memphis Tigers before a test of a road stop at Temple on Wednesday. It's not the Final Four people dream of, but the Cougars are among the final four undefeated teams among the 353 who started the season in D1 college hoops (Michigan, Virginia, Nevada).

Buzzer Beaters

1. James Harden is on an utterly awesome offensive roll. Rules different, but Kobe Bryant was not this good. 2. 65 degrees and mostly sunny, so of course the Texans will have the roof closed. $50 million dollar boondoggle. 3. If exactly one Wild Card road team wins this weekend: Bronze-Chargers Silver-Seahawks Gold-Colts.

WATSON HAS TO BE ON POINT

Week 11 fantasy football rankings: Call your shot

Deshaun Watson was magical in the win. Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

These are my very early ranks, so keep in mind I post these on Thursday. Make sure you check the injury report on Sunday for players that have missed practice. If it doesn't look like a player will play this week, I typically won't rank him. Keep in mind, these are PPR rankings, and don't forget to set your lineup for Thursday Night Football.

If you have any questions, feel free to hit me up on Twitter. Be sure to check out my show MoneyLine with Jerry Bo on ESPN 97.5FM. We're on every Sunday morning from 10-noon, and we'll talk a lot of fantasy football and NFL gambling getting you ready for kickoff every Sunday.

@JoshJordan975

@Moneyline975

@JerryBoKnowz

QB

Photo via: Raiders/Facebook

1 Lamar Jackson

2 Patrick Mahomes

3 Drew Brees

4 Dak Prescott

5 Deshaun Watson

6 Josh Allen

7 Jimmy Garoppolo

8 Derek Carr

9 Tom Brady

10 Philip Rivers

11 Matt Ryan

12 Jameis Winston

13 Kirk Cousins

14 Carson Wentz

15 Kyle Allen

RB

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1 Christian McCaffrey

2 Ezekiel Elliott

3 Dalvin Cook

4 Melvin Gordon

5 Josh Jacobs

6 Alvin Kamara

7 Leonard Fournette

8 James Conner

9 Le'Veon Bell

10 Tevin Coleman

11 Mark Ingram

12 Nick Chubb

13 Damien Williams

14 Austin Ekeler

15 James White

16 Devin Singletary

17 Brian Hill

18 Todd Gurley

19 Marlon Mack

20 Ronald Jones

21 Joe Mixon

22 Phillip Lindsay

23 Kenyan Drake

24 Jordan Howard

25 David Montgomery

26 JD McKissic

27 Miles Sanders

28 Tarek Cohen

29 Kareem Hunt

30 Royce Freeman

*I'm done with David Johnson until he proves he's healthy.

WR

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1 Michael Thomas

2 Tyreek Hill

3 Julio Jones

4 Amari Cooper

5 Mike Evans

6 Julian Edelman

7 Chris Godwin

8 DeAndre Hopkins

9 Cooper Kupp

10 D.J. Moore

11 Keenan Allen

12 D.J. Chark

13 John Brown

14 Robert Woods

15 Marquise Brown

16 Kenny Golladay

17 Odell Beckham

18 Michael Gallup

19 Tyrell Williams

20 Stefon Diggs

21 Courtland Sutton

22 Jamison Crowder

23 Jarvis Landry

24 Christian Kirk

25 Curtis Samuel

26 Deebo Samuel

27 Sammy Watkins

28 JuJu Smith-Schuster

29 Calvin Ridley

30 Allen Robinson

31 Tyler Boyd

32 Dede Westbrook

33 Terry McLaurin

34 Mike Williams

35 Marvin Jones

36 Mohamed Sanu

*I'm assuming Emmanuel Sanders won't play, but we'll have to see if he's active. He's a risk/reward low-end No.2 fantasy receiver for me this week.

TE

1 Travis Kelce

2 Hunter Henry

3 Darren Waller

4 Mark Andrews

5 Zach Ertz

6 Greg Olsen

7 Jared Cook

8 Gerald Everett

9 Eric Ebron

10 OJ Howard

11 Jason Witten

12 Jack Doyle

13 T.J. Hockenson

14 Dallas Goedert

15 David Fells

DEF

1 Rams

2 Bills

3 Vikings

4 Cowboys

5 Steelers

6 Patriots

7 Bears

8 49ers

9 Raiders

10 Saints

11 Jets

12 Jaguars

KICKER

1 Justin Tucker

2 Harrison Butker

3 Wil Lutz

4 Greg Zuerlein

5 Joey Slye

6 Michael Badgley

7 Dan Bailey

8 Brett Maher

9 Zane Gonzalez

10 Matt Prater

11 Ka'imi Fairbairn

12 Nick Folk

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