Every-Thing Sports

Saints vs Jags: Good, bad & ugly

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No Drew Brees, no problem for the fourth game in a row to improve to 5-1in an ugly defensive battle against the Jags 13-6. Here are my observations:

The Good

-The defense held it down yet again. At halftime, the Jags had only 110 yards of offense and ended the game with 226. This was the third game in a row allowing less than 300 total yards. Defensive stars Cam Jordan (two sacks) and Marshon Lattimore (an interception) led the way.

-Teddy Bridgewater completed 67% of his passes against the Jags. His poise in the pocket allowed him to remain calm and hit open receivers. No wonder teams wanted him to come in to potentially start for them this past offseason. This stretch proves he still has what it takes to be a starter in this league.

-Eight of Bridgewater's completions went to Michael Thomas. He hauled in those passs for a total of 89 yards, but didn't score a touchdown. However, he was open or made a play on the ball every time Bridgewater needed him. How he was so wide open on several instances is beyond me.

The Bad

-Bridgewater was pretty inaccurate today. While he had a decent completion percentage, he sailed quite a few balls. Luckily, they weren't intercepted. These throws are the ones that typically get tipped and/or picked off and can change a game, especially one played this close.

-Alvin Kamara was held in check. He totaled 18 touches for 66 yards and failed to score. Kamara is the X-Factor on offense for the Saints. His struggles coincided with the team's low output. It's a wonder they won despite the Jags doing such a good job holding him down.

-Speaking of low output, the offense averaged a paltry five yards per play. The Jags defense is stout, but it's aso susceptible to being beat. The Saints offense did just enough to win, but these type of performances aren't going to cut it against a team that has a better offense on the days the defense can't bail them out.

The Ugly

-No touchdowns scored in the first three quarters of play. Both defenses came to play. While I happen to like defensive games, it's the offenses that sell tickets and creates interest outside of the football faithful. It took until the 11:49 mark of the 4th quarter before ther Saints scored on a Bridgewater touchdown pass to Jared Cook.

-Going 5/13 on 3rd down conversions is a recipe for disaster. That's 38% for the mathematically challenged. Again, if the defense isn't able to bail the offense out by playing shut down ball, the offense will have to step it up.

-Demario Davis laid out Jags tight end Geoff Swaim in the 4th quarter. He was flagged for unnecessary roughness as the hit was to Swaim's head. Thankfully he was able to walk off the field, but stayed down a little while. Davis immediately took his helmet off and kneeled down as he's known for being a good sport and surely didn't mean to potentially injure Swaim.

The Jags are always a tough opponent, provided they're playing with their heads on their shoulders and not up their asses. Fortunately for the Saints, they played just a bit better than the Jags did, but not by much. I happen to enjoy games like this because I appreciate good defense. Some of you would disagree, and that's OK. Up next are the Bears, in Chicago. I fully expect another defensive struggle. If they can survive next week, the bye week comes and Brees should be back the week after. This may be the best team in the NFL right now all things considered.

Plenty of bad but recently some great on the short week game for Texans

Throwback Thursdays: Texans history is so so in Thursday games

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This is a list and a few thoughts from the five Thursday Night Football games where Bill O'Brien has been the head coach for the Texans.

2014: The almost comeback for the ages - Texans lose 33-28

This game sucked early, but then almost sucked a lot less. It still sucked in the end but it had one of J.J. Watt's best plays of his career.

The Colts jumped out to an early lead thanks to a Pat McAfee onside kick and a huge T.Y. Hilton play from Andrew Luck. It was one of the signature Hilton games in his time against the Texans. The Colts would lead 24-0 at the end of the first quarter. Ryan Fitzpatrick and Arian Foster along with some stellar defense would get the Texans back in the game but it wasn't enough.

This was the first Thursday game under Bill O'Brien and would be right in the middle of a three game losing streak coming off a bad overtime loss to the Cowboys and ahead of a Monday disaster against the Steelers.

2015: Sick Hasselbeck makes Texans fans sicker - Texans lose 27-20

I always describe this game as the one where Matt Hasselbeck was crapping his pants on the sidelines and still beat the Texans. I am not too wrong about this. He was so sick he didn't practice and yet still had enough for the Colts to beat the Texans. He was also 40 years old too by the way.

This one hurt as it was Andre Johnson's return to Houston but he was wearing a Colts uniform. He scored the opening touchdown and it was pretty much the only good game he had for the Colts that season. He also scored what would be the deciding touchdown in this one.

It also marked one of the quarterback indecision moments of Bill O'Brien's tenure. Ryan Mallett took a big hit and asked out of the game and Brian Hoyer returned to the game and played pretty well. He completed a long pass as time expired to Jaelen Strong (remember that name!?) to get the Texans their first touchdown. Trialing by seven Hoyer threw an interception in Colts territory ending the Texans comeback attempt.

2016: Brissett blows out Brock - Texans lose 27-0

This is one of the worst losses of the Bill O'Brien era. The Patriots were down to their third-string quarterback in the midst of a Tom Brady suspension and Jimmy Garoppolo's injury. Enter Jacoby Brissett and the best coach of all-time to torture Brock Osweiler and the Texans. Oh, by the way, Gronk was hurt too I think.

A field goal by New England put the first points on the board and the Texans fumbled the ensuing kickoff which then moments later saw Brissett take a rush 27 yards to the house. The Texans wouldn't get on the Patriots side of the field until there was a couple of minutes left in the third quarter and they were down 20-0.

We should have all known Osweiler stunk when he couldn't score in this game, but it took me a few more weeks before I really jumped off the Brock train.

2017: The first one for the chosen one - Texans win 13-9

Tom Savage was benched and Deshaun Watson's era began. A short week after sitting behind Savage in training camp and then getting thrown to the Jaguars defense in the second half of week one didn't matter to Watson. It was the start of his coming out party.

The defense kicked ass in this game helping Watson get the first win. The big run above was the moment many of us will never forget when it comes to this Thursday night affair.

2018: Welcome Back Brock - Texans win 42-23

Ah yes, the Brock Osweiler revenge game! The Texans had won four straight after a dreadful start to the season and were coming off a physical game with Jacksonville. This was Brock Osweiler's chance for revenge on the team that jettisoned him after the 2016 season.

There would be little revenge. Credit the Dolphins, they kept the game fairly close until Deshaun Watson started cooking in the second half. Four touchdowns in the second half was quite the efficient showing on just 10 pass attempts.

It was a fun Thursday night contest especially given the Texans history on the short week under O'Brien.

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