Texans: It's Time to Play Monte Hall, Let's Make a Deal!

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We all know by now that the Texans plan to get through the entire 2019 season without a General Manager. Bill O' Brien and his staff will make decisions as a group as they try to do what's best to improve the squad and make the appropriate personnel decisions regarding roster moves, cuts and most importantly right now, trades. We heard reports on Monday that Jadeveon Clowney plans to end his holdout, sign his franchise tag and show up to camp sometime around the third preseason game. Regardless of what Clowney does, the team needs to focus on a few key position groups that need help and three players in particular that could really help boost those ares of the team while improving their overall chances of winning this season and for seasons to come.

Texans offensive line The Texans offensive line has been in decline since 2014. Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

We all know that the offensive line of the Texans has been the number one problem area for the franchise over the last several years. Ever since Duane Brown departed for Seattle the line has been on the decline and some would say it wasn't great leading up to that trade. The offense has been consistently hindered by the shortcomings of the five guys up front and failed draft picks and veteran free agents signed on the cheap with hopes of finding lightning in a bottle have set the squad back more than they have pushed it forward in a positive way. Rick Smith swung and missed on several draft picks that didn't pan out and Brian Gaine took his cuts in this summers draft, only to be shown the door before the verdict could come back on the latest crop of o-line candidates. The fact is, the team has a franchise quarterback in Deshaun Watson it has to protect and keep upright if they want any chance of winning another division title or even grabbing an AFC Wild Card berth. In his short career in Houston he has already suffered a major knee injury and taken way too many hits for anyone to feel comfortable about. If that trend continues, and he suffers through another season of excessive hits and crushing blows, it could have a long-term negative affect on the team's future. It's with that key issue in mind that I think the team needs to look long and hard at making a trade for an experienced offensive lineman.

Washington Redskins left tackle Trent Williams would be the perfect fit for the Texans and a young and mostly inexperienced offensive line. The former all-pro lineman has had some major issues with the 'Skins front office, including the training staff and has vowed to never play for the team again. The rumblings from the team standpoint is that he very well could have played his last game for the franchise, and they are just bidding their time before taking offers to make a deal and find Williams a new home. Since Williams owns a business in Houston and lives here in the offseason, it just seems to be a perfect fit and a match made in football heaven. Whoever is in charge of making phone calls and inquiring about player availability for the Texans needs to pick up the phone and pester Dan Snyder and his staff until they come away with a deal that both teams can live with. If Houston can swing something with Washington by giving up a second or third round pick and maybe a current player on the roster, consider that a huge win, get it done and never look back as you push the franchise forward in a big way.

Another player the team needs to consider making calls on is Los Angeles running back Melvin Gordon. The former Wisconsin standout and first round pick seems to be at a stalemate with the Chargers as he holds out looking for more money and multiple years added to a new deal. With Houston cutting former third round draft pick D'Onta Foreman this past weekend and cutting ties with the once promising running back, the team is in desperate need of experienced help in the backfield. The Texans have plenty of money to play with this year, sitting on around 40 million dollars and have in the neighborhood of 80 million available heading into next season, so the finances shouldn't be a stumbling block. The main issue would be what the boys on Kirby would have to give up to get him. Would a package of Lamar Miller and picks get it done or would Clowney be more appealing as the centerpiece? Regardless of the pieces involved, it would be in the team's best interest to again pick up the phone and explore the possibilities. Can you imagine how explosive that offense could be if you had Gordon added to the mix along with Watson, DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller and Keke Coutee? I don't know if the defense could keep up their end of the bargain, but it would be a whole lot of fun watching that team put up points.

DeAndre Hopkins and Jalen Ramsey

The final player the Texans should at least ask about is Jalen Ramsey, the all-world defensive back of the Jaguars. He has made no secret of his desire to get paid in a big way as he looks for a new, long-term deal. He even went so far as to have an armored car drop him off at training camp when he checked in with the Jags. The Texans secondary could be in for a long year with Kareem Jackson and Tyrann Mathieu departing in free agency, former first round pick Kevin Johnson cut, and Johnathan Joseph another year older. Adding a guy like Ramsey could instantly change the entire position group for the better, while it would give the defense a lock down corner to shut down the best receiver across the line of scrimmage. It would also instantly give the team added depth and the ability to move guys around as needed to capitalize on matchups and specific schemes and packages. As good as all of this sounds, it is rare that a team is willing to make a trade within its division. On the surface a Clowney for Ramsey swap looks and sounds good for Texans fans and could be a win-win for both squads, but getting an actual deal consummated may be easier said than done. In any case, it wouldn't hurt for someone on "Team O'Brien" and the Texans to run up their cell phone minutes and see what Jacksonville might be willing to take in a swap for Ramsey. After all he is pretty good friends with Hopkins and the two have exchanged a few what if scenarios on social media, dreaming of the chance to play together in H-town. If B.O.B. and the boys could pull off a trade for Ramsey, it could go a long way towards getting everyone to forget who the GM is, was or is supposed to be in Houston while it gives the roster a better chance to win.

Every-Thing Sports

Texans vs Chiefs: Good, bad & ugly

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The Texans and Deshaun Watson won the battle of the two best quarterbacks from the 2017 draft over Pat Mahomes and the Chiefs 31-24. Here are my observations:

The Good

-Although both young quarterbacks had two turnovers each, it was Watson who outdueld Mahomes. He had a total of 322 yards and three touchdowns to Mahomes' 272 yards and three touchdowns. It was his ballsy playmaking ability on two fourth down conversions, as well as his timely rushing touchdowns in a big time road win that put him over.

-Rookie defensive lineman Charles Omenihu had a crucial strip sack of Mahomes just before halftime. Linebacker Benardrick McKinney recovered the fumble and the Texans scored on the next play to go up 23-17 with their 20th unanswered points of the first half. This was a huge momentum shifter.

-Tashaun Gipson caught the first Mahomes interception of the season in the second quarter. The Chiefs were driving again and in field goal range when Mahomes took a shot at the end zone thinking he had a free play because of a potential pass interference/defensive holding call. The refs remarkably overruled the original call and ruled it an interception. Shocker!

The Bad

-Whitney Mercilus jumped offsides and Mahomes took a deep shot knowing he had a free play. Tyreek Hill won the jumpball over Justin Reid and Phillip Gaines. Hill is listed at 5'10, but looked as if he was 6'7 when he leaped to catch the ball. Reid appeared to have the ball in his grasp, but came up empty.

-Carlos Hyde fumbled on the first play from scrtimmage where he appeared to have simply lost his grip on the ball. The no-contact fumble was recovered by the Chiefs and led to a field goal to put the score at 10-0 about five minutes into the game.

-Watson threw a pick into double coverage trying to go for DeAndre Hopkins in the end zone while thewy were in field goal range down 24-23. It was his second pick of the day. It also came after Hopkins dropped a potential touchdown catch uncharacteristically taking his eyes off the ball before securing the catch.

The Ugly

-Horrible missed call on an offensive pass interference on the Chiefs opening drive! Travis Kelce basically threw a pass block that opened up Damien Williams for a huge 52-yard gain. The Texans challenged the call and the refs upheld it. This was the epitome of ref C.Y.A.

-The two teams combined for 14 penalties for 114 yards in the first half. That was most in a half this season. In an offensive shootout, penalties can kill you. They ended the game with 21 combined penalties for 149 yards.

-Rookie offensive lineman Tytus Howard was carted off with a leg injury on the third play of the 3rd quarter. It looked to be somewhat serious as his leg was rolled on and bent in a weird way. Bradley Roby gingerly walked off the field mid way throught he 3rd quarter and left the Texans with four healthy corners. Few plays later, Chiefs went up 24-23 on another Hill touchdown catch.

The Texans put together a great gameplan and it went as well as one could expect against a juggernaut like the Chiefs. Bill O'Brien deserves come credit. He gambled on a couple key 4th down conversions because he trusted Watson to do the right thing. He also committed to the run to the tune of 192 yards on the ground, despite Hyde's early fumble. Hyde himself ended up with 116 yards rushing. If O'Brien and Watson keep this up, there could be big things on the horizon. Next week's matchup against the Colts in Indy will tell us who's the big dog in the AFC South. Can O'Brien and Watson make magic again?

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