PANTHERS 16, TEXANS 10

Texans vs Panthers: Good, bad and ugly

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Texans moved to 2-2 with a 16-10 loss to the Panthers. Winning the turnover battle and going +46 yards in rushing differential is making my analytic look bad two weeks in a row. Here's some other observations I had:

The Good

-Whitney Mercilus, JJ Watt, and Brennan Scarlett all had strip sacks of Panthers quarterback Kyle Allen. All three were recovered by the Texans (Carlos Watkins, Watt, and Benardrick McKinney). Playing against an inexperienced quarterback, this was the type of performance you expected from the pass rush.

-Last week, the team totaled 39 rushing yards in a win. This week, they got 136 yards on the ground in a losing effort. The fact that they were able to run the ball against a tough Panthers defense was a good sign for things to come.

-Duke Johnson seems to be hitting his stride. He had eight touches for 88 yards and looked at lot more comfortable in the offense. He ran hard and finished his six runs with some force, very uncharacteristic of him. Maybe Carlos Hyde is rubbing off on him? Or maybe he knows the oppotunity he has and isn't trying to lose it? Either way, I was pleased with his performance.

The Bad

-The Texans had 16 total yards to start their second possession of the game towards the end of the 1st quarter. They finished the quiarter with 53 after a couple good plays. To sputter against the Panthers defense isn't a big deal, but to look that inept to start the game was a little unnerving. Boiled down to a three yard average on their first 19 plays.

-Deshaun Watson was sacked six times today. A lot of those were on him. He holds onto the ball too long trying to make something happen and sometimes would not be aware of the rush around him. The offensive line can't keep taking the blame for Watson's lack of awareness and his committment to be a superhero.

-Watson's sacks lost a total of 32 yards, which left the team with 128 yards passing. Any time a team has more rushing yards than passing yards and wins the turnover battle, you'd think they'd win. However, the Texans create new ways to lose sometimes and blow my turnover/rushing yardage differential analytic out of the water.

The Ugly

-Kenny Stills limped out of bounds to end the first quarter and was taken back to the locker room for more observations.All we know is that it was a hamstring injury of some sort. Losing him hurt an already struggling offense. If they have to go it without him for an extended period of time, the offense may conrinue to struggle.

-DeAndre Hopkins threw an interception on a trick play pass intended for Carlos Hyde when the Texans were in the red zone in the second quarter. Plays like this are totally unacceptable! Sure, Hopkins threw a bad pass, but he's not a quarterback and that playcall was idiotic. I'm sure Bill O'Brien will either have a smartass reply, or use The Kubiak. (He owned it at halftime according to Lindsay Czarniak.)

-The challenge on Christian McCaffrey's catch early in the fourth quarter was dumb! It was clearly a catch when watching the replay. Whoever told Bill O'Brien to challenge that should be slapped, and O'Brien should slap himself as well. Not only did it cost them a timeout, but it was compounded by the other two timeouts they wasted in the second half, especially whgen they couldn't stop the clock on the Panthers' game-icing drive. O'Brien continues to prove his ineptness when it comes to game managment.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. More sacks, more baffling play calls, more game management ineptitude, more Watt whiffing on sacks in crucial situations, more of the same old crap in general. This was a game the Texans should've won and will regret when the playoff race is tight. That is if they manage to find themselves in the playoff race. Keep playing down to their competition and being their own worst enemies will take them out of the race before it starts.


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Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Alright, let's see which free agents are still available. Keep in mind the owner % mentioned is for 10-team standard ESPN leagues. Some of these players below are good for the short-term, while others have more long-term value. You have to make the call on what your team needs. Immediate help to start this week, or a player to stash on your bench and hope he breaks out. Let's get started.

QB

Matthew Stafford: He's coming off a huge game against the Vikings where he threw for over 300 yards and had 4 TDs. This week he gets the Giants, so he should have another big game. He's rostered in less than half of ESPN standard 10-team leagues.

Kirk Cousins: The Vikings are throwing the ball more, and he has back-to-back games with over 300 yards and 4TDs. He has a great matchup against the Redskins this week, so use him. He's rostered in less than 40% of standard leagues.

Jacoby Brissett: If you're digging a little deeper, Brissett is out there in 50% of leagues, and he plays the Broncos at home this week. He's coming off a 4TD game against Houston, so he could help you out this week if you need him.

Derek Carr: If you're playing in a deep league, Carr could perform for you in a pinch. He's widely available and has a good matchup against the Texans who are dealing with multiple injuries to their secondary.

RB

Jamaal Williams: The matchup couldn't be any better with him playing the Chiefs this week. He's still available in 45% of standard leagues.

Chase Edmonds: What a game for Edmonds. With David Johnson still trying to get healthy, you could do worse than Edmonds. His matchup against the Saints isn't ideal, but if you need a RB, he might come through again. He's still available in almost 70% of 10-team ESPN leagues. You might have to just start him and hope for the best. David Johnson's health is still a bit of a mystery.

Darrell Henderson: He's not a guy you can start with any confidence, but he could be a league winner later in the year if Gurley goes down. He's rostered in 25% of leagues.

Kareem Hunt: You won't be able to use him until week 10, but he's good insurance for Nick Chubb, and he might end up with a lot of work in the passing game.

WR

Kenny Stills: It looks like Will Fuller won't be back anytime soon, so Stills should be Watson's main deep threat for a while. He has a good matchup against Oakland this week, and he's widely available.

Corey Davis: Now that Ryan Tannehill is playing QB for the Titans, Davis might become a relevant fantasy option. He's only rostered in 44% of leagues.

Phillip Dorsett: He came back from injury and scored on Monday night, so he could be a nice flex option with Josh Gordon's injury issues. He's rostered in 33% of leagues, so pick him up.

Allen Lazard: He's a decent flex option until Devante Adams returns if you're desperate.

TE

Jared Cook: He missed Sunday's game against the Bears, so he might have been dropped. TE is ugly. That is all.

Chris Herndon: He's been hurt after finally coming off suspension. Pick him up if you need him, and hope he gets healthy soon. He's available in 80% of leagues.

Defense

If the Steelers are on your waiver wire, add them this week. They play the Dolphins.

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

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