As I wrote in this space a week ago, the Texans look cooked. They don't have anything really going for them, they got pushed around by the reeling 0-2 Giants on Sunday, and I don't fancy their chance of beating the spunky Colts next week. By the time we get to October this could be a lost season, and if this organization is smart it will embrace it. Make like a tanking baseball team and start selling off short-term assets.
I'd start the fire sale with J.J. Watt (scouts I talk to still don't think he's right and wonder if he ever will be close to his old form again) and Whitney Mercilus, who has had a very slow start. They have the cap space to handle the hit from the deal and might as well try to pump that savings into every attempt to extend Jadeveon Clowney, which won't be easy. Watt will be 30 next year, and this team is going to need a youth movement.
In the meantime, with a broken offensive line, the decision to change the offense in the offseason looks like a mistake. Watson, coming off season-ending injury, continues to look pensive and downright lost at times, and there isn't any part of this offense the Texans can bank on right now.
"It looks like (Bill) O'Brien is forcing his offense on Watson instead of opening it up to his legs," said one long-time NFL evaluator. "He needs to back him up and operate from shotgun and not so much under center."
Something better change, because a loss next week at Indianapolis and it's light's out.
More notes from Week 3
Chicago's QB problem
Said it before and I will say it again: Bears might be 3-0 with Chase Daniel as their starting quarterback. Mitch Trubisky is incredibly limited, not nearly accurate enough and cannot push the ball down the field. He looks far behind even the flashes of quarterbacks recently making their debuts (Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen), much less heaven forbid anyone even thinking to compare him to the quarterback Kansas City selected in the 2017 draft well after the Bears moved up (unnecessarily, I'd add) for Trubisky.
Rough game for roughing rule
The dichotomy in the assessment of the roughing the passer rule in the Washington-Green Bay game should shake the league office. Da'Ron Payne appeared to go out of his way to pick up and bodyslam Aaron Rodgers without a whistle, while Clay Matthews appeared to go out of his way to sack Alex Smith in as reasonable a fashion as possible at full speed, suffering a devastating 15-yard penalty anyway. If you can't apply it the same way in one game, how is it going to work leaguewide?
Baltimore's lines come through
Huge bounce-back game from the Ravens' offensive and defensive lines. They got whipped in the trenches by the Bengals, but after allowing an early sack by the Broncos, Baltimore took care of business on both sides of the ball. This team will live and die all season based on the ability to muster a secondary pass rush besides Terrell Suggs. They are 2-0 when it shows up this season
Bortles breaks bad
What the hell happened to Blake Bortles in the span of a week? He could not have been more ineffective against the Titans in a game the Jags would have won if they could muter a single touchdown. Bortles had 108 yards passing through three quarters after strutting all over the Patriots last week. He was unable to complete simple passes, had sloppy footwork and was generally befuddled.
Clock running out on Sherman
Have to wonder about Richard Sherman's future even if his MRI comes back clean on Monday. You see more of him jawing at coaches, his GM or anybody else within earshot than you do him making plays. Tremendous player. Potential Hall of Famer. But I don't think his 49ers stint will be memorable.
Watch out for Cleveland's defense
Plenty of credit to go around the Browns defense, and I'd note defensive backs coach DeWayne Walker for special kudos. That unit has come a long way and rookie Denzel Ward is playing like a veteran beast. There is a palpable energy among those defensive backs, and Cleveland's defense is no joke.
- Defensive Rookie of the Year could come down to Ward and Chargers safety Derwin James. What a natural playmaker and game changer he already is.
- Broncos coach Vance Joseph continues to struggle on the road. Made a few puzzling decisions again Sunday.
- Falcons have other issues, but rookie Calvin Ridley's emergence has helped clean up their long-standing red-zone woes.
- Cam Newton still doesn't get enough credit for what a dominant physical player he is. His strength and fortitude around the goal line make him one of the more unstoppable forces in the entire NFL and must sap the soul out of the opposing defense at times.
- Great to see Carson Wentz back and leading his team to glory in the fourth quarter. All things considered was a solid return from his major knee injuries from 2017.
- Wonder how long before Packers fans grow frustrated with defensive coordinator Mike Pettine. He brought some nice pieces over to that defense, but it has been shredded with relative ease far too often this season. The Packers gave up 323 yards in the first half alone in Washington
- The Titans have found a way to win two straight divisional games without basically having the services of a quarterback. Pretty remarkable. Blaine Gabbert didn't do anything in Week 2 and Marcus Mariota still can't grip a football properly but played most of Week 3. It wasn't pretty, but those are potentially massive wins down the road
- Raise your hand if you had the Jaguars as the first Florida-based team to lose a game this season. I certainly didn't.