The Fest, it was beautiful. Great meeting some new, very cool people. Great spending time during the week with those I’ve already met. The Game, anything but beautiful. I would say to most of our surprise, it was the defense that apparently got stuck in the team hotel, and didn’t make it to the game. Quite a few were so concerned about the play of QB Brock Osweiler, and it was our defense, which had been playing opportunistic football, that really let us down.
I, and a few others, including Bookman’s pal and Lions fan Fred, felt like the score didn’t accurately portray what we all saw on Sunday. We were thrashed, and the 10 point differential doesn’t tell the story. At the game, it’s hard to see the individual battles, but we were getting wiped out, and run over all day long. 248 yards rushing, with most of the damage coming from rookie Kerryon Johnson, but really, the Lions O-line, which was devastating our front 7.
I noticed so many damn substitutions that looked to me like we weren’t sure WTF we were doing. For instance, at least twice, I saw Minkah trot onto the field, Baker trot off the field, only to have them turn around and switch back. On the O-line, it looked to me from up on high, that Ted Larsen had an awful game, and sure enough, he was replaced by newly acquired OG/OC Wesley Johnson, who was the Jets starting C last season.
The injuries are really piling on up us and I fear what happened last year, starting the season 4-2, only to go on and lose 5 in a row is a real possibility. We lost a dynamic offensive playmaker in WR Albert Wilson. You could say he made enough of an impact to almost single handedly give us 2 of our 4 wins. Now he’s gone for the season. Our deep threat WR, who has been somewhat forgotten lately, Kenny Stills, gone for at least this week and maybe more. We will be scraping the bottom of the depth chart barrel to bring in Devante Parker and possibly LCIII (Leonte Carroo). Hey, if you can’t get onto the field at first, hang around and wait for the attrition to happen, and you’ll get your shot.
I thought Brock Osweiler played well enough, and was surprised that some thought he played poorly. Sure, Matt Stafford played better, but Stafford is a much better QB playing in his 10th season for the same team. I thought Osweiler made a couple of great throws, and yes, one particular throw should have been picked, but he wasn’t the reason we didn’t win. Even if Tannehill were 100%, I want to see more of Osweiler. My plan would be draft a QB in 2019, and try and find your backup QB. Maybe Osweiler is that guy. Tannehill doesn’t fit that bill at $26M next season, so I believe this is Tannehill’s last season here, or at least it should be.
It’s tough to overcome injuries, and this will make 2 consecutive seasons where injuries have ravaged our roster. Last season, Raekwon McMillan was injured early in game 1. T.J. McDonald was suspended for 8 games. OG Ted Larsen was on IR for 8 games. CB Tony Lippett tore his achilles and missed the entire season. Later on RT Ja’Wuan James went on IR, along with DE William Hayes. This season has been much of the same. TE MarQueis Gray started the avalanche, followed by Pro Bowl OG Josh Sitton. ST’s ace LB Mike Hull and OG/OC Jake Brendel followed suit, and were both placed on the returnable IR. William Hayes was just a little later, as he tried not to get a roughing the QB penalty by placing his full body weight on QB Derek Carr, awkwardly landed on his knee in his effort to do so, and joined the barrage of injuries and ended up on the IR. OC Dan Kilgore who we traded for with SFO in the offseason also landed on the IR with a torn triceps muscle.
The last thing we needed was a Thursday Night Effing Football game after these injuries. We’re short in the WR corps, with just Amendola, Grant, Parker and possibly Leonte Carroo, the latter 2 have 2 receptions for 40 yards on the season, and both of those are Parker’s. DE Charles Harris is OUT (Disappointing!), TE A.J. Derby DNP, TE Mike Gesicki has a shoulder injury and was limited in practice, as was WR Danny Amendola and S T.J. McDonald with an ankle injury.
We still have a winning record, but can we maintain it? We’re going to have to be creative on offense, now that 2 of our HR hitters are out (Wilson and Stills). We’re going to have to look for Grant and Drake, and maybe our old long lost pal Devante Parker becomes a hero for a day. On defense, we shouldn’t get run over by the Texans. Lamar Miller has 371 yards on 95 carries for a less than stellar 3.9 YPC. Alfred Blue has 216 yards for a 3.4 YPC average. It shouldn’t be the run game, although QB DeShaun Watson is tied for 2nd with 216 yards rushing, so we have to contain him. I’ve already mentioned DE Charles Harris is out, but DE Jonathan Woodard will be back.
DeShaun Watson lit up the NFL last year before getting injured, but this year has been a fall back to earth for Watson. Watson has thrown for 1937 yards, 10 TD’s and 7 INT’s, along with his 216 yards rushing and 1 rushing TD. WR DeAndre Hopkins is still one of the NFL’s best, but he’s been doubled quite a bit, and WR Will Fuller has been the beneficiary of much less attention on the other side. JJ Watt is back to being JJ Watt with 46 total tackles, 7 sacks, 8 TFL, 12 QB hits, and 4 FF’s already. We somehow managed to contain Khalil Mack, but the Bears didn’t have Jadeveon Clowney opposite him.
When we’re on defense, it’s time to start sacking the QB! If I told you before the season that after 7 games that DT Vincent Taylor and LB Jerome Baker would be leading the team in sacks with 2 each, you’d think I was crazy. What’s even worse is that 3 of our sacks came from William Hayes (IR) and Jordan Phillips (Waived). That leaves only 8 sacks from our current roster. Ugh!
For now, just figure out a way to get a win, and try to hold tough until the BYE week, which comes in Week 11.
I want to thank Stanger for his wonderful hospitality, Chef Warren for his chefness, and everyone who came down to make this last Fest another success. I hope to see more and more of you in the coming years, and you all know I’m older than Methuselah, so please don’t wait too long!