Let the Brock Osweiler overreaction begin. He had a rough game Thursday night, and he’s rightfully taking some grief. He doesn’t look like a quarterback worth the big contract he signed.
I’ve never been a huge fan, so I’m still not impressed.
Still, the NFL is a weird league these days. Teams can look great and then lay an egg like the Texans did on Thursday. So you really have to give Osweiler time to see how he develops. To be a good NFL QB, you need to bounce back from games like this. Let’s see what Bill O’Brien can do about it.
I don’t think Brian Hoyer plans on posing for any Instagram photos like this one any time soon. This pic from Brandon Weeden was used by some to troll Browns fans as the two former Browns quarterbacks were heading to the playoffs while Johnny Manziel was going through another mini-scandal.
With the 2014 NFL Combine coming to an end, teams will have poked, prodded, questioned and scrutinised every last prospect. Some were under more pressure than others, with the eyes of the football world following some prospects more closely, especially those who are in contention to be taken number one overall.
The team that has the questionable honor of picking first in this year’s draft is the Houston Texans. After a, quite frankly, shocking 2013 season, in which many expected them to at least make a playoff game, the Texans will be looking to fix some of the issues that put them in this predicament. However, there really aren’t that many glaring issues for a team that just went 2-14, a result that no one saw coming. According to the expert handicapper providing free sports picks at sportsbettingsites.tv, Houston may be a favorite to bounce back with a strong draft.
New head coach Bill O’Brien comes in after steadying the ship at Penn State, replacing Gary Kubiak. His first job, and the Texans’ most obvious problem-position, will be to find a quarterback for the future. Matt Schaub has done a good job in Houston during his career, but that career is in decline. Young backup Case Keenum took over the job during the season, but did not do enough to steal the job permanently.
The Texans, despite having the league’s best defensive player in J.J. Watt, could also use some pass rush help. Watt has been consistently double and even triple-teamed recently, and a teammate to take the focus away could do wonders for the defence.
With these needs being the most glaring, who could Houston take number one overall?
Teddy Bridgewater: The Louisville quarterback has been talked about as a number one pick for the last couple of seasons, and is seen as the safest of all the quarterbacks at the next level. However, he can struggle with deep ball accuracy and, with a slight frame, there is a doubt as to if he can take the physical punishment that NFL defences can bring. Chance: B+
Johnny Manziel: The hometown favourite, Texas A&M’s star quarterback Johnny Football would excite fans. Known for making plays that defy logic, physics and his own coaches (see video), Manziel can get the job done. However, he is also undersized and comes with some off-field baggage. Chance: B-
Jadaveon Clowney: Once touted as the best pass rusher of his generation, Clowney failed to live up to the hype during his last season at South Carolina. After running a ridiculous 40 yard dash at the combine however, Clowney has revitalised some of the hype, making many ignore his supposed character red flags. One thing is true, if Clowney really is the real deal, these talents only come along so often. Chance: C+
It is difficult to see the Texans going elsewhere with their pick, with star players available at positions of need. However, draft day is always unpredictable, and a pick out of left field, or even a trade, could surprise us all.
No. 25 Missouri vs. No. 7 Georgia, 12:00PM ET
The Tigers are back in the AP top 25 for the first time in two years and are coming off a 51-28 drubbing of Vanderbilt on the road last Saturday. Quarterback James Franklin has looked sharp in the early going and has weapons at his disposal in Henry Josey and dynamic playmaker Dorial Green-Beckham. On the other side, No. 7 Georgia barely escaped Knoxville with a victory last weekend and is severely banged up offensively. The Bulldogs will be without running backs Keith Marshall and Todd Gurely, as well as recievers Michael Bennett and Justin Scott-Wesley. And while quarterback Aaron Murray has put on a show in back-to-back weeks, the defense still has plenty of holes after losing a handful of starters to the NFL draft back in April. Georgia is tough to beat in between the hedges, but look for Mizzou to keep things tight.
FREE PICK: MISSOURI +7.5
No. 9 Texas A&M vs. Ole Miss, 8:30PM ET
Two weeks ago there was plenty of chatter surrounding the 3-0 Rebels as they headed into Tuscaloosa. But following a 25-0 blanking at the hands of Alabama and a 30-22 upset last week versus Auburn, Ole Miss has once again fallen off the map. On the other side, A&M has completely regrouped following its loss to Alabama. The Aggies thumped a hapless SMU squad 42-13 before out-pacing Arkansas 45-33 two weeks ago in Fayetteville. Kevin Sumlin’s team is well rested coming off the bye and more importantly his defense has started to show signs of life. The spread is too low for this game, as “Johnny Football” and Co. should roll. FREE PICK: TEXAS A&M -6
Steelers at Jets, 1:00PM ET
It was impressive to watch Geno Smith lead the Jets to a huge road victory over the Falcons on Monday Night Football, but suddenly the national media has made him into Randall Cunningham. Thanks to a rash of injuries the Falcons were without their starting running back, left tackle, middle linebacker, one of their outside linebackers, one of their starting defensive ends and were forced to play a hobbled Roddy White and Julio Jones because their reciveving corps is so thin. In other words, what the Jets did was impressive but they didn’t exactly beat the same Atlanta team that came within 10 yards of going to the Super Bowl last year. The Steelers are coming off their bye and thus, should have had plenty of time to regroup and iron out their issues on both sides of the ball. While it’s shocking to see the Giants at 0-6 on the year, it would be even more surprising to watch the Steelers fall to 0-5. FREE PICK: STEELERS +1
Rams at Texans, 1:00PM ET
The Texans are in the middle of a freefall because quarterback Matt Schaub can’t protect the football. He’s had an interception returned for a touchdown in four straight games and has seemingly lost his confidence. That said, Houston’s running game has remained effective and its defense still boasts the likes of Brian Cushing and J.J. Watt, who is the best interior defensive lineman in the league. The Rams are coming off a win over the winless Jaguars but they still struggle with penalties, third down conversions on both sides of the ball, and run defense. Sam Bradford has also reverted back into a check-down machine and should be under constant duress in Houston. Look for the Texans to get back on track on Sunday. FREE PICK: TEXANS -7.5
Mississippi vs. Alabama, 6:30PM ET
Alabama doesn’t look as dominant as it has in year’s past, and bettors have taken notice. The spread in this game has been bet down from one key number of 17, to another key number in 14. The Rebels have fared well against the Tide, covering in all four of their last four meetings with ‘Bama in Tuscaloosa. They’re also 6-2 against the spread in their last eight meetings overall with the Tide, while the road team is 5-0 against the number in the last five meetings between these two teams. Ole Miss has a balanced offensive attack thanks to quarterbacks Bo Wallace and Barry Brunetti, who is a running threat. The Rebels enter tonight’s game with plenty of confidence and should stay within two touchdowns of a Tide team that didn’t look sharp defensively two weeks ago versus A&M. FREE PICK: OLE MISS +14
Wisconsin vs. Ohio State, 8:00PM ET
The Buckeyes have been flat-out dominant in their first three games and own the fourth-highest scoring offense in the country (52.5 points). But Braxton Miller is set to return tonight following a sprained left MCL injury suffered a few weeks ago. Rust might be a factor in the early going, which could give Wisconsin confidence for the rest of the game. The underdog is 10-3 against the spread in the last 13 meetings between these two teams and the Badgers are 4-0 against the number in their last four games overall. They’re also 7-3 against the spread in their last 10 conference games and have rushed for 387 yards or more in three of their four games. Look for Wisconsin to give Ohio State its first challenge of the season. FREE PICK: WISCONSIN +6.5
Bengals vs. Browns, 1:00PM ET
The Bengals are coming off two emotional victories against Pittsburgh and Green Bay, and now has to travel to Cleveland and play a team in the Browns that they’re expected to beat. There’s always value in the home underdog, especially one in Cleveland that shocked bettors a week ago by beating Minnesota outright as a 6.5-point dog. The line in this game has been bet down from 5 to 3.5 despite the public siding with Cincinnati. The underdog is 10-1-1 against the spread in the last 12 meetings between these two teams and the Bengals are just 2-5-1 against the number in their last eight games versus the Browns. Look for a confident Cleveland team behind Brian Hoyer to keep this game within a field goal. FREE PICK: BROWNS +3.5
Seahawks vs. Texans, 1:00PM ET
The Seahawks look every bit a Super Bowl contender in the early going. They suffered no letdown last Sunday when they thumped a brutal Jacksonville team a week after crushing division rival San Francisco on Sunday Night Football. But the Seahawks have never been a team that travels well and the Texans are licking their wounds after being embarrassed in Baltimore last week. Houston knows it can’t afford to fall behind in the AFC South, especially with Indianapolis playing Jacksonville this week. Look for the underdog Texans to win outright as a small home dog. FREE PICK: TEXANS +1