As I said yesterday, Week 1 of the NFL is the perfect place for exaggeration – both for good and for bad. There are situations that are confirmed throughout the year, such as the disappointing Jaguars in 2016, there are situations that are just fire of straw – just like the various victories of the San Francisco 49ers in Week 1 in recent years.
Anyway, Houston Texans and Cincinnati Bengals have cause to worry. Both lost to teams that are not favorites in their divisions and was rather ugly. Both offensive lines had performances to forget. Quarterback ? One team had the worst of the week and the other had two on the field.
PATIENCE IS A SWEET FRUIT FROM A BITTER TREE – BUT BILL O’BRIEN IS ON A DIET
Houston Texans coach Bill O’Brien must have been a pretty chilly child in impatience. Well, at least that’s what we think when we witness the bizarre way he deals with the quarterback position in Houston.
Former offensive coordinator for the New England Patriots, O’Brien was far from having the stability he once had with Tom Brady. Brock Osweiler, Brian Hoyer, Ryan Mallett, Tom Savage, countless names that passed through Bill. This year, the lack of patience lasted literally two rooms.
After Savage’s bizarre performance, O’Brien hit the eject button and Deshaun Watson, freshman, came on the field. Watson did not play so well in the preseason, but that was not enough to prevent the coach from playing the ball again.
The freshman from college champion Clemson came on the pitch and scored a touchdown – and that’s it. Watson was sacked four times at the start (enough for the Jacksonville Jaguars twitter to give him an EMPOLGOU and change his name to Sacksonville). Not that it was all his fault for holding the ball: the Texans did not have their two tackles on them . Derek Newton recovers from surgery on both knees and Duane Brown, one of the league’s most consistent left tackles , is continuing his strike for a new contract.
O’Brien has already announced that Watson will be the starting lineup this Thursday – is the ninth holder in the position since 2014, a mark above the Browns in the period. It remains to be seen: for how long?
In Cincinnati, offensive line is also a problem
Andy Dalton is already starting to feel the effects of the departures of some of the most important names on his offensive line last season. To top it off, the only really consistent wide receiver of the cast is AJ Green – who misses the supporter must have Sanu and Cia.
In Sunday’s game, Dalton had 16 completed passes from 31 attempted for just 170 yards and four interceptions. The Baltimore Ravens’ fine defense held the Bengals in a game … Well, in an ugly game. It’s not as if the Baltimore attack had done too much.
After a season of less than 50% and a terrific loss, Dalton knows that the pressure begins to rise. “It’s not the beginning of the season we wanted, but our mindset is that we still have 15 more games to go,” said the quarterback . The trio of running backs in Cincinnati, by the way, did not do much to help either. Joe Mixon had only nine yards in eight pounds. Gio Bernard and Jeremy Hill together added only 76 yards (3.6 per load). Even before this chaotic scenario, the Bengals coach did not throw the towel over his attack. “I’m confident Andy will come back to form. It was not normal according to their level of play. We need him to play better and I expect that, “said Marvin Lewis.
With the two teams needing a win to erase the perfunctory performances of Week 1, the clash promises a physical and important game for the season’s directions – even if it’s not such an appetizing duel on paper. Whoever loses here begins to curl up in their respective divisions – hence the importance.