Ah, Thursday Night Football. It’s a bit like marriage. Some weeks are great, but most you’re just not arsed with. Last Thursday, we saw two teams with designs on a Vince Lombardi trophy go at it. This week, we get to see two teams who tallied a grand total of seven points between them on opening week fall over each other for an hour. Some things just aren’t worth staying up for. Thankfully, you don’t need to be awake to win money.
Perhaps the only redeeming feature of tonight’s ‘big clash’ is the contrast in quarterback-ing.
As reported, Deshaun Watson is due to start for the Houston Texans. Let’s cast our minds back to the College Football Playoff National Championship game. There’s six seconds left – Clemson are down by three. Due to having one timeout left, or perhaps their close proximity to the goal line, Deshaun Watson is instructed to take a shot into the end zone.
The play that’s called is a simple bootleg. Watson runs to the right and his receiver runs a pick play on the corner in man coverage to afford Hunter Renfrow separation. He gets it – Watson makes the throw, and the rest is history. While it’s certainly the play he’s remembered for, that same play also encapsulates everything that everyone’s so unsure about with Watson himself. Is he a top tier quarterback prospect, or just a scheme fit?
Whether you believe he is or he isn’t – the one thing he definitely is not – is Andy Dalton. Honestly, he might have a few hundred million dollars, but no matter how far you’ve fallen, you’ve probably not fallen as far as this man. Once hailed as the next big thing coming out of TCU, he enjoyed a good start to his NFL career.
Last week, he threw four interceptions in the season opener.
He didn’t guide the Bengals to a single bloody point. These Cincinnati Bengals are a heavy shade of odds-on. If you back a team who didn’t score a point and threw four picks last week, against an even better defence, at this short of a price – you should be forced to socialise with Alberto Moreno.
Logistics aside, the emotional weight of playing in Houston after the tragedy that hit the city is an exceptionally big burden to carry. It appeared to get to some of the players.
Other than 5 turnovers, awful O-Line, bad QB play, and terrible play calling…the #Bengals weren't too bad on offense. Optimism baby
— Doug Baumgartner (@DBaumgartner3) September 11, 2017
This week, they can step away from the scene of so much devastation and immerse themselves in their job. The Texans are a huge price at 21/10. They’re being proactive in deciding the future is now. Tom Savage’s agent says his benching makes no sense. That’s hilarious. Remember how your mother told you that you were handsome when you were younger? Same thing.
Whether or not Watson can transfer his ability to an NFL level is a mystery that will only be solved over time. The one thing we do know, however – is that AJ McCarron should be starting ahead of Dalton, if Marvin Lewis had a backbone. Let’s remember – Dalton is 29 now. He’s not learning anymore. Maybe the last thing he’ll learn in the NFL is that he’s not good enough.
The Texans win this one – 17-10.