It’s the first Monday Night Football of the 2019 season, it will be a doozy of a doubleheader, and not just because of the play on the field.
One team starts their quest to revenge what they see as a stolen NFC Championship, and two teams that had some offseason drama. And then there are the Broncos, who are just trying to right the ship. Add to this what will hopefully be great games on the field, and we should have a fantastic kick-off to Monday Night Football.
Houston Texans vs New Orleans Saints 7:10p ET
I’m sure when the powers that be scheduled this matchup, they saw a team that felt cheated out of a possible Super Bowl, the Saints, and a team with a young, talented quarterback and a stout defense going head to head. And we could still get that game, but a few things have changed.
This week I’ll be looking at the AFC and NFC South and how they did with their drafts. I’ll ask 3 questions about each team. Did they address their biggest need? Who will have the biggest impact? What could 2019 look like?
Let’s start with the Indianapolis Colts. After having a pretty strong offensive line, quarterback Andrew Luck, and Pro Bowl tight end Eric Ebron, the Colts focused on defense. 7 of their 10 picks were defensive.
Who could have the biggest impact? Former Michigan State safety Khari Willis. He worked hard and was an impact player. I think he’ll fit in nicely. 2019 for the Colts? If their defense lives up to its potential, it could be tough sledding for the rest of the AFC South.
This week, I thought I’d write about the Houston Texans.
But, I’m going to be honest with you. As I started to think about what I was going to write about, I realized that I don’t really know too much about the inner workings of the Texans. I don’t know their draft needs, who their free agents are. You know, the good stuff.
But I remembered someone who would. One of our old friends Claire. Claire used to be our Texans reporter and co-hosted our podcast. So of course, it was a no brainer to ask her! Here we go!
On Friday, Feb. 15th, the NFLPA released a statement saying that the NFL has reached a settlement with former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and current Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid in their collusion case against the NFL.
The almost 3-year saga has, for all intents and purposes, has come to a sort of anti-climactic close.
Regardless of if you support Kaepernick and Reid or not, it opened up dialog. Or at least attempted to. I had a hard time finding people who could civilly discuss this online, but hopefully more civil discussions were had in “real life”.
“This is my second home.” Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton tells the media after a victory over the AFC South Division leading Houston Texans. And course, what a game performance from Hilton!
For the seventh straight season, Hilton has at least 800 receiving yards, making this the longest active streak in the NFL. Also, Hilton broke a tie with former Colts’ WR and Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison for the most 150 yard receiving games in the Colts’ franchise history.
On Sunday vs the Texans, Hilton caught 9 of 12 targets for 199 yards. “He’s a baller, man. He’s a baller. It’s always an honor to play with.” Colts QB Andrew Luck tells Colts.com reporter Jake Arthur. “We all know T.Y.’s a tough guy. Sometimes the best packages come in small sizes.”
The Titans won their home opener without their top three defensive tackles and their starting quarterback. They also had help from some unexpected plays.
QB Marcus Mariota was out with an elbow injury from last week’s game against the Dolphins. He has not been able to grip and throw the ball well since he suffered a late hit during that game. Other injuries are also plaguing the Titans.
People have such polarizing views on preseason. Some love to finally see their favorite players play after months of waiting, while others are happy to watch them sit and avoid injuries. Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay falls into that second camp.
When the Rams face the Oakland Raiders September 10th, most of the offensive line will not have taken a single snap together in the preseason. Too extreme of a choice by McVay? Only time will tell.
Personally, I like to see starters sit. I also like that by sitting the offensive starters all preseason, it shows that McVay has high confidence in his offense.
He did, however, choose to play defensive starters, and we got to watch corners Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib, and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh take the field. It was a strong defense that helped carry the LA Rams to a 21-20 victory over the Texans.