A Fan’s Notes from the Tenth Week of the NFL Regular Season.
The road to the Super Bowl is long, winding through 17 weeks of the regular season (R), and then a narrowed field navigates a month-long playoff tournament. Every team imagines they are on their way to Houston, host to this year’s Super Bowl . . .
Texas Football: Test Pilots and Dinky Toys
A humorous anecdote says that you give a pilot ten seconds until a crash and he’ll say, “oh, crap, I’m going to crash in ten seconds.” But a test pilot will reply, “all right, I’ve got ten seconds, I can try something here.” Dak Prescott, rookie quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, came onto the field with 42 seconds left in the fourth quarter, down by a single point. In his quietly heroic way, he apparently told the players in the huddle, “we’ve been here before.” They actually had been–in the fourth quarter of this game, down by a single point and with 7:51 left. With fearless throws, Test-Pilot Prescott had gone 6-for-6 for 48 yards on the scoring drive. Now down 30-29 against a game Pittsburgh Steeler team, Prescott made it happen again, and fellow rookie Ezekiel Elliott took a handoff and busted through the line to score the winning touchdown on a declarative run of over thirty yards. Cowboys going to the Super Bowl!
The Cowboys may have to pull out their test-pilot heroics to get to the Super Bowl by beating the Seattle Seahawks, who showed their resurgent form by winning an exciting Sunday Night Football game 31-24 at New England. Even in a home loss, the Patriots look like they are ready for another Super Bowl.
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The Houston Texans will probably go to the playoffs. They lead their division and beat a
divisional rival on Sunday (but only 24-21), traveling to Jacksonville, and showing off Big Brain Bill O’Brien’s Dinky Toys Offense, which will probably win them some games against Jacksonville and Tennessee and Indianapolis, but won’t be nearly enough to take on the high-scoring teams like New England and Pittsburgh and Oakland.
Houston’s Brock Osweiler finished the game averaging 3.7 yards per passing attempt (compare to Test-Pilot Prescott’s heroic 10.0). The explosive plays mostly came on the ground, including a 45-yard run from Lamar Miller, and the Texans have finally evolved their running game to rank 5th in the league in rushing yards per game. However, wins and losses are determined by the score, and the Texans rank 29th in scoring offense, averaging only 17.9 points per game (for context: DAL 4th, 28.7; OAK 6th, 27.2; NE 7th, 26.8). When it comes to passing yards per game, Houston is DEAD LAST at 187.3, and for a final measure of a Dinky Toys Offense, Osweiler is ranked 33rd in passsing yards per attempt (below a guy who lost his starting job) at 5.61.
We’ll get to see if the Texans can Win Dinky again next week, when they travel to Mexico City to take on the Oakland Raiders, who Win Big and have their own Test Pilot at quarterback, third-year man Derek Carr.
The Good News!
Election season is over–and only weeks until the investigations and impeachments begin! Or, you could start reading my book:
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