Welcome back to my 'on the fly' notes taken throughout the game. I was gone all weekend and had to tape this sucker, so I wasn't able to sit down and watch it until today. Usually I like to go through the game twice, but since I'm already behind and this game doesn't matter, once will have to do.
Someone please explain to me what Rob Gronkowski is doing on the football field in August. Make it stop. Make it stop now.
And a Tom Brady sighting. I hate this.
The Texans went for it on 4th and 6 from about the 8 yard line early in the first quarter and handed it off to Lamar Miller (From?! THE U) who was promptly swallowed up. Interesting play call from Bill O'Brien there. Tea Pot has taken over play calling duties for the Texans this season and I don’t think we will see that one again. But if he wants to dust it off again for us in week 3 who am I to stop him?
Rex Burkhead looked great. We didn’t see him at all last week but it was worth the wait. He had a great, decisive jump cut on an 8 yard run on our second possession. Granted he was decapitated by JJ Watt on the next play for a loss of two, but still. That jump cut though. He was silky catching the ball too. Converted a third down over Brian Cushing on a pass that was a little behind him. And got open against the linebackers for a 22 yard tuddy in the second quarter.
On the ground he was running hard as hell. He’s not always cashing in huge gains but he slams the hole. He’s like the opposite of Laurence Maroney.
Our ensuing punt was saved only by Joe Cardona trip-up tackle. Otherwise it was a tuddy. Gotta be better in kick coverage. As I said last week, these guys fighting for jobs better tighten it up.
The Texans pocket looked very clean early on. Harvey Langi had two straight pressures from Rob Ninkovich’s old spot, but he was a split second late. Both led to big completions. I will take anyone getting pressure at this point, but I can’t have penalties. Langi took an illegal hands to the face to negate an in completion. If you are gonna cheat at least feed Tom Savage his lunch at the end of it.
Tom’s only blemish was when he tried to hit Chris Hogan on a corner route on the right sideline. It was picked by Free Safety Andre Hal. PUKE. It wasn’t even under thrown that badly, and Hogan fought for it. Mostly I question the decision to throw it. I didn’t get a good enough replay to see if anyone else was open. Upon further review, the play was overturned because Hal didn’t get two feet down. It doesn’t excuse the throw though.
Once Jimmy got in we saw Dion ‘Didi’ Lewis join the fray. I literally just wrote a post about him being expendable and I borderline want to delete it after this game. He showed why he's such unique talent. He was elusive and quick with his decision making. He can run it out of single back and catch passes split out wide. He’s a perfect weapon for Josh McDaniels system. Just stay healthy little guy. Who needs DEs anyway?
Speaking of the D, the front 7 looks pretty good. Malcom Brown is turning into the space eater I always hoped he would be. Alan Branch is back. I need him in 2016 form. He got pushed around a few times, but he did swat down a pass which was nice to see. We also got a sack from Vincent Valentine who I would LOVE to have a strong second year jump.
Special Teams is so Jekyll and Hyde so far. There was a great kick off return by Didi. He got hung up at the 30 but he almost broke it. Ya BOY Cyrus Jones had a incredible punt return. High stress catch and he ripped it out of trouble and up the sideline. Then later he chased a punt backwards and caught it over his shoulder on our 7 and was immediately dropped. Should have let that one go, but a sexy catch I gotta say. Justin Coleman was the up man on a punt and the ball just hit him. Almost a turnover. The announcers were all over him, saying he looked lost and has to have his head in the game. And granted I cant hear the field but I blame Cyrus. You have to yell “Peter! Peter! Peter!” to let your guys know to look out for a short punt if you aren’t going to come up and catch it. The only perk is Stevie Gostkowski looks like he is back in fine form. He was automatic all day.
While we are on Coleman, he was competitive in coverage all day. Which is more than I can say about Malcolm Butler. He was bullied by Jalen Strong multiple times, including on the Texans first tuddy. He usually battles harder than that. I’m not worried or anything but it wasn’t fun to watch.
James O’Shaughnessy has looked pretty good. Dwayne Allen didn't play, and it makes me literally sick to my stomach that we are even talking about this position battle, but I gotta tip my hat to the kid for making it a fight.
Jimmy Garoppolo looked OK, but had a brutal pick at a bad time. Jacoby Brissett looked worse. The O-Line looked worst. They will get an ear full from Scar, you can count on it.
Austin Carr flashed again. He had one awesome catch on a Jimmy throw up the sideline. He was out of bounds, but it was a bad throw. Nothing he could do. He was wide open too, Jimmy just missed him. But great hands and athleticism to haul it in. If we were on Hard Knocks, this would be the cut that makes everyone cry.
My man DJ Foster had another score. A 25 yards pass from Jimmy on basically the same play that Tom and Burkhead burned the Texans on. And Foster didn’t put the ball on the ground. I’m telling you, this kid is the passing back of the future. Do what you have to do to keep him around.
Elandon Roberts was banged up, which sucks. I hate preseason football so much for this reason.
Kony Ealy looked pretty good actually. Made me feel a little better about Derek Rivers having to red shirt.
Malcolm Mitchell looked like he tweaked his knee after getting rolled up on early, but then he stayed in the game and appeared fine. And for what it's worth, Money Mitch runs the best come back route in the league. Can’t be covered.
Grit Team Captain: Rex Burkhead. He was a ball of fire every snap he was in. I hope Mike Gillislee is watching his back.
Unofficial Cyrus Jones Scoreboard: 1 electric punt return, 1 horrible decision on a punt return, 1 time letting the up man get hit by a punt, 1 time getting truck sticked by Deshaun Watson (a qb) on a third and 2, 1 great tackle on a slant route for no yards after the catch. Better.
Guys I like: Harvey Langi, Austin Carr, Justin Coleman, Adam Butler, and James O’Shaughnessy
Guys I don’t like: Cameron Flemming. Need more out of my first backup tackle. Didn’t look strong out there.