NFL Week 9: Texans Bye Week — 4 Winners, 4 Losers

Chris Boswell gets points for creativity, but negative points for execution.EXPAND
Chris Boswell gets points for creativity, but negative points for execution.

There was no Houston Texans game this weekend. The fellas got a bye week, which means (presumably) a bunch of side trips to college alma maters, Las Vegas or Cabo for the squad.

It also means that there is no game for us to break down in excruciating detail here. Instead, I actually got to watch an entire Sunday from the couch in a vegetative state, drooling on my remote as the dulcet tones of the Red Zone Channel sent me in and out of a nice afternoon nap. So let's pull some of the highlights from this weekend, and take a (mostly) lighthearted look back at the weekend that was in the NFL and (a little) college...

WINNERS

4. Frank Gore
In one of the few games that I had a non-gambling rooting interest in, the Indianapolis Colts refuse to die, beating the Green Bay Packers in Green Bay by a score of 31-26, and, more important, hanging around in the AFC South with a 4-5 record. The game was your typical Indy victory fare — Andrew Luck has a couple of bad turnovers in the first half before making some plays down the stretch that only about a half dozen quarterbacks on earth can make to secure the win. On top of that, the Colts got 60 yards and two touchdowns from Frank Gore, who is the perfect walking metaphor for these Colts, because he, too, refuses to die. Did you know this?

Frank Gore won't make the Hall of Fame, but he may wind up as the most statistically impressive running back who is not in the Hall of Fame.

3. Derek Carr
You know that class of quarterbacks from back in 2014 that we've been complaining about Bill O'Brien essentially ignoring (with apologies to Tom Savage) during that draft? You want an example of how time flies? Well, that class of quarterbacks is going to be eligible for contract EXTENSIONS in a few months, and when that store opens up this spring, it's expected that Carr is going to get an "Andrew Luck"-(5 years, $123 million)-level contract extension from the Raiders. Per ESPN.com's Adam Schefter, Carr is Oakland's top priority this offseason, followed closely by edge rusher Khalil Mack and WR Amari Cooper the following season. If the O'Brien era winds up as a bust for the Texans, the selections of Jadeveon Clowney and Xavier Su'a-Filo just a few picks, respectively, before the Raiders took Mack and Carr may be the defining etching on the coach's epitaph.

2. People who throw things
This is pretty funny...

I would say that Travis Kelce's reality show has turned him into a spoiled idiot, but then he goes and issues an apology...

Travis, do you not know how it works? You're a reality show star. You're not supposed to be contrite... you're supposed to be screaming at a TMZ reporter about what a jerk the commissioner is! Step your game up, man!

1. Squirrels!
Unfortunately for the Green Bay Packers, the fastest Wisconsin resident on the field Sunday afternoon in their loss to the Colts was this little feller...

...whose presence on the field forced a stoppage in play. This, rightfully, led ESPN.com's Bill Barnwell to jokingly speculate this...

At least, I think he was joking. There's like a 5-to-1 chance Belichick actually tries this, right?

LOSERS

4. These horribly delusional Baylor fans
When you have a former football coach who's been fired for (admittedly, by him) falling woefully short in the area of disciplining players accused of sexual assault on his watch, how do you handle his legacy if you're an alumnus of the school? Do you...

a) Support the interim head coach while the school looks for the next hire
b) Admit that the former head coach was probably a much worse person than his "aw shucks" persona let on
c) Make T-shirts supporting the ousted head coach and sell them outside the home game versus TCU

If you chose "C," then clearly you've been following these nut jobs in Waco. As with most schools who endure a scandal like the one at Baylor, there are a lot of really good people with Baylor degrees and a realistic view of what happened on Briles's watch. Unfortunately, it takes only a few of these whack jobs selling these shirts (#CAB for "Coach Art Briles") to cancel out a sea of those good people.

3. Whoever writes Tommy Tuberville's material
It's been a tough year for Tommy Tuberville and the Cincinnati Bearcats. For a school that expects to be in the running for the AAC title every year, this season has been a bit of a disappointment, and on Saturday they dropped to 4-5 after a home, non-conference loss to BYU by a score of 20-3, in a battle of schools-once-thought-to-be-the-favorites-for-Big-XII-expansion. Well, one loser fan, in particular, is not a fan of Tuberville's work and he let him know about it...

Go to hell...get a job...um, yeah, Tommy probably needs to freshen up the material a little bit. For what it's worth, his boss, Cincy AD Mike Bohn, is backing his head coach, saying that Tuberville is in full control. And what else can he say, after giving the coach a two-year extension through 2019 earlier this year. Also, it appears that Tuberville has apologized for his conduct...

2. Chris Boswell
Back in the day, when kicker Chris Boswell was plying his trade at the amateur level for the Rice football team, he went viral for his figurative 15 minutes with this little onside kick gem in a game against the University of Houston...

Well, here we are a few years later, and Boswell is now the kicker for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Late in Sunday's game in Baltimore, the Steelers, who had no business even being in the game at that point, somehow cut the Ravens' lead to 21-14. In need of a properly executed onside kick, Boswell reached back for some of that soccer-footed magic. He went viral again, but for different reasons this time...

This may be one of those weeks when Boswell reminds people on social media that he has a degree from Rice and we will all be working for him someday. I'm okay with that.

1. Blair Walsh
And even with that ridiculous dump-in-the-pants of an onside kick, Boswell didn't have the worst week for a kicker. That distinction belongs to Minnesota's Blair Walsh, who missed his third PAT of the season, a point that wound up being kind of important in a game that the Vikings eventually lost in overtime to the Detroit Lions. Walsh was understandably salty answering questions after the game...

Um, dude, you're the kicker, the ultimate "you only had ONE job" position in football. Answer the damn questions, and stop being so pissy.

Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 to 6 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanTPendergast and like him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SeanTPendergast.


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