Whitney Mercilus Stars in: Escape from the Houston Texans!

Whitney Mercilus Stars in: Escape from the Houston Texans! MikeTanier 20 Oct 2021, 10:05 am

Houston Texans LB Whitney Mercilus

Welcome to the outside world, Whitney Mercilus and Andre Roberts!

We know you are a little disoriented after getting tossed into a culvert from the back of that old-time Econoline with “Houston Texans” stenciled on a back panel. Take a few moments to collect your thoughts. No, you no longer have to refer to Jack Easterby as “The Infallible Oarsman.” No, he controls neither the weather nor the tides. And no, you don’t need to sell rhubarb jelly in bus terminals on weekdays any more. The brainwashing will wear off in a few cases periods. You are free!

It has been a wild ride for you, Whitney. You were the Texans’ only remaining link to the relatively good, relatively normal times. Well, you and the Phantom of the Opera, but such a situation speaks for itself.

You still have value as a football player and a person, Whitney. You have played well this season, despite being the lone pass-rushing threat on a squad that rarely forces opponents to throw the ball. Texans expert Aaron Wilson says the Chiefs may want to sign you. That would be a great fit! The Cowboys and Saints would also be fine fits if you would rather stay local. None of those squads have three cap nickels to rub together, but they’ll work something out for you. After all, a contender can never have enough veteran pass-rushers.

We hear you have been battling a knee injury, Andre. But you gazed reasonably spry on a couple of kickoff returns against the Colts on Sunday. That knee will probably feel much better once you are returning kicks in plays that are important. The Chargers genuinely need a return guy, and you would look great in powder blue!

Frankly, the Texans could have just plunged both of you guys off in Glendale this week. Watt and Nuk would welcome you both with open arms, and the Cardinal can always find roles for extra side rushers, playmakers, and Texans escapees.

Now that both of you have had some hot soup, it’s time for a little debriefing. Do either of you have any idea what the Texans are doing? Whitney: you are the type of veteran who typically retrieves a mid-round draft pick at the trading deadline. Why were you simply liberated? And Andre: a squad with no hope of vying is better off trying out some undrafted speedsters as return guys than bringing in a three-time Pro Bowler. Do you know why you were signed in the first place?

What about Laremy Tunsil, who before his thumb trauma was practically plopping on his tuckus after the click and rippling at the defenders running past him? He’ll reportedly “re coming back” by Week 9. Plenties of crews could use a left tackle, and Tunsil would likely rediscover his reason formerly he’s no longer required to listen to Easterby’s Yuckin’ It Up With the Apostles CDs on a constant loop-the-loop. Is Tunsil available for a pre-deadline trade?

We’re not even going to ask you guys about the Phantom. That’s above all of our salary tiers. We’re just trying to determine the Texans’ next move. Do they have any rebuilding programme? Is anyone even answering phones in the front office? Is there any hope?

Sigh. It’s not your job to know the answers, fellas. It’s just hard to make sense of the NFL when one crew isn’t even going through the motions of trying to act rationally or professionally.

Good luck, Whitney and Andre. Hope to see you playing football in January.

Now if you will excuse us, there’s a duffel bag under that freeway overpass that is shaped suspiciously like Tyrod Taylor.

Walkthrough Prop Watch: NFC Playoff Props

Every Wednesday, Walkthrough handicaps the field in an NFL bestows race or some other type of futures bet.

The Seahawks are a fascinating exercise in probabilistic reasoning.

The Football Outsiders Playoff Odds Report gives the Seahawks a 25.2% chance to reach the playoffs. The home makes them a +250 moneyline. Russell Wilson’s absence is baked into our odds report as follows: “Seattle DAVE is reduced by 20% due to Russell Wilson injury, with Wilson’s chance to return at 40% in Week 10, 80% in Week 11, and 100% in Week 12. ” Geno Smith’s presence is cooked into our perceptions as “the Seahawks are screwed.” The house knows that keeping the payout low-toned dissuades wagers, restriction its hazard: there’s no reason to entice bettors with Seahawks +500, then get burned if Wilson catches burn in December.

Smith will likely lead the Seahawks to a loss next Monday night against the Saints and a win the next week over the Jaguars. Then comes the bye, then a possible Wilson return. The Seahawks face the Packers and Cardinals in Week 10 and Week 11, so a lot is going on those 40% and 80% changes in our odds formula. If Smith starts, or if Wilson scoots back to grip the football with three fingers because Smith is so terrible, the Seahawks’ playoff probability will plummet rapidly toward zero.

My gut tells me that our adjustments for Wilson’s absence are a little republican and our initial projections for the Seahawks were a little too sanguine. So Walkthrough ain’t touching the Seahawks + 250, and we think they will shed playoff likelihood soon next Monday evening. The question then becomes: where will that likelihood start?

The Vikings may be the most likely recipients. They have a 41.9% possibility of inducing the playoffs with tiebreaker-relevant wins over the Seahawks and Panthers, a knack for arrival just north of. 500, and a semi-enticing +175 moneyline.

Walkthrough detests the Vikings the lane we are to be able detest a company that chops down an old-growth forest to become the fourth-most successful toothpick manufacturer in the Midwest. But if they are going to do what they do anyway, there’s no trauma in profiting off them.

The Vikings face the fourth-toughest upcoming schedule in the NFL, adding probability to any playoff prop. But the Endures face the second-toughest upcoming schedule in the NFL( the Packers face the toughest) and are more likely to fall off the jam-pack than the Vikings. The Bears’ + 600 playoff moneyline would look less like schmuckbait if Matt Nagy had a coherent plan for Justin Fields, but if Nagy had a coherent plan for Fields the moneyline would not be +600.

The Panthers’ playoff odds have taken a nosedive to 8.8% after three straight conference losses. The house has them at +350. A two-game road trip against the Giants and Falcons should property the Panthers back at 5-3, with some Patriots-Dolphins-Washington( and more Falcons) on the upcoming schedule. Look for the Panthers to siphon some of the Seahawks’ playoff probability in the upcoming weeks. Your comfort with wagering on them should rest on A) whether you believed in them at all three weeks ago; and B) whether you think the Patriots or Washington will be able to beat a decent team on the road in November. The Panthers would be more tempting at a Bears-like +600.

The 49 ers have a 39.1% luck of inducing the playoffs but simply a +110 moneyline. The residence checks the team that we find: one capable of coaching and defending its style through injuries and hacking through the wild-card thicket to come out ahead of crews like the Bears or Panthers.

The NFC East … good nobleman, where to begin? The Eagles are +400. We have them at 17.3%. Again, at +600 Walkthrough could talk themselves into a homer wager. The Eagles get the Giants, Jet, and Washington for five games from Weeks 12 through 17, followed by the Cowboys, who may be resting everyone in Week 18. There’s a slim chance they can build a wild-card resume at 9-8 off of a late operate if the Vikings, Bears, Seahawks, and 49 ers all perforate each other out.

Washington at +900 and 11.0% may be more enticing than the Eagles. Washington could get healthier on offense, figure out what’s wrong with their protection, and/ or enjoy a Ryan Fitzpatrick bump in the second half of the season, when the Eagles will have three eyes on the first round of the 2022 draft. After watching the Chiefs slip and slide around the FedEx gravel quarry in Week 6, Walkthrough thinks that Washington might enjoy a home-field advantage( or at least drag adversaries such as the Cowboys and Buccaneers closer to their level) during the second half of the season.

As you might suspect, there is no meat on the bone for the NFC favorites: the Buccaneers are -5 000 to attain the playoffs, and any Cowboys/ Buccaneers/ Packers hater pots to not reach the playoffs would just be a waste of fund. The Saints are at 68.0% but -1 50. Their odds will only go up, and their moneyline down, if Geno Smith is who he appeared to be on Sunday night( and pretty much all of his prior job ).

The Giants are +2500 to reach the playoffs, which may be the house’s way of trolling Giants followers. The Lions are +25000, which may be the house’s way of trolling Football Outsiders.

Walkthrough Tank Watch: Miami Dolphins

Every Wednesday, Walkthrough checks in on one of the NFL’s worst crews to determine what’s going wrong, what( if anything) is going right, and what( if anything) they can do to start heading in the right direction.

The Dolphins Story So Far: The Dolphins finished 10 -6 last-place season and expected to compete for the playoffs after adding five first-round picks in the last two drafts. Instead, Miami has followed a narrow season-opening win over the Patriots with five straight losings, including Sunday’s 23 -2 0 disaster against the Jaguars in London.

Billed as a squad with a turnover-happy defense and a developing offense built around Tua Tagovailoa and explosive playmakers such as Will Fuller, DeVante Parker, and Jaylen Waddle, the Dolphins now appear to lack talent and direction on either side of the ball. Head coach Brian Flores and general manager Chris Grier aren’t on hot seats yet, but they’re burning through their reserves of benefit of the doubt.

What’s Going Wrong? It’s a long list.

Grier’s idiosyncratic draft tactics haven’t made results, including information on the offensive pipeline, where Austin Jackson and others have been slow to develop.

Grier’s decision to trade up to draft Waddle is looking like a ravage mismanagement of resources: the maneuver cost the Dolphins a 2022 first-round pick, and the Eagles use the Dolphins’ pick on Waddle’s college teammate DeVonta Smith, a more productive NCAA player off to a batter NFL start.

The Dolphins’ short passing game doesn’t produce any YAC, despite the existence( when healthy) of speedsters such as Waddle and Fuller. Their screen game is so predictable that it contributed significantly to a disastrous safety against the Raiders. It can be hard to tell what co-coordinators George Godsey and Eric Studeville are trying to accomplish.

The word “co-coordinators George Godsey and Eric Studeville” deserves its own bullet point.

The Dolphins are -2 in takeaways after finishing +9 last year. Takeaways are the most volatile, least sustainable part of a defense, and the Dolphins relied heavily on them last year. There’s not much top-tier talent on defense beyond cornerback Xavien Howard and defensive tackle Christian Wilkins.

Hurt to Tua, Fuller, Parker, Howard, Raekwon Davis, and others have been an undeniable factor in the Dolphins’ decline. But c’mon: they have lost to the Colts and Jaguars, for heaven’s sake.

We’re still just wait the first really good game of Tua’s career. Go ahead, look at the game logs. He had decent games against the Cardinals and Chargers last year, but he was obviously in rookie play administrator mode.( He was so impressive that Flores pulled him the following week ). We can talk about Tua’s injuries and other extenuating factors, but at some phase their reasons for a top quarterback prospect isn’t progressing become irrelevant. All that matters is the lack of progress.

Is Anything Going Right? Most Tank Watch crews are rebuilding, allowing us to say things such as “players seem to like the brand-new coach” or “the draft selects are showing promise.” Sure, Waddle and some others are showing promise. For the most part, however, the 2021 Dolphins have been an unmitigated disaster.

What Needs to be Done? The Dolphins need a time machine so they can go back and re-draft in 2020 and 2021. Barring that, here are some notions 😛 TAGEND

Ditch the Godsey-Studeville Project: The Dolphins need to pick one coordinator, demote the other, and generate some sort of coherent vision for their offense.

Find a Running Back: Myles Gaskin has been effective in small doses, but he’s a change-up back without a workhorse to complement him. The Dolphins need their own James Robinson who can generate gardens without much the assistance of the offensive line.

Watch the Tua Messaging: Last-place year’s benching and the whole “not a captain” affair have done nothing for Tua’s development. He’ll collapse into a Josh Rosen/ Carson Wentz singularity if the doubts surrounding him start to snowball. And the Dolphins aren’t in position to find a replacement after trading next year’s first-round pick.

Place Grier on Notice: He controls the roster as if the Dolphins are a baseball team building a farm structure instead of an NFL team that needs to turn first-round picks and cap bucks into more-or-less immediate blue-chip talent. Stephen Ross should impart Grier strict timelines for results so the Dolphins don’t lapse into a rebuild-within-a-rebuild.

How Bad are the Dolphins? They responding to the Falcons next week and the Texans and Airplane in November. Those should be three wins, but it’s hard to be certain after what we determined on Sunday morning.

What’s Next? The Dolphins remind me a little of the Browns in 2019. They have had several years with multiple first-round picks and are coming off a surprise season. Simply when everything was looking up, their young quarterback crashed into a wall and the whole regime began to look as though it were out of its depth. Flores and Grier are Freddie Kitchens and Jon Dorsey in this analogy, and while Flores isn’t an overpromoted goofball like Kitchens, Dorsey has a much better track record for acquiring talent than Grier.

The Browns analogy presents hope that Tua and the Dolphins can still turn things back around if they are aggressive and urgent about stimulating some fundamental changes. That doesn’t mean that Grier and Flores must go, but it does mean that they cannot just retain doing what they have been doing.


DeVonta Smith … off to a batter NFL start

Yes, but what kind of batter? Pancake? Muffins? Or is this part of the Grier overseeing a MLB roster analogy? 🙂


Given the hurts, potting …

Given the hurts, betting football futures is like picking the winning gate at the Kentucky Derby in 3 years.


My biggest problems with Miami

I think their draft doctrine of drafting young( real young) upside players is great if you’re an established crew that can win now with what you have. The difficulty in Miami is maybe all those 2020 draft pickings are great in year 4 and 5 of their vocations as they overcome bone marrow surgery, being draft at 20, a hip harm in college, a wide out with an ankle harm, a defensive end with head injury problems all of which expenditure them day and development in college. The thing is , no rebuilding team’s fanbase is going to wait 5 years for answers. Few front offices and tutors have the kind of relationship with their owner they can just wait it out. I got the 2020 season when they signed free agents that they are necessary simply to compete because their young people weren’t NFL ready. I don’t get 2021 where they cut so many suffered players. Yeah, they got caught in the Covid salary cap crunch, but not so much better all those vets needed to go. All of which goes to say, Grier and Flores need to draft the next few years “NFL ready guys”. Maybe these players don’t have “upside”, but a few cases guys you can plug in now would be nice. Fans don’t watch development, future cap-space and future draft selects on Sunday. They watch the current team. Which in this case is bad and poorly coached.( which gets to the point of questioning why Flores didn’t sign his usual one grey beard assistant, I don’t know. But the result seems to be a less disciplined team .)


Miami’s Offensive line is a travesty

Don’t think that was highlighted enough – they have one player who* should* be a starter – Robert Hunt. Maybe Liam Eichenberg develops well after this, his rookie season – perhaps. Otherwise no one else in that room should see the field.

This is far and away the single biggest reason for their collapse.

Miami has to sign the best OT available in the offseason and draft an early O-lineman who has skill now; not a developmental prospect.



He manages the roster as if the Dolphins are a baseball team building a farm system instead of an NFL team that needs to turn first-round picks and cap bucks into more-or-less immediate blue-chip talent.

Also a extremely NBA way of roster house – any player without lots of “upside” seems to be regarded as not worth irritate with.

Read more: footballoutsiders.com

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