NFL Week 9 story lines: What now for the Texans? Saints grinding it out
Well, Mr. McCarthy, what you got?
Monday Night Football will be in Green Bay to show the world what kind of Brett Hundley-friendly changes Packers coach Mike McCarthy made during the bye. Meanwhile, the equally depressing Lions will try to end a three-game losing streak. Hundley must run the ball to move the chains and keep the Packers afloat while Aaron Rodgers heals. Detroit needs its running game to help Matthew Stafford add some points to all those passing yards.
Keep an eye on Garoppolo
People finally can stop projecting Washingtons Kirk Cousins to the 49ers after Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch traded a second-round pick to New England for Jimmy Garoppolo. The 49ers reportedly wont start Garoppolo against the Cardinals on Sunday. But why not look for ways to get the newbie some live reps in whats basically an eight-game 2018 preseason schedule for the 0-8 49ers and their QB of the future?
Ground and pound ... Saints!?
Remember a few weeks ago when the Saints didnt need Adrian Peterson because, well, you know the Saints travel by air, not land. But, suddenly, Sean Payton is looking more like his mentor, Bill Parcells. Yes, the Saints are still Drew Brees team. But defense and a running game have helped fuel a five-game winning streak. The Saints had 30 runs and 28 passes against the Bears last week. Next up: Tampa Bay.
Does Houston have any chance?
The Texans (3-4) host Indianapolis (2-6) three days after rookie QB Deshaun Watson, above, a rising superstar, went down for the season with a torn ACL in practice. Since Watson took over at halftime of Week 1, the Texans have averaged a league-best 34.7 points per game and were a game out in the AFC South. Tom Savage steps back in. He had 62 yards passing, two fumbles and six sacks in two quarters.
Can Eagles avoid the NFL pratfall?
Philadelphia has the leagues best record (7-1) because the Eagles are darn good and have avoided the NFL pratfall that typically sucker-punches the good teams. Crushing the 49ers 33-10 last week was a good sign. Denver visits Sunday on a short week. The Broncos (3-4) have lost three in a row and arent the same team since their loss to the Giants. Will Denver get back in the AFC West race, or will Philly snuff out another inferior team?