Vandermeer's View: Schedule waits for no one

When the news of Deshaun Watson's injury swept thought the city on Thursday afternoon, the reactions were what you might imagine. The pain of losing him was palpable - even on a day when the hometown professional baseball franchise was celebrating its first title.
Then the reaction from around the nation came in. Players, fans and coaches lamented the news and it became quite clear that Watson's star has been not only rising, but already shining brightly around the NFL and beyond.
He'll be back - and when he returns, he'll have several other Texans making comebacks with him, including J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus. The Texans should be a trendy pick to do serious damage in 2018.
News aside, there's more than half of the 2017 schedule left and a lot can happen. After the news hit, what jumped out to me was the body language of the coaches. They had an upbeat look of intensity. They know the music doesn't stop and they have to get a team ready to play on Sunday. Sure, they feel horrible for Watson, but it's 'next man up' no matter who goes down.
So here we go back to Tom Savage. When we last saw him start, he was getting hit early and often by Jacksonville. It wasn't pretty, but the team has grown since then. Certainly, Watson had a great deal to do with that, but several of Watson's big plays were pocket passes that went deep. Savage can surely do some of that.
The interesting thing will be if Bill O'Brien actually tries to keep some of the new wrinkles in for Savage. There's been a tremendous discovery and implementation process for Watson. Of course Savage doesn't have Watson's mobility, but maybe there are some formations and calls that can be used to help the cause.
Running the ball will be more important than ever. The Colts are giving up about 100 yards per game, but the news gets even better. They're 28th against the pass. That means that if the Texans can get any kind of ground game going, Savage has the chance to make things happen through play action.
John Harris once said games are like test questions. You can't take the Baltimore test or the Pittsburgh test today. You answer the questions in order, and right now it's all about Indy. We'll see what happens down the road. 
The schedule does appear to be a tad more palatable after the Rams game next week, and O'Brien's teams have always fared better defensively in the back half of the season. Plus, consider that last year at this time we would have gladly welcomed a look at Savage. 
Yes, the Texans have lost a stellar player in Watson. But the schedule waits for no one. It's once again time to suck it up and go play ball. Adversity be damned. 

When the news of Deshaun Watson's injury swept thought the city on Thursday afternoon, the reactions were what you might imagine. The pain of losing him was palpable - even on a day when the hometown professional baseball franchise was celebrating its first title.


Then the reaction from around the nation came in. Players, fans and coaches lamented the news and it became quite clear that Watson's star has been not only rising, but already shining brightly around the NFL and beyond.


He'll be back - and when he returns, he'll have several other Texans making comebacks with him, including J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus. The Texans should be a trendy pick to do serious damage in 2018.


News aside, there's more than half of the 2017 schedule left and a lot can happen. After the news hit, what jumped out to me was the body language of the coaches. They had an upbeat look of intensity. They know the music doesn't stop and they have to get a team ready to play on Sunday. Sure, they feel horrible for Watson, but it's 'next man up' no matter who goes down.


So here we go back to Tom Savage. When we last saw him start, he was getting hit early and often by Jacksonville. It wasn't pretty, but the team has grown since then. Certainly, Watson had a great deal to do with that, but several of Watson's big plays were pocket passes that went deep. Savage can surely do some of that.


The interesting thing will be if Bill O'Brien actually tries to keep some of the new wrinkles in for Savage. There's been a tremendous discovery and implementation process for Watson. Of course Savage doesn't have Watson's mobility, but maybe there are some formations and calls that can be used to help the cause.


Running the ball will be more important than ever. The Colts are giving up about 100 yards per game, but the news gets even better. They're 28th against the pass. That means that if the Texans can get any kind of ground game going, Savage has the chance to make things happen through play action.


John Harris once said games are like test questions. You can't take the Baltimore test or the Pittsburgh test today. You answer the questions in order, and right now it's all about Indy. We'll see what happens down the road. 


The schedule does appear to be a tad more palatable after the Rams game next week, and O'Brien's teams have always fared better defensively in the back half of the season. Plus, consider that last year at this time we would have gladly welcomed a look at Savage. 


Yes, the Texans have lost a stellar player in Watson. But the schedule waits for no one. It's once again time to suck it up and go play ball. Adversity be damned.

The Houston Texans roster in photos. (Updated 9/7/2020)


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