By BARRY LAMINACK
Brian Cushing Cheated…Again
Welp! Things just went from bad to worst for your home town Houston NFL team. If you hadn’t heard the news, Brian Cushing has been suspended for 10 games after violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances (Note; Cushing had already been ruled out of tonight’s game because of a concussion). If that sounds familiar that’s because this is Cushing’s second violation – he was popped back in 2010 for PED’s.
The 2010 suspension cost him 4 games and about $92k in pay. This time around though the penalty is much stiffer. The ten games hurts the Texans sure, but the $4.96 million that Cushing will lose because of the suspension hurts him in the pocket book as well.
Cushing can return for the Ravens game on November 28. Until then, it’s up to a pair of rookies to step in and step up for Cushing. Dylan Cole is expected to get the start, but Texans fans will see a healthy amount of 2017 second round pick Zach Cunningham as well. Brian Peters will also get some snaps at inside linebacker.
At this point in his career, I think the Texans need to start making plans to move on from Brian Cushing. He’s long in the tooth in football years (both in age and wear and tear on the body), he’s an above average run stopper but is a couple of steps slow in coverage, as are most of the Texans linebackers. Heck, you need look no further than the Texans last 2 games to see him and the rest of that LB core getting torched time and time again.
Cushing has 2 years left on his contract. If the Texans cut him next year they’ll have to eat $1.2 million in dead money. Conversely, if they wait to cut him in 2019 they would not have to eat any dead money; so if it doesn’t happen in 2018, it’s almost a certainty in 2019.
In a prepared statement, Cushing’s reps said that he has no plans to appeal the suspension.
Oh, by the way, if you’re keeping score at home this makes two Texans linebackers suspended THIS YEAR for PEDs. Max Bullough was suspended back in May, remember?
Texans vs Bengals Play Tonig…zzzzzzzzzz
HUH? Sorry, I dozed off there for a minute.
As far as Thursday night games go, this is pretty much on par with the garbage games we got last year (sorry fellow Texans fans).
Going from KC/NE to this? Yeesh.
After a week one ass whoopin’ of epic proportions, the wounded and beleaguered Houston Texans head north to the ‘Natti to take on the equally as depressed post-week 1 Bengals.
How bad is it for the Texans? They are a 6 point road dog to a team THAT DIDN’T SCORE A SINGLE POINT LAST WEEK!
I could sit here and go unit by unit and break it down for you, but the bottom line is if the offensive line still sucks (and there’s no reason to think they won’t) it could get really ugly. And don’t expect Andy Dalton to suck as much as he did last week. I think the Bengals will use Bernard and Mixon to control the clock and the ball, and settle down Dalton and get him some confidence back.
This game comes down to two things for the Texans on offense: Protecting Watson and establishing the run.
On defense, JJ Watt and Jadeveon Clowney are going to have to show up. One solo tackle each isn’t enough. This entire Texans defense is predicated on how much pressure they put on the quarterback. If Watt and Clowney aren’t getting to the passer, then the linebackers and secondary have to be excellent in coverage (not something either unit excels at – especially the linebackers, as noted above).
Fiers Flames Out, Astros Remain Cold
I’m told we have some live footage of Mike Fiers pitching in Los Angelas last night? Let’s go to that now:
It’s not like we didn’t know it already, but Mike Fiers isn’t very good. Don’t get me wrong, he had a great June/July, but before and after that? Not good at all.
During the broadcast they put up some stats that included Fiers’ ERA for Aug/Sept. A robust 9.23.
The game was over after the first inning last night when Fiers gave up five runs in the bottom of the first. The Angels would go on to score a bajillion more (give or take). The final score was 9-1 halos.
The best offense in baseball has now scored a grand total of 9 runs in their last 5 games. I’m no math wiz, but that’s less than two runs a game if my abacus is correct.
The Astros are in tail spin and it’s the worst possible time for one, with just about three weeks left before the playoffs begin. The offense has gone cold, the bullpen is taxed, and the starters, by and large, have looked just OK at best.
This team needs to get it together and quick.
Also, can we be done with Mike Fiers pitching? Please?
I have a show TONIGHT at the Houston Improv. It starts at 7:30pm. It’s called Couple’s Therapy and it’s one of the best date nights you’ll find in the city. After 4 or 5 of us comics do a set (about 10 min each), we sit on stage and answer questions from the crowd about love and sex. Mostly sex.
It’s a blast, you should totes come. Click here to get tickets.
OTHER SPORTS AND STUFF
- So is Ted Cruz blaming his staff member for liking a porn video, or his staff/member?
- This dog ate his owners crack…then ate his owner.
- My fellow Game of Thrones dorks are going to love these people trolling Apple.
- The only thing I can say about this is…HOLY SHIT THAT WAS CLOSE!