While I didn’t get to see Justin Fields play on Sunday — probably for the best — I got to see plenty of fantastic NFL action in the Sportsbook on my final day in Vegas this weekend. And if I’m being honest, not having Fields Film to do this week was probably a blessing in disguise … I’m still feeling a bit out of sorts thanks to a hefty delay on my flight home that prevented my head hitting the pillow until 3:00 am Monday.
Deshaun Watson’s Victims to Attend Sunday’s Game
Nearly two years after his last NFL regular season game, Dashaun Watson will return to the field on Sunday, when the Cleveland Browns take on the Houston Texans (the team that drafted Watson and then traded him amid a year-and-a-half scandal the amounted to 26 sexual assault lawsuits).
Watson has satisfied his slap-on-the-wrist suspension, which cost him just 11 games, and will return to life as an NFL star. And don’t forget, the Browns ultimately handed Watson a backloaded extension that helped him soften the financial blow of his then-impending suspension. How nice for him.
But as Tony Buzbee, the attorney for 25 of the women victimized by Watson, said in a recent interview with The Athletic, the message from his victims is: “You think you put us behind you, but we are still here.”
Watson, who tripled down on his innocence when he last spoke after his 11-game suspension was finalized before the season, will have some familiar faces in Houston on Sunday. Buzbee says that he and at least 10 of Watson’s victims will be in the stands “with bells and whistles” to remind Watson that while he may be moving on from this ordeal, those victims never truly will.
You can read more about Watson’s return, the failures on the part of the NFL, and the lasting effects of his actions on the victims in Kalyn Kahler’s story at The Athletic:
Interesting Clock Management Does Colts in on MNF
Jeff Saturday may be just three games into his tenure as the interim head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, but there’s been no shortage of questions about his readiness and even his deservingness of the job since he took over. His questionable clock management on Monday Night Football won’t do anything to quiet those concerns.
On Indianapolis’ final drive of the game last night, Matt Ryan scrambled up the middle to set up a 3rd-and-short, where it seemed like an apparent time to call a timeout, but Saturday didn’t call a timeout with less than a minute to play and the clock running.
Instead, Saturday let the clock run. And the Colts ran a play that didn’t make it to the first down marker before finally calling a timeout with 30 seconds left in the game.
Here’s what Saturday had to say after the game:
“I didn’t feel like time was of the essence at that moment,” Saturday said, via Pro Football Talk. “I thought we had a good play, I felt like we would get to it. I felt good about the call before, I felt like we’d have time, we would have timeouts afterwards, we were in striking distance, so I never felt like the pressure of needing the timeout.”
Uh … yeah, sure.
The Steelers would stop the Colts on fourth down and hold on for a 24-17 win, and Saturday and the Colts fell to 1-2 in his brief three-game tenure as the interim head coach.
Wild Sunday Finishes
Sunday was chocked full of wild finishes, but none more impressive than the ending to the Raiders-Seahawks game in Seattle. After the Raiders got the ball first in overtime, missed a potential game-winning field goal, and then got the ball back with under five minutes to play, Josh Jacobs called game:
Jacobs’ 86-yard game-winning touchdown run gave the Raiders their second consecutive thrilling victory and set the Raiders’ franchise record for scrimmage yards with 303. Jacobs was so good on Sunday that he had more offensive yardage than the Giants (300), Bears (292), Saints (260), Broncos (246), Texans (210), and Rams (198).
Another AFC West team had a wild finish of their own on Sunday with some help from the “Social Media QB” himself, Justin Herbert. Herbert led the Chargers on a game-winning drive in Arizona that included a touchdown pass and a successful two-point conversion to give the Chargers the win in the desert.
Herbert completed 35-of-47 passes for 312 total yards, three touchdowns, and a 109.7 passer rating in the victory. Emmanuel Acho has got to be feeling his hot take right now. Herbert’s 12,354 passing yards rank just behind Andrew Luck for the most by a QB in their first three seasons, and Herbert has time to pass Luck’s 12,957 before this season is over.