Brock Osweiler is feeling pretty good this week. But how will he feel Monday night?
It’s been an interesting year for Brock Osweiler. First, he won a Super Bowl ring for a team that benched him. Then, he spurned that team for a giant deal in Houston. Then, he was back in the news for blowing off a trip to the White House with his former team. Then, in his first season as a true starting quarterback, Osweiler had up-and-downs and was reportedly involved in a shouting match with his head coach, Bill O’Brien.
However, Osweiler’s season turned for the positive after he led Houston back from a 14-point deficit to an overtime win over Indianapolis in Week 6. Osweiler started the game poorly and social media was lit up, calling Osweiler an $18 million a year bust who the Texans might have to replace.
So the pressure is off Osweiler now, right?
Not this week. On cue, Osweiler is headed back to his original team, the Denver Broncos for a Monday night game. Because of Osweiler’s rocky departure from Denver, it is clear Osweiler will be the No. 1 target of the gnarly Denver defense and the raucous Denver crowd.
The tone was set this week when Denver middle linebacker Brandon Marshall told reporters, the Broncos want to “kill” Osweiler.
OK, then. This should be fun.
And we don’t like Osweiler’s chances. Denver has a league-leading 21 sacks. Houston’s weak offensive line has allowed 43 quarterback hits and Osweiler has been sacked 12 times. Plus, Osweiler often gets skittish under duress.
It’s been a wild year for Osweiler. It is sure to continue to be that way in his return to Denver.
Below is the rest of the Week 2 All-Williamson 22 unit. This is not an All-Star team, yet is a list of key players at each position this week:
Quarterback: Brock Osweiler, Houston Texans: See above.
Running back: Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers: With Ben Roethlisberger out with a knee injury, the Steelers will be relying on Bell to control the game on the ground. The more clock he eats, the better the undermanned Steelers’ chances of upsetting New England without Big Ben.
Running back: Frank Gore, Indianapolis Colts: Gore is timeless. The 33-year-old is in his 12th season. He is looking for his second straight 100-yard game, Sunday at Tennessee.
Wide receiver: Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers: He has to find a way to impact the game without Roethlisberger. He is a top weapon and he must connect well with Landry Jones, who is playing in Big Ben’s place.
Wide receiver: Brandon Marshall, New York Jets: He was Ryan Fitzpatrick’s biggest supporter. Now he plays with Geno Smith. Marshall is known for getting testy. This will be interesting.
Tight end: Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots: Gronk is back. I see a third straight 100-yard receiving game on the horizon.
Left tackle: Duane Brown, Houston Texans: He needs to keep the Broncos from “killing” Osweiler. That’s pressure, man.
Left guard: Alex Boone, Minnesota Vikings: He is having a fine season in his first season with the Vikings, coming over from San Francisco. The Eagles have a stout defensive front. He needs to keep Sam Bradford clean.
Center: Maurkice Pouncey, Pittsburgh Steelers: Big Ben’s main man has to get in a quick rhythm with Jones. They have never started a game together.
Right guard: Germain Ifedi, Seattle Seahawks: The Seahawks’ first-round pick is nasty and he is coming on strong after an injury. He will give the Cardinals’ defensive front a fight.
Right tackle: Ja’Wuan James, Miami Dolphins: James has been up-and-down all season. He has his hands full against Buffalo, which is bringing the heat lately.
Defensive end: Mario Williams, Miami Dolphins: Williams’ coaches want him to play harder. That was the rap on the former No.1 overall pick in Buffalo. Maybe being on the same field will light a fire under Williams. Or not.
Defensive tackle: Michael Bennett, Seattle Seahawks: Playing hard is not an issue for this year. Bennett is a non-stop terror for offensive linemen and the Cardinals know it.
Defensive tackle: Mike Daniels, Green Bay Packers: The vaunted Packers’ run defense was steamrolled by Zeke Elliott on Sunday. The Packers have to fix in quickly with Chicago looming tonight.
Defensive end: Arik Armstead, San Francisco 49ers: The first-round pick from last year is one of the few bright spots for a terrible San Francisco team. Let’s see if he can give Jameis Winston a hard time Sunday.
Outside linebacker: Von Miller, Denver Broncos: I can vision Von Miller lying on top of Osweiler, telling him a what a good time the trip to the White House was.
Middle linebacker: Brandon Marshall, Denver Broncos: He set the tone. Let’s see if he’s charged with murder Monday night.
Outside linebacker: Vontaze Burfict, Cincinnati Bengals: Perhaps Cleveland’s offensive players should wear signs that say “please don’t step on me.” Seriously, Burfict, you got to start playing with some control.
Cornerback: Trea Waynes, Minnesota Vikings: He is not perfect, but he is getting better. Still, I expect rookie Carson Wentz to take Waynes a time or three Sunday.
Safety: Michael Thomas, Miami Dolphins: With Pro Bowl safety Reshad Jones out for the season. Thomas is going to have on pick it up.
Safety: Adrian Amos, Chicago Bears: Amos has been so-so this year. But so has Aaron Rodgers. Can Amos and the Bears’ secondary continue Rodgers’ tough season?
Cornerback: Marcus Cooper, Arizona Cardinals: Cooper is an underrated player. Let’s see if Russell Wilson agrees.