Leonard Fournette has made a career of punishing defenders with his freakish strength, and Houston Texans cornerback Johnathan Joseph got a first-hand look at that on Sunday.
During the first quarter of the Jacksonville Jaguars’ game against the Texans in London, Fournette threw a vicious stiff arm on Joseph while Joseph was trying to tackle him in the open field. Fournette basically swatted Joseph away like a fly before picking up the first down.
Leonard Fournette is running over Houston in London. pic.twitter.com/nOxoNfIE4r
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) November 3, 2019
Joseph was slow to get up after the play and ended up leaving the game.
That looked a lot like what we saw Saquon Barkley do to a defender a week ago, and plays like that are no surprise from either back. Those are the reasons they’re so difficult to bring down.
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton has been paying attention to the banter coming from the Houston Texans side in advance of Saturday’s playoff game, and he’s ready to embrace it.
Hilton referred to Houston’s NRG Stadium as his “second home” following a dominant nine-catch, 199-yard performance there in December. That comment caught the attention of Texans defensive back Johnathan Joseph, who said the comment was “for clowns.”
Perhaps he was right, because Hilton embraced the moniker upon his arrival at the stadium Saturday.
Texans CB Jonathan Joseph called TY Hilton a clown this week, so TY showed up to the game like this. Colts by 50 pic.twitter.com/olo78KmnWT
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) January 5, 2019
It’s worth remembering that these two players have a rather extensive history with each other. It’ll be a matchup to watch when the game kicks off Saturday afternoon.
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton and Houston Texans cornerback Johnathan Joseph threw multiple punches at each other during Sunday’s game, but somehow were not ejected.
The pair got tangled up and things quickly got heated, with both players taking shots at each other more than once during the altercation.
TY Hilton and Jonathan Jospeh threw a bunch of punches in a Week 17 game and somehow didn’t get ejected pic.twitter.com/hwoSRTBtKa
— Josh Hill (@jdavhill) December 31, 2017
Somehow, despite the obvious punches, neither player was ejected from the contest. There’s plenty of precedent for tossing players for less than this.
This has been a frustrating season for both the Colts and the Texans. As it comes to an end, it seems as though some frustration simply boiled over.
Houston Texans owner Bob McNair might have hoped he had put the issue of his infamous “inmates” quote to rest by meeting with his team on Saturday morning, but for at least one player, it wasn’t nearly enough.
McNair waited a day after his quotes were publicly reported and met with the players on Saturday, offering an apology for his quote at a recent league meeting. However, Texans cornerback Johnathan Joseph came away unconvinced.
Joseph told Dana Jacobson of CBS, via Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk, that McNair’s apology was not seen as persuasive by the players. Joseph also said that, in the past, Texans players had stood for the national anthem out of deference to McNair, but now that his comments have gone public, a vast majority of the team is expected to kneel.
McNair has tried to claim he wasn’t referring to the players in his quote, but his team clearly isn’t buying it. It’s hard to see where the two camps go from here.
Through the first six weeks of the NFL season, several popular names still lead the fray when it comes to defensive production. However, key injuries to superstars like J.J. Watt have created a void that has been filled by some surprising players, many of whom are having career years.
Here’s a look at each NFL team’s best defensive player so far in 2017.
Arizona Cardinals — Tyvon Branch, S
There are a lot of talented defenders on Arizona’s roster, but through six weeks, it’s hard to argue that Tyvon Branch — who has been called a “wolverine” complement to the “honey badger” — isn’t the very best. He not only leads the team and is tied for the league lead with 55 tackles, but he’s also defended four passes, forced a fumble and was named to the Pro Football Focus First Quarter All-Pro Team. Branch getting the nod says a lot about his impact this season when you consider Arizona also has Chandler Jones and his six sacks.
Atlanta Falcons — Deion Jones, LB
Deion Jones has filled out the box score this year, leading the Falcons with 38 tackles. He’s also recorded a sack, three passes defended and an interception. Jones is also among Pro Football Focus’ top 15 graded linebackers this season, alongside teammate De’Vondre Campbell, who has also landed very high grades for Atlanta. Jones is blossoming well for Atlanta in his second NFL season.
- Akiem Hicks, Blake Martinez, Bobby Wagner, Brandon Graham, Brent Grimes, Calais Campbell, Cam Heyward, Cameron Jordan, CJ Mosley, Darius Slay, Deion Jones, Demarcus Lawrence, Geno Atkins, Harrison Smith, Jaquiski Tartt, Jason McCourty, John Simon, Johnathan Joseph, Jordan Poyer, Julius Peppers, Justin Houston, Khalil Mack, Landon Collins, Malcolm Butler, Mark Barron, Melvin Ingram, Morris Claiborne, Reshad Jones, Tyvon Branch, Von Miller, Wesley Woodyard, Zach Brown
The Houston Texans had a chance at redemption against the New England Patriots last weekend and failed to cash in. Just four weeks removed from an embarrassing 42-14 loss at Gillette Stadium, the Texans were once again dominated in every facet of the game. Anyone who watched both games was left with one simple conclusion — the Patriots are a better team.
Johnathan Joseph does not agree. Despite the two beatings, the Houston corner feels that the Texans are still a better team than New England.
“Obviously we had the right guys in here to win 13 ballgames to get up to that point,” Joseph told CSNHouston.com on Monday. “For whatever reason, we didn’t advance. I still can’t put that over because I think we were a better team. I think we just didn’t make the plays at the right time.”
I’m afraid it doesn’t work like that. The 2-14 Jacksonville Jaguars were a play or two away from beating the Patriots in Week 16. Does that mean they are a better team? New England outscored Houston 83-42 in their two match-ups, and a couple of late touchdowns made the playoff meeting seem closer than it actually was. However, Joseph doesn’t think the numbers mean much.
“Not at all,” he said when asked if New England is a significantly better team. “Just four or five plays. You take a few of those plays that they made and go the other way, it’s a different ballgame.”
Whatever helps you sleep at night. The not-so-athletic Wes Welker (according to Wade Phillips) caught eight passes for 133 yards. Tom Brady threw for 344 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions against a typically solid Houston secondary. I can understand Joseph thinking the first beating was an outlier, but twice is not a coincidence. At the end of the day, the Texans handed the Patriots two of their easiest wins of the season. Considering some of the poor opponents New England faced this year, that certainly has to say something.
UPDATE: CSNHouston.com has since changed their headline after the Texans’ PR staff informed them that Joseph was simply speaking about the gap between Houston and New England, not saying the Texans are a better team.
Photo credit: Brett Davis-US PRESSWIRE
When players leave the Bengals organization, they are happy to get away from what has ultimately been a losing environment. In his first five NFL seasons, Texans cornerback Johnathan Joseph was stuck in Cincinnati. The team finished with a winning record only twice during that span and failed to win a playoff game. Last year, Joseph was able to escape to Houston and join a contender. In fact, his new team beat his old squad in the opening round of the playoffs. But Joseph was thrilled to get away for reasons that span beyond wins and losses.
“The first thing about Houston is it’s an organization run from a different perspective,” he said during an interview with HeraldOnline.com. “In Cincy, the team lives off money it earns from football. Houston’s owner has other business interests and he controls the money. Numerous things that go on such as the way Houston interacts with my family; we’re treated in a first-class way. They helped us when my wife lost our baby daughter in a miscarriage.
“But they help with anything you ask of them because they are a very caring organization with positive attitudes about its players. In Cincy, we’re told how much Gatorade we could take home. In Houston we get what we request. You get soap and deodorant at your request. You don’t have a roommate on road trips.”
Professional athletes love being pampered, and it sounds like Cincy is not the place to be if you want first-class treatment. Those of you who have seen the movie “Moneyball” are probably thinking about how the A’s charged $1 for soda in the clubhouse — something that supposedly irritated the players. Clearly, it is not just the fans on their death bed who dislike the Bengals organization.
H/T Sports by Brooks Live
Photo credit: Brett Davis-US PRESSWIRE