The Houston Cougars finally accomplished one goal most teams have done in college football already: play a football game.

I’m sure Houston fans are still thinking about that Thursday night game. It was like a magical dream that never seemed would come true. Before the Cougars played the Tulane Green Wave, they had four previous games canceled and one game postponed.

Like I’ve mentioned before, the worst part is none of it is UH’s fault. All COVID-19 cases were from the team’s opponents.

All that waiting from the players to the coaching staff paid off as Houston knocked off Tulane 49-31. I’m sure it felt great for the players, coaches and fans to see UH back on the gridiron in 2020.

Welcome to the 2020 college football season Coogs. And may the odds ever be in you favor.

HOUSTON ASTROS

The Houston Astros dominated against the Oakland A’s in the ALDS. The Astros won the series 3-1, and they won Game 4 11-6. Baseball fans were angry, but it makes me laugh hard on the inside.

Yes, Houston cheated, and yes, it was wrong. Yes, baseball players wanting redemption by threatening to hit Astros players before the regular season started was wrong. But, baseball fans forgot this team is still solid despite being plagued with injuries and heading into the postseason with a below .500 record.

With that said, the team does have some solid pitchers. More importantly, if Houston can keep knocking the ball out of the park, the pitching is solid enough to keep them in close games.

It just makes me laugh because everyone hates the Astros (for good reason) despite them still being a great team. Plus, it’d be foolish to not think the MLB isn't closely watching the Astros' every movement when they play.

The Astros face the Tampa Bay Rays at 6:30 tonight on TBS for Game 1 of the ALCS.

NFL

Even with the coronavirus pandemic striking teams, the NFL season has certainly been fun to watch. We’ve seen plenty of high-scoring games, but we also have seen plenty of injuries.

The NFL made scheduling changes this week. The Buffalo Bills vs. Tennessee Titans game is rescheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, according to ESPN. Additionally, Tennessee must not have any new positive tests for three straight days in order to reopen its facilities Sunday.

This also means Buffalo’s Week 6 contest against the Kansas City Chiefs will now be played Oct. 18. However, if the Titans receive more positive tests, the NFL will revert to its original schedule of the Bills vs. Chiefs matchup on Thursday Night Football on Oct. 15, according to ESPN.

Another schedule change is the New England Patriots vs. Denver Broncos. The Patriots vs. Broncos game was schedule for 3:25 p.m. today, but it will now be moved to 4 p.m. Monday, according to ESPN.

In other news, my fantasy football team has been disseminated with injuries, particularly at the running back position, and I lost to my brother, and he didn’t even start K.C. quarterback Patrick Mahomes, K.C. tight end Travis Kelce or the Kansas City's defense/special teams. Plus, my friend, who is in her first season of playing fantasy football, has an extremely good team.

I got the last laugh against my brother this week because we play against each other on the Xbox 360’s NCAA Football 14’s online dynasty mode, and I recently had seven recruits commit to my school (Ohio State) after visiting me the previous week. My brother’s school (Penn State) was competing against me with five of those seven recruits, especially the five-star tight end who was No. 1 overall in his position group.

Now let’s get to analyzing the games for Week 5. I’m feeling confident this week, especially after accomplishing my goal last week of 12 correct picks.

ANALYSIS

ATLANTA VS. CAROLINA

Carolina has slowly progressed each week under rookie head coach Matt Rhule and has won two-straight games to even its record at 2-2. The Panthers will face hated divisional rival Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons are 0-4 after blowing leads in Week 2 and Week 3 and lost by more than 10 points in Week 1 and Week 4. I’m just waiting to see if it will be because of blown late fourth-quarter leads or just getting blown out that costs head coach Dan Quinn’s job.

LAS VEGAS VS. KANSAS CITY

Can anyone stop Kansas City? Baltimore and New England couldn’t do it. Las Vegas is sneaky though and won’t back down from a challenge. K.C. will want to push the gas pedal early in this game and never let it off. The Raiders have improved under head coach Jon Gruden but aren't at K.C.’s level yet.

PHILADELPHIA VS. PITTSBURGH

The Philadelphia Eagles got a surprising victory (at least to me) against San Francisco last week. The Eagles will look to carry that momentum against Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Steelers are a solid team with many weapons on offense and defense. Pittsburgh also got an extra week of rest because of last week’s postponement, which we all know Philly could use right now. No matter what, it’ll be a tall task to defeat the “Men of Steel.”

DENVER VS. NEW ENGLAND

Denver got its first win of the season last week, but it was against the New York Jets. New England is hoping to get quarterback Cam Newton back and recovered from COVID-19. The Patriots struggled without him, especially against Kansas City. I hope this will be a fun Monday night game.

WEEK 5 PREDICTIONS

Tampa Bay 27, Chicago 21

(0-1)

Carolina 30, Atlanta 20

Kansas City 35, Las Vegas 23

Arizona 26, New York Jets 20

Pittsburgh 23, Philadelphia 20

Los Angeles Rams 28, Washington 21

Baltimore 40, Cincinnati 24

Houston 28, Jacksonville 27

San Francisco 29, Miami 20

Cleveland 36, Indianapolis 33

Dallas 31, New York Giants 24

Seattle 34, Minnesota 24

New England 24, Denver 21

New Orleans 42, Los Angeles Chargers 34

Buffalo 33, Tennessee 27

Teams on bye week: Detroit and Green Bay

Week 4 results: 12-3

2020 NFL football prediction record: 45-17-1

Overall winning average: .722

Note: If key player(s) won’t start a game that I believe could change the outcome of a game, I will update my scoring predictions.

One final note. It’s been a rough week on the copy desk with the recent death of copy chief Robert ‘Dave’ Mathews. I know that he would want us to keep going and keep producing the best paper possible. It seems fitting to end this column by asking a question that Design Editor Seames O’Grady and Deputy Managing Editor Margaret Battistelli Gardner have heard me ask so many times at the end of his shift as Dave was headed out.

One last time, Dave: “Do you have your phone?”

Keenan Betz: 409-683-5237, keenan.betz@galvnews.com or on Twitter @surebetkeenan

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