Deshaun Watson to DeAndre Hopkins highlights the work in the second preseason game

11 observations from Texans-Lions

Bob Levey/Getty Images

Easy does it

The Texans capped off an 11 play, 72 yard drive with the above play. Deshaun Watson had all the time in the world on the drive and on one play he moved around and found DeAndre Carter for the first down. It was smooth without any hiccups.

The line that started

Left to right it was as follows: Roderick Johnson - Tytus Howard - Zach Fulton - Max Scharping - Seantrell Henderson

They did an excellent job on the first drive they had with Watson. There was one hiccup where Howard missed an assignment it seemed but overall they were sturdy.

Matt Kalil was not dressed to play.

After the game Bill O'Brien said Matt Kalil is the team's starting left tackle. O'Brien said Kalil will play next week. Kalil has not practiced particularly well recently but O'Brien and the team still seem committed to the veteran. His week ahead and any work against the Cowboys will be interesting to see if he is or can be pushed by Roderick Johnson.

Tim Kelly calling plays

Offensive coordinator Tim Kelly had the headset and the play sheet for this game. Bill O'Brien has always maintained the offense is a collaborative effort but he's been the one calling the plays. It was interesting to see O'Brien give up the reins to Kelly and if this is something we will see more of in the future.

After the game. O'Brien noted yet again it is a collaborative effort and that sometimes when he has the headset Kelly makes calls and sometimes when Kelly has the headset he calls some plays.

"He did a nice job. He got the play in quickly. There were no hiccups with substitutions or anything like that."

Easy work for Whit

The Lions will be happy they don't have to see anymore of Whitney Mercilus. He was incredible all week against Detroit and he made it happen in the game this time. He's the team's second best pass rusher behind Watt and that might even be when Jadeveon Clowney is back with the squad. Mercilus should have a very nice year.

Charles Omenihu flashes

The late-round defensive linemen got some pressures against the Lions and it was a nice development for him. He looked a little slow and plodding last week but he looked much better this week. The hope would be he can factor into the pass rush packages soon.

Adams deserves a roster spot somewhere

Jerell Adams' agent did him wrong. When he signed to the Texans there were two 2018 draft picks and Ryan Griffin here. The team then drafted another guy and signed a blocking tight end. Jerell Adams is good enough to be on someone's roster, it just won't be the Texans.

Smith's big make

Vyncint Smith hauled in another impressive catch against the Lions. He had a nice week of practice though he has been up and down overall in camp. A big catch like this has to get him extra eyeballs on his work.

Tyron Johnson's big miss

Rookie wideout Tyron Johnson dropped what would have been a huge play. It looked almost as if he got nervous with the impending contact. He also had an offensive pass interference later in the game. He was given a chance to return a kick and had a nice return after the game too.

Jordan Thomas working back

The touchdown didn't count but Jordan Thomas made a nice play. However, he got snaps after Darren Fells and Jordan Akins. He is behind after missing time with an injury and it wouldn't shock me to see him have to work out of the hole. He had a couple of plays where he looked a little sloppy on his routes, which O'Brien mentioned post game, and let the defensive back bat the ball away. He has the most potential of the tight ends though so he will need to keep working his tail off.

Play of the day: Jerell Adams

Vyncint Smith hauled in one heck of a catch but I love a good stiff arm. We go with the Jerell Adams stiff arm. Peter Kalambayi gets an honorable mention for a huge stick on a special teams play.

Quote of the day: Me

"Is that Brian Gaine?"

Me when I saw former Texans general manager Brian Gaine in the press box Saturday. Gaine is a member of the Buffalo Bills front office and was there scouting. He was cordial when talking with the people who came to speak with him from Texans employees to media members. He took notes, took the game in from the press box with binoculars, and spoke at length with another Bills staffer who was seated next to him.

O'Brien loses pass interference challenge

​Bill O'Brien lost his pass interference challenge during the game. He said he believed the Lions player hooked his player's arm and it was pass interference. O'Brien speculated it would need to be an egregious foul to be called in review.

No Lonnie Johnson

Bill O'Brien said Lonnie Johnson was banged up and didn't play but expects him to play next week.

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

Jose Urquidy is a surprising choice to start Game 2. Photo by Getty Images.

After a long and tumultuous season, the Houston Astros made it to their 3rd World Series in five years and will take on the Atlanta Braves Tuesday night.

Houston had the better overall regular season record, so games 1 & 2 will be played at Minute Maid Park while games 3-5 will be held at Truist Park in Atlanta.

(If necessary, the final two contests will be played back at Minute Maid Park).

The Braves got this far by defeating the Milwaukee Brewers in the ALDS 3-1 and the Los Angeles Dodgers in six games (4-2).

Atlanta prevailed with timely hitting from guys like Joc Pederson, Austin Riley and Eddie Rosario performing like an MVP this postseason.

The Braves received solid pitching outings from guys like Ian Anderson, Max Fried and former Astro Charlie Morton.

Atlanta used clutch hitting and solid pitching to make to their first World Series since 1999.

Meanwhile, the Astros made it back to the World Series by defeating the Chicago White Sox in the ALDS 3-1 and out-slugged the Red Sox four games to two.

According to Fox Bet, the Astros are favored at -154 to win the World Series. This is certainly an obtainable goal for Houston's team as they have the experience, hitting and pitching to compete with anyone.

Can Houston's bats stay hot?

The most intriguing matchup this series will be the Astros' bats facing off against this Braves pitching staff. On paper, Houston's lineup seems to be favored for their depth. Jose Altuve at the top of the batting order is always a threat to get on base, and behind him are a plethora of hitters who can drive in multiple runs.

The two best bats this postseason thus far for the Astros are ALCS MVP Yordan Alvarez (.522 batting average) and this year's American League batting title champion Yuli Gurriel (.455 batting average). The Cuban natives have lit up pitching and will look to continue their torrid hitting in the World Series.

Other Astros who could be impactful at the plate against the Braves include Michael Brantley, Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker. All three of their batting average's in the .200's respectfully and could come up big at any time.

This lineup is so deep, Atlanta's pitchers won't receive many breaks, if at all this series.

Will the pitching step up again?

Losing Lance McCullers Jr. for the World Series certainly isn't ideal, but not impossible to overcome as proven in the ALCS against the Red Sox.

Framber Valdez pitched the best game of his career when he threw 8 innings and surrendered only one run in Game 3, while Luis Garcia had his best start of the postseason and received the Game 6 win. Both of these pitchers have stepped up in McCullers' absence and will have a huge impact on the series. Valdez is set to start Game 1 on Tuesday night.

If Jose Urquidy and Zack Greinke can also pitch deeper into games, there will be less stress on the bullpen and give the Astros a better chance to stay in games. And we won't have to wait long to see Urquidy, as he will start Game 2, according to Astros manager Dusty Baker.

In an ideal scenario, the Astros' starting pitchers should throw six innings of work and let Kendall Graveman, Ryne Stanek and Ryan Pressly closeout games as they have all season.

Of course this is the best-case scenario, which doesn't always happen, but other arms can be used to bridge the gaps that include Phil Maton, Yimi Garcia in short relief outings and Cristian Javier and Jake Odorizzi can pitch multiple innings if needed.

Even if a starter has a clunker of a start, this bullpen has done a great job of keeping things close and setting up the Astros for success.

Will this be Carlos Correa's "Last Dance" with Astros?

One can only imagine what is going on in Carlos Correa's mind right now. No one is implying that the free agent to be will not be focused this series, but it's hard to fathom this upcoming offseason isn't a distraction right now.

The 27-year-old shortstop is set to receive multiple offers from different teams and land one of the richest contracts once this season concludes.

If this truly is his final season with the Astros, why not go out on top and win one more title before moving on?

Let's hope this "Last Dance" for Correa is a slow one, so we can all enjoy it a little longer.

Will Dusty's experience prove to be a difference-maker?

Dusty Baker's experience could be beneficial for Houston's chances of hoisting another trophy as he has managed teams in parts of 24 seasons.

He's the only skipper to ever lead five franchises to the postseason and obtain more than 2,000 career victories.

This is the second time he as taken a club to the World Series. He took the 2002 San Francisco Giants to the Fall Classic but lost to the Angels in seven games.

It's safe to assume the 72-year-old seems eager to win his first championship as a manager to cap off a Hall of Fame career.

Final projection

As previously mentioned, the Astros are favored to win this series. If Houston can continue to stay hot at the plate, receive solid outings from their pitchers and just play Astros baseball, there is a good chance this city will have yet another Commissioner's Trophy in their display case.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome