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

11 observations from Texans-Lions

11 observations from Texans-Lions
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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.

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Astros defeat the Rangers, 9-2. Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images.

Kyle Tucker doubled twice and had three RBIs and Jose Altuve added three hits and drove in two runs as the Houston Astros used a seven-run seventh inning to break a tie and coast to a 9-2 victory over the Texas Rangers on Saturday.

The Astros snapped a four-game skid and bounced back after allowing the Rangers to score their season high in a 12-8 win in the series opener.

Altuve said he hopes this game can help get the Astros on a roll after their early struggles.

“We as a team are very confident... this is the kind of team we are, we have done it before,” Altuve said. “I don't see why we can't start doing it again.”

It was tied at 2 and the bases were loaded with one out in the seventh when pinch-hitter Victor Caratini’s RBI single to right field off José Ureña (0-1) put the Astros on top.

Altuve followed with a double to the corner of left field to send two more home and push the lead to 5-2. Austin Pruitt took over and intentionally walked Yordan Alvarez before Tucker doubled to center field to score two more.

Houston made it 9-2 when Alvarez scored on a sacrifice fly by Yainer Diaz.

“That was great,” manager Joe Espada said. “That’s the offense that I’m used to seeing. When we get pitchers against the ropes, we've got to put them away and that’s exactly what we did today.”

Ronel Blanco, who threw a no-hitter in his season debut and pitched six scoreless innings Sunday, gave the Astros another solid start Saturday. He gave up two runs in the first inning before settling down to pitch five scoreless frames. He allowed five singles with three walks and five strikeouts.

It was a much-needed performance after Houston’s starters had allowed 31 earned runs with a 20.93 ERA across 13 1/3 innings in the last five games.

“It started with Blanco,” Espada said. “He set the stage and then our offense got some big hits.”

Texas starter Andrew Heaney yielded four hits and two runs while walking four in 3 2/3 innings.

“I’m fighting myself a little bit right now, mechanically, mentally, just having a hard time getting some traction, getting going,” he said. "So I’m just going to keep working.”

The Rangers loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh, but Bryan Abreu (1-1) struck out Evan Carter to escape the jam before Houston took the lead in the bottom of the inning.

Rookie Wyatt Langford had two hits and an RBI for Texas and Adolis García added two hits.

Houston’s José Abreu, who is hitting just .122 this season, had two hits with a double for his first multi-hit game this season and his first extra base hit of the year.

Blanco walked Evan Carter and García with two outs in the first before giving up his first run of the season on an RBI single by Josh Smith. Langford followed with a run-scoring single to push the lead to 2-0.

Abreu opened the fourth with a double and moved to third on a groundout by Jake Meyers before scoring on a groundout by Mauricio Dubón to cut the lead to 2-1.

Heaney then hit Altuve and Alvarez with pitches and was lifted for Jacob Latz. Tucker lined a double into center field to score Altuve and tie it at 2-2.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rangers: LHP Brock Burke was placed on the 15-day injured list Saturday after breaking his right hand punching a wall after a poor outing Friday night. … Pruitt had his contract selected from Triple-A Round Rock to take his spot on the roster. … INF Justin Foscue (left oblique strain) was transferred from the 10-day injured list to the 60-day list.

Astros: 3B Alex Bregman missed a second straight game with flu-like symptoms. … RHP Shawn Dubin (forearm strain) was reinstated from the 15-day injured list Saturday to take the spot of RHP Joel Kuhnel, who was optioned to Triple-A Sugar Land.

UP NEXT

Texas RHP Nathan Eovaldi (1-0, 1.45 ERA) opposes RHP Cristian Javier (1-0, 1.10) in the series finale Sunday.

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