Texans work the Lions in last practice before preseason home opener

11 observations from Texans training camp for Aug. 15

@EdClarke03/Eddie Clarke

If you missed Wednesday's observations from training camp you can find them here

Texans win the day

The Texans worked the Lions today. They moved the ball and kept the Lions from moving the ball. The Lions looked like they didn't have any juice out there today while the Texans took care of business.

Safety domination

The Texans safeties feasted on the Lions today. Jahleel Addae had an interception on Matt Stafford. Rookie safety Chris Johnson from North Alabama had one as well. The Texans got him those two times in about a five play stretch. Later Johnathan Joseph dropped an interception. The team has a nice group of safeties and the Lions got a taste of that today.

Roderick Johnson's opportunity

Matt Kalil was given a day off and Roderick Johnson took advantage of the work. He looked really good and much better than Kalil did in the first joint practice against the Lions. There is certainly an argument to be made he could push Kalil. I'm not sure there has been a practice where Kalil wasn't up and down in a long time. Johnson was steady today. He might have made the left tackle spot a competition.

Julién Davenport filling in nicely

Davenport got some work at left tackle as well against the Lions. He also handled himself well. The tackle spot gets interesting with Kalil's spot being less sure each day. Kalil provides no versatility while Davenport has the ability to play on the right and left side. Davenport should be the team's swing tackle if Johnson pushes for playing time as the team's starter at left tackle. Obviously, in this scenario, Kalil isn't on the team. Davenport has done a great job making himself a factor.

Watt are you talking about Patricia?

J.J. Watt gave the Lions offensive line fits. He looked damn near unstoppable in some situations and seemingly was always affecting the play some way. He blasted past the Lions in one rep and tapped Matt Stafford on the shoulder as the play continued. Watt, of course, would have demolished Stafford but he let the play go. Lions head coach Matt Patricia was not pleased with Watt's actions and they exchanged some words.

Ready to thump

The Texans linebackers can hit. My goodness. Zach Cunningham pulled up before making full contact with a Lions back and he still blew the guy up. Peter Kalambayi can fly around as can Dylan Cole. Of course, Benardrick McKinney isn't afraid to stick his nose in there. They are ready for the regular season today.

Quick game kings

The ability to get the ball out fast is one of the best for Deshaun Watson and the offense. It feels like everyone can make it work too. DeAndre Carter, and eventually Keke Coutee, will get a lot of looks quick. Will Fuller and DeAndre Hopkins are also factors on slants and quick routes. Even the tight ends know to turn and look quick. Watson's decision making has been really solid.

Steady goes it for the rookie

Tytus Howard has a pass blocking drill today from the tackle spot and absolutely stoned the Lions player. I don't believe he will play tackle this year if the Texans can afford to play him elsewhere but there is definitely a future for him at tackle. His tackle pass blocking rep actually looked better than his guard blocking rep.

A few penalties in two days

I have seen a few more jumps by the offensive linemen and offside from defensive linemen in the past two days. Maybe just having an opponent in camp has been an element of that. The Texans played it pretty clean from the defensive backs standpoint though. This offensive line can't afford penalties. Even if they're better, they can't overcome those.

Play of the day: Cullen Gillaspia

The Texans fullback mad a great snag in the corner on the end zone but the journey there is what was almost as impressive. He came out of the backfield and was looking left, then he adjusted to look right as the ball came and he hauled it and tapped the toes for a score.

Quote of the day

"Had a pretty good day today. I think we were six for six with the ones in the red area."

Bill O'Brien just casually throwing out how his team dominated the red zone. They stunk last year so this is a nice development.

BONUS: Watt plays catch, his QB for the day hopes for Watt at tight end

BONUS: Houston basketball great at camp

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Boston's two grand slams in the first two innings were too much for Houston to overcome in ALCS Game 2. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

After a win in ALCS Game 1 that had the prototypical fingerprints of this Astros team all over it, Houston returned to Minute Maid Park on Saturday, hoping to take a dominant 2-0 series lead if they could grab another victory. The Red Sox dashed those hopes very early, though, scoring eight runs across the first two innings to build the lead they would hold on to even the series.

Final Score: Boston 9, Astros 5

ALCS Series (Best of Seven): tied 1-1

Winning Pitcher: Nathan Eovaldi

Losing Pitcher: Luis Garcia

Houston met with disaster to start Game 2

You couldn't have drawn up a much better start for the Red Sox or a worse one for the Astros in Saturday's ALCS Game 2. Luis Garcia met early disaster in the top of the first inning, allowing a leadoff double, then got two outs while issuing two walks to load the bases. That brought up Boston's designated hitter, J.D. Martinez, to the plate, and he delivered a crushing blow to Houston, launching a grand slam to put the Red Sox up 4-0 before Houston could even get to the plate.

After a scoreless bottom of the inning by his offense, things got worse for Garcia in the top of the second, as after issuing a four-pitch walk to start the frame, he would become the center of a meeting at the mound with trainers, ultimately leaving the game with an injury. Houston opted to bring in Jake Odorizzi for the emergency call to the bullpen, but things did not start well for him either. He would put two of his own batters on base with two singles, then gave up the second grand slam in as many innings, this one to Rafael Devers to double Boston's lead to 8-0, doubling down on Houston's disastrous start to the game.

Odorizzi rebounded with a 1-2-3 third, but with one out in the top of the fourth allowed a solo homer to Kiké Hernández, his third homer of the series so far. He would still get the job done of eating up a few innings, finishing the fourth, and retiring Boston in order in the fifth, giving Houston just four more innings to cover with the rest of their relievers.

Astros get a few runs back

Over that span, Houston did trim the lead by three runs, getting an RBI double by Kyle Tucker and a two-RBI single by Yuli Gurriel in the bottom of the fourth, making it a six-run game at 9-3. Their next reliever was Blake Taylor in the top of the sixth, and he would keep the score where it stood by sitting down the three batters he faced that frame.

The Astros threatened again in the bottom of the sixth, getting two singles to put two aboard, but would come out empty, sending the game on to the seventh, where Taylor would remain on the mound. He faced three more batters, getting two out while allowing a single before Yimi Garcia would come in to get the third out.

Red Sox even the series as it shifts to Boston

Garcia returned in the top of the eighth, getting through that inning despite a walk and hit by pitch, stranding both runners. Boston's bullpen kept Houston from getting any closer in the bottom of the eighth, then Ryne Stanek came in for the Astros in the top of the ninth. Stanek allowed a leadoff double, but with a groundout and double play, held the score at 9-3. Yuli Gurriel and Jason Castro did their part to keep the Astros alive in the bottom of the ninth, each hitting solo homers to make it 9-5, but that's as close as they'd come, dropping Game 2 to tie the series at one game apiece.

Up Next: The ALCS now moves to Boston for the next three games after a day off on Sunday, with Game 3 on Monday at 7:08 PM Central. While the Astros have named Jose Urquidy as their starter, the Red Sox have not yet determined theirs.

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