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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Houston goes up 1-0 in the series

Altuve, Correa help lift Astros to ALCS Game 1 win over Red Sox

Carlos Correa's go-ahead homer in the seventh inning of ALCS Game 1 helped lift the Astros to a 1-0 series lead. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Despite one rough loss to the White Sox in the ALDS, the Astros looked like the dominant team they are capable of being, taking that series 3-1 to advance and taking ownership of home-field advantage in the ALCS against the Red Sox, who upset the Rays. In Game 1, despite trailing for the middle portions of the game, Houston would get more highlight moments from the faces of the franchise to start the series with a win.

Final Score: Astros 5, Red Sox 4

ALCS Series (Best of Seven): Houston leads 1-0

Winning Pitcher: Ryne Stanek

Losing Pitcher: Hansel Robles

Houston strikes first, but Boston sends Valdez to an early exit

Both starting pitchers worked in and out of trouble in the early goings of ALCS Game 1, starting with Framber Valdez in the top of the first. After erasing a leadoff single by inducing a double play, he went on to load the bases on a single and two walks but would strand all three runners to keep Boston off the board. The Astros jumped in front in the bottom half, with Jose Altuve working a leadoff walk, moving to second on a one-out single by Alex Bregman, advancing to third on a wild pitch, then ultimately scoring on a sac fly by Yordan Alvarez to put Houston ahead 1-0 after one frame.

They had a chance to extend their lead in the bottom of the second, taking advantage of a shaky inning by Chris Sale, who loaded the bases with one out as Houston would get two singles and a hit-by-pitch. That flipped the order over to the top, but a great diving catch by former Astro Kiké Hernández would end the inning. Hernández led off the top of the third against Valdez, and he would tie things up with a solo homer.

Things went downhill from there for Valdez and the Astros, as a one-out walk followed by a single gave the Red Sox the go-ahead run in scoring position. On a groundball that likely should have been a double play to end the inning, it would get through Altuve's legs, scoring a run and keeping the inning alive for Boston. They took advantage, getting an RBI double to extend their new lead to 3-1. Valdez would get one more out before Dusty Baker would give him the early hook, bringing in Yimi Garcia, who finished the frame.

A battle of the bullpens, Altuve ties it up

Like Valdez, Sale would also not make it through three innings, getting two outs while putting two on base before Boston would start their bullpen's night as well. Both sets of relievers settled the game down, with the Red Sox stranding two of Houston's runners in the third as well as the fifth, maintaining their two-run lead. After Garcia finished the third, Cristian Javier entered to eat up a couple of innings, and he would do just that by getting through two frames with just one hit, four strikeouts, and no runs.

Next, Phil Maton took over in the top of the sixth and erased a leadoff walk to keep things in striking distance for the home team. In the bottom of the sixth, Houston put another runner on base, getting a one-out single by Chas McCormick. Two batters later, with two outs, Jose Altuve provided yet another career postseason highlight, tying the game 3-3 with a two-run home to re-energize the Minute Maid Park crowd.

Astros take ALCS Game 1

Now a brand new ballgame in the top of the seventh, Brooks Raley came in to face three batters, getting two strikeouts while allowing a single before Dusty Baker would move on to Ryne Stanek, who would get the third out. With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Carlos Correa continued his march to a monster off-season contract, putting Houston back on top with a solo homer, making it 4-3.

Houston kept the script after Stanek with the new lead in hand, going to Kendall Graveman as the setup man in the top of the eighth. Despite a two-out single, he would get out of the inning with the lead intact, putting Houston three outs away from the victory. After a walk, single, and hit by pitch to start the bottom of the eighth with the bases loaded, Altuve would drive in his third run of the game, getting a sac fly to extend the lead to two runs at 5-3.

That insurance run proved pivotal, as closer Ryan Pressly was met with a leadoff solo home run by Hernandez, his second of the night for Boston, to make it 5-4. Pressly refocused and was able to get the next three batters in order, though, wrapping up the win to start Houston off with a 1-0 series lead and putting them three wins away from advancing to the World Series.

Up Next: The two teams will have a moderately quick turnaround, with ALCS Game 2 scheduled to start at 3:20 PM Central on Saturday ahead of NLCS Game 1 between the Dodgers and Braves getting the night slot. The pitching matchup is expected to be Nathan Eovaldi for Boston, who is 1-0 with a 2.61 ERA in his two starts this postseason, going opposite Luis Garcia, who had a rough outing in the ALDS for Houston, giving up five runs without completing three innings in Chicago.

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