TEXANS CAN'T CATCH A BREAK

3 important takeaways from the Texans' heartbreaking loss to the Colts

Texans suffer another crushing loss. Photo by Getty Images.

Another week, another Texans loss and another fantastic way for them to lose. This team seems to have invented new and more heartbreaking ways to lose. Whether it's a fumbled snap or seemingly quitting against an inferior team, there's been a number of ways this team has found to lose. This time, it was a fumble after converting a 4th&5 to the Colts' 2-yard line down 27-20 with 19 seconds left. Close, but no cigar yet again.

Signs of improvement with the two-minute drill

One thing I need to continue to give them props on is the two-minute drill before halftime. Down 14-7 with 1:43 left and all three timeouts, the Texans weren't able to tie the game, but did manage to get a field goal with no time left on the clock. Too many times we've seen this team not only falter in these situations, but give their opponents a chance for a knockout blow. They did the same thing in their previous game against the Colts and their win against the Patriots. If they can start to do this at the end of these one score games, they can win more close games instead of losing them. That is the mark of a good team.

T.Y. Hilton kills the Texans again

Why does T.Y. Hilton continues to torch this team? It's not like the Texans don't know who he is or what he's capable of. But they continue to allow him to beat them when it counts. He only had four catches for 71 yards, but his 41-yard reception that led up to the two-minute warning in the fourth quarter ended up leading to the game winning touchdown. Up to that point, he was pretty much held in check. But plays like the one he made in that crucial situation broke the Texans' backs yet again. The way they saw an immediate issue with Bill O'Brien and got rid of him is the same way they need to treat defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver. Fire him now, let someone else take over, and see if things improve. Hell, it can't get any worse!

The Deshaun Watson debate that just won't go away

Tim Kelly is really trying to make a case for himself. The offensive coordinator has proven to make chicken salad out of chicken bleep since O'Brien's firing. Deshaun Watson had another great game with Kelly calling plays. All this behind a hapless offensive line and at a severe disadvantage at the skill positions. Watson went 33/41 for 373 yards and two touchdowns. He completed passes to eight different guys in this game. His two touchdowns went to two of his favorite targets over the last few games: one to Keke Coutee, the other to Chad Hansen. These guys are part of the reason I support the decision to continue to play Watson.

Playing or not playing Watson has been a hot topic. I believe playing him with the guys you're trying to see what you got in them is best for the immediate future of this team. You can't see what you really got in some of their receivers unless Watson is throwing them the ball. Playing AJ McCarron at quarterback won't give these guys a real shot at proving what they're capable of. That said, if you don't think any of these guys are worth building with or keeping around and you don't want to risk it, sit Watson. Moving forward, I'd like to see more guys involved on defense to see what they can give you. Take more risks with blitzes. On offense, use the spread and up-tempo style more often. This way, if the offense stalls, it'll force you to use more bodies on defense in order not to tire out guys. If the offense succeeds, it lets you know you have a style that works moving forward. What do you have to lose at this point?

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The Marlins are showing interest in Yuli Gurriel. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images.

As the reporting date for pitchers and catchers draws near, there are still some decisions hanging over the Astros. One of them is whether or not to bring back Yuli Gurriel. “La Piña,” as he's affectionately called, is 38 years old. He turns 39 in June. His leadership and instincts cannot be matched. The man has seen a ton of baseball and comes from a family of baseballers. So, what's the holdup?

Enter the Miami Marlins. The ownership group, led by Bruce Sherman, is undoubtedly trying to capitalize on the heavy Cuban population in the Miami area. Bringing in the Cuban Babe Ruth is a great way to attempt to get more fan engagement. The franchise has only been to the playoffs three times. First two times (1997 and 2003), they won it all. In 2020, they were swept in the NLDS. They're most likely offering him a ridiculous amount of money to come to a team with a losing history. Knowing the Marlins are willing to hand out stupid money, would you blame La Piña for taking one last ridiculous payday?

Think about it. He's got two rings and made a ton of money. He can safely retire very comfortably. The lure to come back for another year or two would definitely be about money. The Marlins aren't a real threat in the next couple of seasons to do anything, but are willing to pay me like I'm still a star? Plus, I'm closer to my home country with all my family and friends? Sign me up!

This is where the Astros have to make a decision. Bring Yuli back for another year or move on. If he follows through with his last four years, this should be a bounce back year. Since 2016, his first year in Houston and MLB, he's hit .262, .299, .291, .298, .232 (pandemic shortened season), .319, and .242 last season. The man is a professional hitter. He knows how to work an at-bat and can drive pitchers nuts. His defense isn't bad either. He's a more than capable first baseman.

This won't win me any favor, but I think it's time to move on. Yuli will always have a place in my heart because he was a major factor in the Astros' two World Series wins. Last season's title run was even more satisfying since it helped silence the haters. That was the mouthwash that got rid of the stench of the sign stealing scandal. Piña was there through it all.

Now, it's time to start transitioning towards the future. Piña, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Justin Verlander, and Lance McCullers Jr were the only holdovers from the 2017 team. Verlander was one of the guys the Mets backed the Brinks truck up for this offseason. Altuve (32), Bregman (28), and McCullers (29) should be all that's left of that group. While it would've been great to have Verlander (39) back, the emergence of the youth movement in the pitching staff made his loss somewhat expendable. At some point, the nostalgia wears off. Father Time and Mother Nature are both undefeated. If they were to bring Piña back, he should be a part timer transitioning into a hitting coach. Careers come to an end. It's time to start looking at his exit.

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