TEXANS 27, JAGUARS 25

5 observations from the Texans 27-25 win over the Jaguars

Photo by Getty Images.

If only the Texans could play the Jaguars every week, they would be much better than 2-6. In a sometimes entertaining game between two really bad teams, the Texans were less bad and escaped with a 27-25 victory in Jacksonville. Five thoughts on the game:

1. Stop us if you have heard this before: The Texans running game was awful once again, although it was probably a benefit that David Johnson was knocked out early. Duke Johnson wasn't much better, but at least he created a few extra yards on plays that had no chance. But the only real positives in the running game came from Deshaun Watson, who rushed seven times for 53 yards (not including kneel downs). And the Texans defense was gashed again by the Jacksonville running game. Failure to run and failure to stop the run have been consistent issues all season.

2. Deshaun Watson is quietly putting up big numbers. Watson was sacked twice, but he completed 19 of 32 for 281 yards, two touchdowns and hit two big plays to Brandin Cooks and Will Fuller, although the second should not have counted. The refs missed a blatant delay of game call, and the Texans took advantage. For the season, Watson is on pace for over 4,000 yards, 30 TDs and 10 interceptions. Watson has not thrown an interception in four of his last five starts. Teams are not supposed to be 2-6 when their quarterback puts up those numbers.

3. A quick answer. For just the second time in two years, the Texans scored a touchdown on their opening drive. Deshaun Watson hit Cooks for a 57-yard touchdown, answering Jacksonville's opening score to tie the game at 7. The only other time they scored on the first drive was Week 17 last season against Tennessee, when A.J. McCarron got the start. This has been a serious issue for the Texans, and it was critical they scored early, especially after letting Jacksonville get an early 7-0 lead.

4. A pretty clean game. The Texans had just three penalties (one an intentional delay) in the game and one turnover on a Duke Johnson fumble. They did not win the turnover battle as both teams had one, but there just were not a lot of mistakes and it made a huge difference.

5. The defense had its moments, but mostly bad ones. They weren't good, but they came up with an interception, a key fourth down stop in the fourth quarter, and played just well enough to win. Zach Cunningham has had a lot of empty tackles this year, but he had a solid game. The Texans were missing Bradley Roby, Whitney Mercilus, Jonathan Martin and lost Brennan Scarlet to injury during the game. Considering who was out there, they did OK, although they allowed the Jags to march down the field in the last few minutes to have a shot to tie it, but they at least stopped the 2-point conversion. A good defense would have had a few more turnovers, because the Texans dropped two relatively easy interceptions. But the Texans are not a good defense. On Sunday, they were less bad than usual, and it was enough for a win.

The bottom line: These were two bad teams, and the Texans are just a little better than the Jaguars. It is pretty meaningless in the grand scheme, but at least the Texans gained some separation from the axis of evil bad teams that are winless or have one win.

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

Houston drops the opener

Angels use big sixth inning to take opener from Astros

Houston's offense started hot, then went cold Monday. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images.

With a 2-1 series win under their belt to start this ten-game homestand, the Astros turned the page to a three-game set with the Angels on Monday night. Things started strong for Houston, building an early lead, but it would erode in the middle innings as the Angels would respond with a big sixth inning to take the opener.

Final Score: Angels 5, Astros 4

Astros' Record: 18-17, tied for second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Jose Suarez (1-0)

Losing Pitcher: Brandon Bielak (1-2)

Houston Builds an early lead

After a 1-2-3 top of the first by Luis Garcia, Houston would start the scoring in the bottom of the inning. Back-to-back walks set things off, setting up an RBI ground-rule double by Alex Bregman, giving them the 1-0 lead. Kyle Tucker lead the bottom of the second off with a double, then came around to score on an RBI single by Myles Straw, then Michael Brantley made it 3-0 with an RBI double later in the inning.

Los Angeles roars back to take the lead

Los Angeles trimmed the lead to two runs in the top of the fourth with an RBI double, but Houston was able to get that run back on another RBI by Straw in the bottom of the fifth. Things fell apart for Garcia in the top of the sixth, with back-to-back one-out solo homers trimming the lead to one run and ending his night there: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 2 HR, 92 P.

The Angels didn't stop there, getting two more runs to take the lead off of Brandon Bielak, who managed just one out while blowing the lead. Brooks Raley would enter to get the final out of the inning, then tried to keep the deficit at one run when he returned in the top of the seventh. It looked like things might unravel for him, allowing the first two batters to reach base on a walk and single, but he would battle back to strike out the next three straight to strand both.

Angels take the opener

Joe Smith took over in the top of the eighth, still 5-4, but would get two outs while allowing a double in his three batters before Houston moved on to Kent Emanuel, who finished the inning off. After another scoreless inning for Houston's offense, Emanuel remained in the game in the top of the ninth to keep a walk-off chance alive, and he would do so by erasing a walk to send the one-run game to the bottom half. The Astros wouldn't pull off a comeback, though, dropping the opener to Los Angeles.

Up Next: The middle game of this series will be another 7:10 PM Central start on Tuesday night. It shapes up to be an exciting pitching matchup, with Lance McCullers Jr. (2-1, 3.58 ERA) for Houston going up against the two-way star Shohei Ohtani (1-0, 2.41 ERA) for Los Angeles.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome