Colts 26, Texans 20

5 observations from the Texans brutal 26-20 loss to the Colts

Photo by Getty Images

The Indianapolis Colts extended the Texans 2020 woes with a 26-20 victory at NRG stadium. Five observations from the game:

1) Deshaun Watson's day was a microcosm of the season. In the first half, Watson was terrific, leading the Texans to 20 points. But the second half was a different story. The Houston defense adjusted and slowed Indy down, but the Colts did the same thing to Watson. He threw his first interception in 237 attempts and his first since Week 5 in the second half. To be fair, it was a hell of a defensive play by the Colts, and not really a bad pass by Watson. But he was also sacked for a safety and fumbled the ball on a sack that was recovered by the offense. He led them into scoring position with a chance to win the game late, but center Nick Martin had a horrible snap that led to a game ending fumble. And Martin isn't even the worst of the overpaid players. More on that later.

2) Another O'Brien reject shines. O'Brien basically gave up on Keke Coutee. Pressed into service with Will Fuller suspended, Coutee had his second career 100-yard game, with 141 on eight catches. He should be a part of this offense moving forward. As this team remakes itself in the off-season, Coutee could be a key factor. Practice squad player Chad Hansen had a nice game as well. with five catches for 101 yards.

3) About that running game...David Johnson returned and had 44 yards on 10 carries, which sadly is one of his better games of the season. The Texans have to find a way to upgrade this position in the off-season. The good news is quality running backs can be found in the mid to later rounds of the draft. They should not be paying either David or Duke Johnson what they are getting for this lack of production.

4) Bradley Roby was missed on the defense. I wrote earlier in the week the Texans would miss Bradley Roby more than Will Fuller. The secondary simply could not match up with the Colts receivers in the first half. The Texans have very little depth at the position, and it showed with Roby out as Phillip Rivers torched them early. The Texans made some adjustments in the second half, which slowed the Colts down (of course, the Colts defense did the same against the Texans offense). Still, the Houston defense did enough in the second half to win the game, including a huge fourth-down stop inside their own 10-yard line. It was a big play by Tyrell Adams, who continues to show he can be a big part of the future as well. The Colts only points of the second half came on the Watson safety. Unfortunately that was two more than the Texans could muster.

5) Remember when Whitney Mercilus was a decent NFL player? It's definitely tough to recall, because he was absolutely useless again on Sunday. The only time his name got mentioned was when he being blocked out of a play. Of the overpaid Texans, Mercilus might be the most useless of all.

The bottom line: This was a tough loss, and the Texans had their chances to win it. But the awful fumble was a killer, and the Texans fall to 4-8.

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

Houston gets the best of the Dodgers

Astros behind McCullers Jr. get shutout win in hostile Dodger Stadium

Yordan Alvarez added some big insurance runs against the Dodgers on Tuesday night. Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Having dropped two of three in San Francisco against the league record-leading Giants over the weekend, the Astros exited an off day on Monday and entered a hostile environment at Dodger Stadium in the first of a two-game series on Tuesday night. With some timely hits and an excellent start from their starter, Houston would grab the win.

Final Score: Astros 3, Dodgers 0

Astros' Record: 65-42, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Lance McCullers Jr. (9-2)

Losing Pitcher: Walker Buehler (11-2)

Houston scores first as McCullers Jr. out-duels Buehler

After nearly turning the game's very first pitch around for a home run but instead going foul, Jose Altuve still started the game with a single in the top of the first. A double play would erase him, though, as the game remained scoreless into the top of the third. Martin Maldonado led that inning off with a double, moved to third on a wild pitch by Walker Buehler, then scored on an RBI double by Michael Brantley, putting Houston ahead 1-0.

Houston threatened again in the top of the fourth, getting two on with two outs, bringing up Martin Maldonado with an empty base, which the Dodgers would use by intentionally walking him to get to Lance McCullers Jr., who grounded out to strand all three runners. He made up for it on the mound, though, out-dueling Buehler, who finished six innings while allowing a run by getting into the seventh scoreless. He would get two outs into that frame while giving up a single and a walk, leaving two on base for Blake Taylor, who came in to get the third out. McCullers Jr.'s final line: 6.2 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 9 K, 110 P.

Alvarez adds insurance as Astros take the opener in LA

Clinging to the one-run lead in the top of the eighth, Carlos Correa worked a one-out walk to bring Yordan Alvarez to the plate, who demolished a 415-foot two-run homer to add two big insurance runs, extending the lead to 3-0. Kendall Graveman took over out of the bullpen in the bottom of the eighth and, despite allowing a leadoff single and hitting a batter, was able to finish a scoreless inning.

With Ryan Pressly on the paternity list, Houston handed the ball to Ryne Stanek to close things out in the bottom of the ninth. He would get the job done, earning the save by retiring the Dodgers in order, giving the Astros the win at the dismay of the fans in Los Angeles.

Up Next: This short series's second and final game will begin thirty minutes earlier on Wednesday at 8:40 PM Central. For the Dodgers, they will get the debut of Max Scherzer (8-4, 2.76 ERA), while Jake Odorizzi (4-5, 4.30 ERA) will take the mound for the Astros.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome