FALCON POINTS

Admit it, Astros haters: You need these villains in your life

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The Houston sports scene in general remains a disappointment. The Rockets are playing golf and looking for a new coach. The Texans? Pretty much a national joke. But there is good news. The XFL will be back in 2020, and the team everyone outside of Houston hates is still alive in the playoffs.

After slogging along in the shortened season with a losing record, the Astros swept the Twins and will play either Oakland or the White Sox, teams they are certainly capable of beating to reach the ALCS for a fourth straight year.

The best part? The whiny national media, MLB and fans of other teams get to vent about 2017 all over again.

If MLB were smart (I know, that phrase is ridiculous) they would embrace the hatred. Make it a redemption tour. Don't we all love a redemption story? Become more like the WWE. The Astros went from the lovable good guys to heels. Now they try to turn back and win it "the right way."

No one will admit it, but the Astros being alive is the best thing that could happen to baseball. The sport is struggling, and now going up against football, it needs all the attention it can get.

Enter the Astros, who will enable the keyboard warriors and talking heads of the world to spew hyperbole and keep the cheating story alive. The faux outrage will get clicks and ratings. Imagine if the Astros were to make it all the way to the Series again - against the Dodgers, no less. It would dominate the sports headlines, even in an NFL world.

If they lose, the angry mob will have nothing to complain about. They will get a day of "ha ha, the cheaters lost," then will have to retreat back to their basements. Baseball will once again take a back seat to the NFL.

So if you are one of those "I hate the cheaters" people, you should join Astros fan and root for them to keep winning. It will give your meaningless life some purpose. You can extend your pointless outrage for a couple weeks.

From a baseball perspective, the Astros aren't last year's group. The pitching is piecemeal, they have no real ace, and the hitting has not been what it should be. They beat a team that has lost 18 straight playoff games. But they have enough to beat Chicago or Oakland in a five game series. Tampa or New York would be a stretch, but they do have playoff pedigree, and if they can get enough pitching, anything is possible.

Admit it, haters: You need the Astros, Would there be a Star Wars without the empire? Did you not celebrate when Darth Vader turned from the dark side? Rejoice. You have a villain.

The villain baseball needs.

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Another tough loss for Houston. Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images.

The Houston Texans remain winless as the team comes up short against the Bears in Chicago. Here are 11 observations from the game.

1. Davis Mills made two costly mistakes with interceptions. The first one took points off the board and the second allowed the Bears to kick a game-winning field goal. These were the first two of the season and they highlight the need for near perfection from the offense.

2. Davis Mills claimed he made the correct read on the second interception. He said the tip is the reason the Bears intercepted it. I disagree. It looks like Roquan Smith read it like a book and might have been there anyway.

3. The other interception from Davis Mills wasn’t a good read either. Mills made a quick decision and rifled the ball to Brandin Cooks but the defensive back basically had his whole body between Cooks and the ball. The Bears made a nice play to come down with the deflection.

4. Davis Mills is not to be trusted in moments where most quarterbacks can move the football. The Texans failed to get into field goal range at the end of both halves. Mills has consistently failed in those spots this season.

5. There were some curious calls from Pep Hamilton. The Texans don’t have much talent, but Hamilton has had some unique moments. There was a screen to Pharaoh Brown on third and long. The team called a screen on third and one. There was a telegraph on third and short in the red zone.

6. Why can’t this team get the wideouts more heavily involved? Rex Burkhead shouldn’t be getting the second greatest number of targets. Brandin Cooks shouldn’t leave a game where he has less than 10 targets. It would be worth scheming the ball to Cooks a few more times than he is currently getting the ball.

7. Kamu Grugier-Hill is not playing well right now. The veteran just bounced right off a Bears running back at one point. He is also a liability in coverage. Christian Harris is hopefully back after next week but it would be worth seeing if Garrett Wallow has anything more to his game than the veteran.

8. The rushing defense was assaulted again. This time by running wideouts and a backup running back. Lovie Smith needs to look at playing time and the depth chart to see if something can get corrected here. This can’t keep happening earlier and earlier in games each week.

9. Jerry Hughes has been one of the best players on this team through three games. The veteran has been consistent and flashed more than a few times. A nice addition by the team this offseason.

10. Jalen Pitre is so damn good. He’s already one of the best players on this team. He had two interceptions today to go along with a sack. He wasn’t fooled on play action and nailed Justin Fields for the sack. When it felt like the Bears were getting whatever they wanted, Pitre darted in for a tackle in the backfield. He’s been awesome.

11. There must be some evaluation from the Texans. The team might need to ask if everything they’ve put together at this point is the right direction. There is a sound argument the team should be 3-0. Instead, the team is winless, and closing in on hopelessness

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