The Friday Cody Stoots 6 pack

Adrian Peterson is key to Sunday's Texans game

Adrian Peterson will be a tough challenge for the Texans. Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

 

1. The Texans injury report couldn't look any better than it does so far this week. Aaron Colvin, Johnathan Joseph, Keke Coutee, and Andre Hal all seemingly have a chance to play against Washington. Zach Cunningham is a longshot for this weekend but trending in the right direction for the Monday night game against Tennessee. If Colvin and Joseph are back, even not at full strength, the secondary could be scary. The safeties have played fantastic this season and if they get help from the corners watch out. 

2. There is a solid argument to be made Alex Smith is one of the least impressive opposing quarterbacks left on the Texans roster. Only Sam Darnold, who's playing poorly now for a bad Jets team, and Blake Bortles are worse than Smith. He's average at best in almost every aspect of his play. He doesn't turn the ball over a ton which is a big positive for a guy who doesn't hit big plays hardly at all. They're not very dynamic on offense either, but, they do enough to get the job done. They can't hang in a shootout but if this game gets muddy and ugly Washington will stay in it. 

3. Adrian Peterson is one of the most impressive athletes in NFL history. His level of play at his age, after his injuries, is incredible. He's fifth in the league in rushing and can still handle a heavy load on the ground. He's likely the best player on Washington's offense and should see a heavy dose of action Sunday to try to stymie the Texans pass rush. He is the type of player that if he gets going the Texans could have to over-correct to stop him and allow Alex Smith some room to make a play. 

4. Titans and Colts in Indianapolis is a game Texans fans should pay attention to on Sunday. The winner is going to be nipping at the Texans heels in the AFC South and both have to come to Houston before the season ends. Andrew Luck has been a fun watch in recent weeks and their offense seems to be plenty dangerous enough to win them games. The Titans regularly surprise, both good and bad, with their performances. They have a win over the Patriots and the Texans, with their backup quarterback against Houston. They also have losses to the Bills and Dolphins. They are hitting their stride on offense and Mike Vrabel has the defense playing well. 

5. With their loss last night, it seems the Packers are unlikely to make the playoffs. They need to overhaul quite a bit of the team in the coming offseason and attempt to maximize Aaron Rodgers' final years. He's one of the most impressive quarterbacks to ever play and the team around him just hasn't been good enough to make noise every year like Peyton Manning and Tom Brady's teams were in their primes. Aaron Jones is a nice piece and their wideouts are pretty good but the defense needs more playmakers and their offensive line regularly disappoints. 

6. Sunday Night Football is one hell of a game and one of the reasons the Packers will have such a tough time maximizing their remaining time with Aaron Rodgers. Mitchell Trubuisky is playing very well and Khalil Mack and the defense have struggled a little but have plenty of ability. The Vikings have stabilized their defense and Kirk Cousins is regularly earning his money. With Dalvin Cook back, this could be one of the most dangerous NFC teams down the stretch. The winner is going to be in the pole position in the NFC North while the loser will look towards week 17 with revenge in their mind in the second matchup between these two. 

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Houston is falling down the rankings

Tigers pound Odorizzi, Astros with homers as Houston drops fourth in a row

The Astros have not looked great in their last four games. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

After watching their hot start of 6-1 cool down to a 6-4 record with three straight losses, the Astros returned to Minute Maid Park on Tuesday night, looking to do a better job at home against a beatable Tigers team.

Recent games' woes would continue, though, with Houston's pitching getting blasted by the opposing offense and their own bats primarily quiet.

Final Score: Tigers 8, Astros 2

Astros' Record: 6-5, tied for second in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Matthew Boyd (2-1)

Losing Pitcher: Jake Odorizzi (0-1)

Astros score first, then Tigers unload on Odorizzi

Houston looked to have something brewing in the bottom of the second, with three singles in the first four batters of the inning, the third an RBI-single by Myles Straw to put the Astros in front 1-0. However, Matthew Boyd would limit the damage, getting back-to-back strikeouts to end the threat.

After two easy innings for Jake Odorizzi in his regular-season debut for his new team, he would allow a game-tying solo homer to Akil Baddoo, his fourth of the year, in the top of the third. Detroit struck again in the top of the fourth, getting a leadoff double to set up a two-run go-ahead home run to jump ahead 3-1.

They didn't stop there, getting another two-run bomb later in the same inning; a frame that would take Odorizzi 31 pitches to get only one out before Houston would bring in Bryan Abreu to get the last two outs. Odorizzi's final line in his debut: 3.1 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 3 HR, 0 BB, 4 K, 80 P.


Detroit continues home run parade, Houston loses fourth in a row

Abreu would hope to do what Luis Garcia did the night before, eat up as many innings as possible after a poor outing from Houston's starter. The Tigers would get yet another two-run homer, though, in the top of the fifth, extending their lead to 7-1, with all seven runs coming over a three-inning span. For good measure, they'd knock one more out with two outs in the top of the ninth, making it 8-1.

As far as Houston at the plate, other than their string of hits to bring in a run earlier in the second, they were getting nothing done against Boyd, who would go six and two-thirds innings. Detroit's bullpen would finish things off, despite an all-too-late sac fly by the Astros in the bottom of the ninth, with Houston dropping their fourth-straight game and continuing to lose ground in the division.

Up Next: The finale of this three-game set with Detroit will be an hour earlier on Wednesday, getting underway at 6:10 PM Central. Lance McCullers Jr. (1-0, 1.80 ERA) will try to maintain his perfect record and improve upon his two five-inning one-run starts for the Astros, going opposite of Michael Fulmer (0-0, 2.57 ERA) for the Tigers.

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