GIANTS 27, TEXANS 22

Another bad loss for the Texans in the home opener

J.J. Watt had a big game. Zach Tarrant/Houstontexans.com

Once again, the Texans dropped a game they could have won and are now 0-3 on the season. This time it was the New York Giants beating them 27-22 in NRG Stadium. The story of the game was the continuing lack of first half offense and a high number of penalties. Today’s total was 7 penalties for 50 yards. Four of those were false starts by the offensive line. The score at halftime was 20-6 in favor of the Giants and Houston managed only 160 total yards of offense at the break.

Defensively the Texans struggled to get off the field. The Giants scored points on their first four drives of the game putting the Texans in a hole they couldn’t climb out of. Saquon Barkley led the way on the ground with 82 yards and a touchdown on the way to a huge time of possession difference. The Giants held the ball for over 35 minutes while Houston had it for only about 24.

Things turned around in the second half. The defense was able to apply more pressure up front and forced New York into four consecutive punts. J.J. Watt looked more like the player we were hoping he would be, getting three sacks (one was a strip of Eli Manning) and making another huge tackle for loss. He finished the day with eight tackles and was a disruptive force.

The Texans secondary was once again vulnerable. Manning finished the day 25 of 29 for 297 yards, 2 touchdowns and a 132.3 quarterback rating. Offensively they added another 115 yards on the ground for a total output of 380 yards. The Giants played most of the game with a huge lead and it never looked close.

While Deshaun Watson finally got the offense moving in the second half with 249 passing yards and 2 touchdowns; it was a crucial interception he threw in the third quarter that halted a promising drive deep in Giants territory. That was Houston’s second drive to end on a turnover as a Lamar Miller fumble ended the previous one just outside the red zone. It was those lost opportunities to score that kept the Texans from having any chance to come back in this one.

Ka’imi Fairbairn was 3 for 3 with a long of 54 yards today, which gave Houston its early points. And once again Will Fuller proved he and Watson have a great connection as he hauled in another touchdown among his 5 receptions for 101 yards, getting the score within 5 points, 20-15. The Giants came right back and made it 27-15 on a pass to Sterling Shepard. The scoring ended with a short Watson pass to Lamar Miller getting the Texans to 22 points, but the Giants were able to run the clock out and end the game.

 

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Walter will host The Night of Champions. Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images.

In 2014, Austin Walter rushed for 2,704 yards and 34 touchdowns as a senior at Crosby High School. Despite falling short of a state title, Walter was named District 19-4A MVP and finished his prep career with a little over 6,000 rushing yards on 613 carries (6,062 yds). Seven years later, Walter will be returning to his high school alma mater to give back to the community that laid the foundation for an NFL career as a member of the San Francisco 49ers.

"It's a blessing to be able to come from a small town and be one of the guys who made it out," Walter said. "Not a lot of people made it to the NFL or the NBA from Crosby High School. To be one of the first, it's an amazing feeling. It's a blessing and an honor."

On Thursday, April 15, Walter will host The Night of Champions to benefit the Crosby High School Booster Club from 6-9 p.m. The event will be a weight lifting competition at Crosby High School for student-athletes around the area to showcase their talents and abilities.

In addition to hosting a weight lifting showcase, Walter will also share his life teachings with student-athletes in attendance. Perseverance and not taking no for an answer will be one of the most vital messages the Crosby native will share with aspiring pro-athletes. It's the two virtues Walter has leaned on from little league football to the NFL. And as an undrafted prospect in 2019, it was that same morale that helped him outshine six other running backs during the 49ers rookie training camp that same year.

"Before I started playing football in high school, a lot of people thought I was too small," Walter said. "They thought because we played little league and not in middle school we would not make it in high school. My twin brother [Ashton Walter] and I did not listen to that. We just kept pushing forward."

"When I left Rice, people thought I was going to play in the Canadian league or AFF, and I did not take no for an answer. I believed in myself. And I believed in God. And if I can make it out of a small town like Crosby, anybody can make it...It's the mentality I've had my entire life of not quitting. I feel like that is what got me to the point I am at right now."

Whether their life goal is to play in the NFL or not, Walter's primary objective for The Night of Champions is to be an inspiration and show kids they can find success despite their environment. It is one of the things the former XFL running back (Dallas Renegades) wished he would have seen growing up in Crosby.

After graduating from Crosby High School, Walter went on to have a record-breaking collegiate career at Rice University. He became one of two players in school history to rush for over 1,500 yards (1,744 yds.) and 1,000 kick return yards (1,548 yds.) in four seasons with the Owls. In February, Walter signed a one-year contract extension to re-join the 49ers ahead of the 2021 NFL season.

Click here to learn more about The Night of Champions at Crosby High School or support Walter and the Crosby High School Booster Club.

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