Every-Thing Sports

Are the Texans lucky the Colts are out of Luck?

Andrew Luck
Jonathan Ferrey

The news came out of nowhere. It was like one of those crack back blocks on an interception return. That defensive tackle has been getting shut out all game long. He hasn't been able to stop the run or push the pocket. The quarterback has been teasing him all game long and talking mad trash. And then it happened. He finally got some pressure, forced an interception, now he's looking to through a block. Soon as he turns around...WHAM! He lays the quarterback out with as vicious of a legal hit he can.

That's the best way I can describe Colt's quarterback Andrew Luck's abrupt retirement. I was taking a shower and shaving my head. I heard my phone buzz a few times and saw my good friend Joe Hutchinson texted me twice. I quickly did a search and saw the news had just come out and was confirmed by several reliable sites within the minutes of me looking it up. My initial thought: Texans fans are about to hit the roof with excitement. But should they? How does Luck's sudden retirement effect the chances the Texans have in winning the division this year? What are some obstacles they'll face?

History of mediocrity

"We went 9-7 and won the AFC South two years in a row." Bill O'Brien's statement is the epitome of them being mediocre. This organization has been satisfied with average since its inception. Their obsession with the Patriots is akin to a little brother who's not happy with his C average level of work constantly trying to replicate big brother's A average work and always falling short. Way short. With Luck out of the way, this should open the doors to the car and hand the keys to the Texans. But can they drive the car?

Watch out for the rest of the division

The Jags finally have a capable quarterback. The Titans are in year two of the Vrabel era. The Colts still have a ton of talent. If the Texans don't win the division this year, it won't surprise me. If they miss the playoffs, that will throw me off. Two wins a year was gifted to them if they take advantage. T.Y. Hilton can't kill them because Jacoby Brissett can't get him the ball like Luck did. The Jags are still a team that went 5-11 last season. The Titans still have Marcus Mariota under center and they're not sure if he's their franchise quarterback. The division just became that much more winnable.

O'Brien's ego

Another obstacle in taking advantage of Luck's departure is O'Brien's ego. When I spoke on this a few weeks ago, it seemed to resonate with a lot of you. You guys seem to feel the same way I do. His ego is bigger than the Toyota Center, NRG, and The Juice Box put together. If O'Brien can't contain himself and learn to not be this franchise's worst enemy, this team will be able to fulfill its potential. If O'Brien continues with status quo, well, you already read about the history of mediocrity earlier.

Overconfidence

Teams with as many deficiencies as this Texans squad should never feel overconfident. But when your biggest rival loses its franchise quarterback, it can inflate your sense of self-worth. Teams can often feel as if they were anointed and preordained to their destiny as division champs. This can lead to taking things for granted, taking opponents lightly, and losing focus. If they take those keys, get that car, start to drive, and get distracted, they'll eventually crash and burn. Being arrogant without putting in the work everyday, taking things serious, and focusing in on the task at hand will cause them to fall hard.

Pressure

I was told long ago that pressure can bust pipes or make diamonds. The end result is up to you. The Texans have a golden opportunity to make some beautiful diamonds, but they can't succumb to the pressure. Giving in to the pressure and busting like one of those pipes could prove to be a fatal blow. O'Brien and several others would be held responsible and fired or released. A total rehaul of the coaching and front office staff would be necessary in my opinion. Considering there's no general manager, that new hire would be charged with bringing this team to prominence. With the amount of talent already here, and the cap space, he wouldn't have much grace in doing so. The pressure is enormous, but it shouldn't be crippling. It should fuel the fire.

I'm always fair and objective in my assessments. I even posted a pic of how I feel Texans fans are feeling upon hearing the news. I truly hope this is the stroke of luck the fanbase needs (#DadJoke). These fans have been so hungry for football, and a winner, that there are roughly 32,000 people on the waiting list for season tickets! Another good friend of mine put his name on the list in 2011 and just got a call to purchase them a few weeks ago! This city, more specifically this fanbase, deserves a consistent winner for the way they support this team. But if the powers that be don't take advantage of the opportunity given to them, I'd hate to see the backlash. Luck equals opportunity plus preparation. Let's hope the Texans are prepared for this opportunity and get lucky.

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Astros take the series two games to one. Composite Getty Image.

Yordan Alvarez homered twice and matched his career high with four hits, Cristian Javier and four relievers combined on a one-hitter and the Houston Astros beat the Toronto Blue Jays 8-0 on Wednesday night.

Javier (1-0) allowed the only hit and pitched five innings. Seth Martinez, Rafael Montero, Tayler Scott and Dylan Coleman worked an inning each.

It’s the second game in the series where the Blue Jays were shut out after Ronel Blanco threw the 17th no-hitter in franchise history in a 10-0 victory Monday night.

It was a breakout night for Alvarez, who entered Wednesday having hit just three singles in the first six games. It was the 16th career multi-homer game for the Cuban and the sixth time he’s had four hits.

“It was a matter of time,” manager Joe Espada said. “Anytime he can put some good swings like that and and hit some balls hard and it’s a good sign and that's exactly what we needed.”

Alvarez said there was a simple reason why he broke out Wednesday.

“I (used) last year's bats,” he said in Spanish through a translator.

Though he had two home runs, he thought two other balls he hit were going to leave the park.

“Yeah,” he said. “Welcome to Minute Maid.”

Alvarez, who added an RBI double in the fourth, homered off Chris Bassitt (0-2) in the third and connected off Tim Mayza in the sixth.

The Astros tagged Bassitt (0-2) for nine hits and four runs in 4 1/3 innings in his second tough start to open the season after he allow 10 hits and a career-high nine runs in his season debut.

Daulton Varsho doubled with one out in the second for Toronto’s only hit. The Blue Jays walked seven times but couldn’t get anything going at the plate.

“We’re not doing much damage on balls we’re putting in play right now,” manager John Schneider said. “That’s kind of been the story of this series. It’s good pitching. So, you want to do a little bit more but you move on.”

Jeremy Peña hit a two-run homer and Jose Altuve added a solo shot in the seventh to make it 8-0. Peña had two hits and drove in three runs in his fourth multi-hit game this season. It was the second straight game with a homer for Altuve and his third this season.

There was one out in the third when Alvarez, who hit 31 homers last season, knocked one to the bullpen in right-center to put Houston on top 1-0.

Altuve walked with two outs in the fourth before scoring on a double by Alvarez to extend the lead to 2-0.

Chas McCormick and Peña hit consecutive RBI singles with one out in the fifth to make it 4-0.

The second homer by Alvarez came to start the sixth and extend the lead to 5-0. The shot landed in the seats behind the bullpen in right-center.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Blue Jays: RHP Alek Manoah (right shoulder soreness) threw a three-inning simulated game in Florida Tuesday. Blue Jays manager John Schneider said the next step will likely be for Manoah to make a rehabilitation start for Single-A Dunedin Sunday.

Astros: RHP Justin Verlander (right shoulder inflammation) will throw a bullpen in Houston Thursday before making the first of what is expected to be two rehabilitation starts for Triple-A Sugar Land Sunday.

UP NEXT

Blue Jays: LHP Yusei Kikuchi (0-1, 6.23 ERA) will face New York RHP Marcus Stroman (1-0, 0.00) in the opener of a three-game series against the Yankees on Friday.

Astros: RHP Hunter Brown (0-0, 0.00) opposes Texas RHP Cody Bradford (1-0, 3.60) in the first of four games against the Rangers on Friday night.

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