Colts win AFC South showdown 30-23 as Texans defense struggles early, offense fails late

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The Texans and the Colts played another one-score game, this one going to the Colts, as the Texans just could not put it together. They struggled on defense until the fourth quarter, when they came up big. But the offense could not get it done down the stretch.Here is how it all played out:


Positives: The Texans moved the ball well most of the game, but struggled to get touchdowns early and it bit them. Deshaun Watson had a solid game, but also threw yet another horrible interception in the fourth quarter that ended a drive that could have brought them within one score. His second pick was off a ball that should have been caught by Keke Coutee and ended the Texans chances.

But he also bounced back nicely with a touchdown drive the next time he had the ball after the first pick, something he has done a lot this season. He finished 23 of 34 for 308 yards, one touchdown and the two picks. DeAndre Hopkins had one of his better games of the season, with 106 yards receiving.

Negatives: They settled for too many field goals early and were unable to get in the end zone, although you could argue they did get robbed on one play. Will Fuller continues to prove he simply can't be trusted to stay on the field, with yet another hamstring injury. They let Watson get hit too many times (he was sacked three times). He also got sacked late in the game when they had a chance to drive down the field and take the lead.


Positives: They did limit the Colts running game, holding them to 63 yards and a 2.5 average. They hit Jacoby Brissett often, even though he was only sacked once. They did get four straight stops in the fourth quarter while trailing 28-16 and then 28-23, giving the offense a chance to get back in the game. The last stop down 30-23 gave the Texans one last shot with just under two minutes to play.

Negatives: Too many times they came up with third down stops and got stupid penalties to extend drives. With the injuries in the secondary, they just aren't good enough to stop teams if they can't get off the field on third down. They had 10 penalties for the game, the majority on defense. They sacked Jacoby Brissett just once, and allowed him to throw for a career high 326 yards and four touchdowns. The tight ends did some damage, especially after safety Tashaun Gipson went out with an injury. And, as usual, they had little answer for T.Y. Hilton. The Colts did not punt until there were 12 minutes left in the fourth quarter. Phillip Gaines actually played well for the Texans at corner, but suffered what looked to be a season-ending injury on the last stop of the game.

The bottom line

It's hard to beat up the defense too much considering the cluster injuries in the secondary. They just did not have the horses to slow down the Colts. (I'll show myself out).

Bill O'Brien showed some guts, going for it on fourth and short three times. They made it twice, but a busted play call on the third failed. Still, considering they could not stop the Colts at the time, it was the right call to try to keep the ball. But like going all-in in poker, it works every time until it doesn't. The defense gave them a chance in the fourth quarter, but the offense could not get one more key score.

The Colts take control of the AFC South with a 4-2 mark, while the Texans fall to 4-3. It was not a good loss for the Texans, but there is a lot of football to be played. They are going to have to make some moves to get help at corner if they are going to be a serious playoff contender moving forward. They are simply too thin at the position and the Colts took advantage.

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The Marlins are showing interest in Yuli Gurriel. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images.

As the reporting date for pitchers and catchers draws near, there are still some decisions hanging over the Astros. One of them is whether or not to bring back Yuli Gurriel. “La Piña,” as he's affectionately called, is 38 years old. He turns 39 in June. His leadership and instincts cannot be matched. The man has seen a ton of baseball and comes from a family of baseballers. So, what's the holdup?

Enter the Miami Marlins. The ownership group, led by Bruce Sherman, is undoubtedly trying to capitalize on the heavy Cuban population in the Miami area. Bringing in the Cuban Babe Ruth is a great way to attempt to get more fan engagement. The franchise has only been to the playoffs three times. First two times (1997 and 2003), they won it all. In 2020, they were swept in the NLDS. They're most likely offering him a ridiculous amount of money to come to a team with a losing history. Knowing the Marlins are willing to hand out stupid money, would you blame La Piña for taking one last ridiculous payday?

Think about it. He's got two rings and made a ton of money. He can safely retire very comfortably. The lure to come back for another year or two would definitely be about money. The Marlins aren't a real threat in the next couple of seasons to do anything, but are willing to pay me like I'm still a star? Plus, I'm closer to my home country with all my family and friends? Sign me up!

This is where the Astros have to make a decision. Bring Yuli back for another year or move on. If he follows through with his last four years, this should be a bounce back year. Since 2016, his first year in Houston and MLB, he's hit .262, .299, .291, .298, .232 (pandemic shortened season), .319, and .242 last season. The man is a professional hitter. He knows how to work an at-bat and can drive pitchers nuts. His defense isn't bad either. He's a more than capable first baseman.

This won't win me any favor, but I think it's time to move on. Yuli will always have a place in my heart because he was a major factor in the Astros' two World Series wins. Last season's title run was even more satisfying since it helped silence the haters. That was the mouthwash that got rid of the stench of the sign stealing scandal. Piña was there through it all.

Now, it's time to start transitioning towards the future. Piña, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Justin Verlander, and Lance McCullers Jr were the only holdovers from the 2017 team. Verlander was one of the guys the Mets backed the Brinks truck up for this offseason. Altuve (32), Bregman (28), and McCullers (29) should be all that's left of that group. While it would've been great to have Verlander (39) back, the emergence of the youth movement in the pitching staff made his loss somewhat expendable. At some point, the nostalgia wears off. Father Time and Mother Nature are both undefeated. If they were to bring Piña back, he should be a part timer transitioning into a hitting coach. Careers come to an end. It's time to start looking at his exit.

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