Texans improve to 1-4

Deep dive: Here's how the Texans picked up their first victory of the season vs. Jags

The Texans got their first win of the season on Sunday. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

For the first time this season, the results of the game brought joy to the Houston Texans' locker-room. In his first victory as interim head coach, the team presented Romeo Crennel with the game ball following the Texans' 30-14 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday afternoon, inside the NRG Stadium in Houston.

As a result of capturing their first win, Crennel celebrated with several old school dance moves, according to cornerback Bradley Roby. Before moving on to a potential Week 6 game against the Tennessee Titans, here is a deep dive into the Texans' first victory of the season this past Sunday.

"Man, he did like five dances," Roby said. "He did the Soulja Boy, he did the Macarena, he started doing the disco. I didn't know what he was doing. It was funny though. NFL games are hard to win, so just playing in the league so long, you've got to enjoy each one."

Brandin Cooks and Deshaun Watson brought Houston's offense life

During the first game of the post-Bill O'Brien era โ€” for once โ€” the Texans' offense did not look conservative nor predictable. The results ended in Houston recording a season-best 486 total yards with 357 coming in the passing game. Deshaun Watson had a connection with each of his receivers, but none more so than Brandin Cooks.

After he failed to record a catch during last week's loss against the Vikings, Cooks had his best game as a member of the Texans. He notched a season-best 161 yards on eight receptions, showing promise as the incumbent to DeAndre Hopkins as Watson's top receiver.

The growing chemistry between the quarterback-to-receiver duo was on display during Cooks' only touchdown of the game. While standing on 4th-and-4 late in the fourth quarter, Watson threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Cooks to seal the win for Houston.

The play on fourth-down exemplified the risk Crennel and offensive coordinator Tim Kelly are willing to take โ€” something O'Brien has shied away from several times throughout his tenure in Houston.

In addition to Cooks, Will Fuller made four catches for 58 yards, while Darren Fells had two receptions for 57 yards. Both players scored once on a touchdown pass from Watson.

"That was a great move on his part to get the touchdown, all I was trying to do was get the first down because it was a two-score game," Crennel said. "Even though it would have put points on the board, potentially it might not have made a difference if they had gone down and scored. And so I wanted to try to get that done and kind of put it out of reach and make it much tougher for them to have a chance to come back."

The Texans finally recorded a turnover, but more importantly stopped the run

Fair or unfair, the most decrepit part of the Texans' defense was their inability to stop the run. Coming into Sunday's game, Houston had allowed a league-worst 181.1 rushing yards on the ground. Over the past three games, the Texans gave up an average of 87.3 rushing yards in the fourth quarter alone.

While James Robinson does not provide the same threat as Mark Ingram, James Conner or Dalvin Cook, the rookie running back was no daunting task to defend. Robinson received Offensive Rookie of the Month honors for September โ€” after recording 285 yards (4.8 AVG) on 60 carries, to go along with three touchdowns through his first four games.

As they held the Jaguars to 75 total yards on the ground, the Texans only gave up 48 yards on 13 carries to Robinson. The amount of pressure coming from Houston's front seven on each rushing attempt led to a costly fumble by Robinson โ€” which was recovered by J.J. Watt.

The pressure the Texans displayed against the Jaguars not only stopped the run, but made it a tumultuous day for Jacksonville quarterback, Gardner Minshew. Houston tallied five quarterback hits, three sacks and forced Minshew into his second fumble of the season.

"All week long we harped on the fundamentals, we harped on everybody doing their job, getting back to the basics, and I thought we did that well," Watt said. "Obviously, that in conjunction with stopping them early in the game, offense putting up points and then putting them in situations where they had to throw the ball late in the game makes a massive difference. We're very pleased with the way we played on defense today. We have to continue to do that and improve and get ourselves even better."

Finally, some luck fell into the Texans' favor

The Texans had a great game on both sides of the ball, but it was far from perfect. Houston had a few causes for concern despite the win, but more so with their secondary. The Texans' defensive backs gave up several big plays down the field, which included a 51-yard completion from Minshew to Chris Conley that resulted in a touchdown four plays later.

The substantial drives where Jacksonville recorded 15 or more yards through the air is what kept the Jaguars in the game until late in the fourth quarter. Had Jacksonville converted on two missed field goals and a Robinson fumble, this game could have easily gone in the Jaguars favor.

Thankfully, for the first time this season, Lady Luck saw fit to shine her light among the franchise of the Houston Texans.

"I think that our guys played extremely hard, and we weren't able to take advantage of a certain sequence of the two turnovers," Jacksonville's head coach Doug Marrone said after the loss. " We weren't able to get the momentum back on our side or turn them into points or touchdowns. So there were opportunities out there that we didn't take advantage of and that's why we came out with the loss."

Up next, the Texans will look to make it two wins in a row Sunday against the 3-0 Tennessee Titans. The Titans are expected to play their Week 4 match against the Bills on Tuesday due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

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Rockets get another much-needed win. Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images.

The Houston Rockets went on a redemption tour by beating the Detroit Pistons and Dallas Mavericks. But the most pivotal win was against the Mavericks as the Rockets finally showed their true potential. John Wall finally made his return from his injury hiatus and played with a lot of energy. DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Gordon combined for 61 points. It was great to see Stephan Silas crack a smile as he was able to beat his former team.

The Rockets clearly missed Wall during his eight-game absense. This season, the Rockets are a .500 team with Wall on the court. Wall is the Rockets' floor general that leads, constructs, and also pushes his teammates to become better.

Wall only played 21 minutes in the 133-108 win over the Mavericks but still had eight assists. Even though Wall only had 7 points, his presence was still felt by finding his teammates for open looks beyond the perimeter. Wall made sure Cousins and Gordon got a plethora of touches. He called multiple actions, so they got open looks from three, which was mainly Gordon. Gordon and Cousins' struggles have been similar but with Wall on the court, they were successful against the Mavericks. According to NBA Stats, Wall posted a 111 offensive rating with the starters versus the Mavericks, which included Gordon and Cousins.

"He's the engine to this team. He gets everybody going. He makes the game easy," Cousins told a reporter after the game. "The pressure that he constantly puts on the defense is a tough thing to deal with."

Gordon has struggled all season long with three-point shooting and relied on his slashing abilities. Saturday night, Gordon made six three pointers against the Mavericks, which was 66 percent from beyond the perimeter. Gordon increased his three-point percentage from 31 percent to 34.5 percent after Saturday night's game. Gordon's 33 points came from being able to attack the entire Mavericks' defense. Willy Cauley-Stein didn't stand a chance against Gordon as he was burned multiple times. Gordon's been a lifesaver for the Rockets in the last two games, and hopefully he maintains his play.

Cousins played fantastic against the Mavericks scoring 28 points and grabbing 17 rebounds. This is Cousins' first double-double with the Rockets this season. Cousins became the vintage player from the New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings. It was extremely fun watching Cousins push the ball up the court and aggressively snatch rebounds. Boogie shot 50 percent from behind the arc by making four three-pointers. He was dominant inside the paint as Cousins went 7/8 from the restricted area versus the Mavericks. This was the game Cousins needed after having a poor performance against the Pistons Friday night.

"It was really, really good. He did it all. He's a physical presence on both ends of the floor," as Silas said on Cousins' performance.

David Nwaba and Mason Jones were big factors off the Rockets' bench by having a combined total of 34 points together. Nwaba has been great in transition for the Rockets the entire season. Keep in mind that Nwaba is returning from an Achilles injury he suffered with his former team, the Brooklyn Nets. Nwaba has became a great defender, slasher, and is averaging a career-high nine points per game with the Rockets. He finished with 18 points on Saturday night versus the Mavericks.

Mason Jones has become a fan favorite of the Rockets because of his confidence. Silas is loving the usage of Jones off the bench but wants to find more minutes for him. Jones had a breakout performance versus the San Antonio Spurs with 24 points off 66 percent shooting from the field. He continues to get better with his reads from the point guard position. Jones' knowledge of running the offense has helped his efficiency on the court. He is never afraid to take clutch shots in pivotal moments of the game.

"To have a young kid who can come in and not be afraid of the moment, that's big. That's a tough position to be in as an undrafted rookie. I trust him. It's a good problem to have," Silas mentioned after the game. "He's showing me he's ready. He's a confident kid, and he should be. That's why he's good. He's not afraid of the moment, at all. He can get us organized, run plays, and score the basketball."

Hopefully, the Rockets can sustain their level of play when Victor Oladipo returns against the Washington Wizards, Tuesday. It will be interesting to watch Oladipo and Wall play in the same backcourt.

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