ESPYS 2018

ESPYS 2018: How did the Astros do?

The Astros won an ESPY on Wednesday night. photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Houston was set to make its presence known at the ESPYS this year. So, how did it all play out? Here are the results of the categories in which the Astros, Jose Altuve, George Springer, and James Harden were recognized.

BEST GAME

Houston Astros defeat Los Angeles Dodgers, World Series Game 5

Georgia Bulldogs defeat Oklahoma Sooners, Rose Bowl

WINNER: USA Women’s Hockey defeats Canada, 2018 Winter Olympics

The US Women’s hockey team took the ESPY for “Best Game” with their dramatic, gold medal-winning matchup against Canada in the 2018 Winter Olympics. The Astros were nominated for their thrilling Game 5 of the World Series.

BEST CHAMPIONSHIP PERFORMANCE

George Springer, Houston Astros – MLB World Series

WINNER: Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles – Super Bowl LII

Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors – NBA Finals

Donte DiVincenzo, Villanova Men’s Basketball – CBB National Championship

Nick Foles takes the ESPY for “Best Championship Performance” for his part in Super Bowl LII. George Springer was nominated for his performance in the World Series.

BEST TEAM

WINNER: Houston Astros, MLB

Philadelphia Eagles, NFL

USA Women’s Ice Hockey

Notre Dame Fighting Irish, NCAA Women’s Basketball

Villanova Wildcats, NCAA Men’s Basketball

Golden State Warriors, NBA

Washington Capitals, NHL

The Houston Astros are bringing home the ESPY for “Best Team.” Dallas Keuchel, Jose Altuve, and Alex Bregman accepted the award on behalf of the World Series champs. Keuchel thanks the fans: “Thanks for sticking with us.”

BEST MALE ATHLETE

Jose Altuve, Houston Astros

James Harden, Houston Rockets

WINNER: Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals

Tom Brady, New England Patriots

Alexander Ovechkin won the ESPY for “Best Male Athlete.” Jose Altuve was nominated for his notable performance throughout the 2017 season as was Rockets' James Harden.

BEST MLB PLAYER

Aaron Judge, New York Yankees

Jose Altuve, Houston Astros

WINNER: Mike Trout, LA Angels

Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals

Jose Altuve falls to Mike Trout for "Best MLB Player."

BEST NBA PLAYER

WINNER: LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers

James Harden 

Anthony Davis 

Giannis Antekounmpo

LeBron James didn't win MVP this year, but he does take home the hardware for "Best NBA Player" at the ESPYS.

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A WEEKLY REVIEW OF CRENNEL'S COACHING

Now my job: Texans feast on Lions

Photo by Getty Images.

Thanksgiving is full of tradition. There's the typical family gathering, large meal, and of course, football. Sometimes, new traditions are added and old ones are retired. I think the Texans did both in their impressive 41-25 win over the Lions in Detroit. Old traditions were carried on (Lions losing on Thanksgiving), some were put to rest (Texans not being able to get turnovers), and new ones were started (multiple passing touchdowns by Deshaun Watson in six straight games).

The fact that this defense got three turnovers in the game was unbelievable! They got all three in the first quarter within the span of eight plays. JJ Watt's pick-six was insane. He went for a batted ball, ended up catching it, and ran it in. They forced Jonathan Williams to fumble on the Lions' very next play from scrimmage and recovered it. On the Lions' next possession, the Texans recovered yet another fumble after the challenge was reversed. Great call by the coaching staff to challenge and win. The defense looked good. Tyrell Adams stood out because he was in on those two fumbles, made 17 total tackles with 14 of them being solo tackles. They also brought pressure that seemed to make Matthew Stafford very inaccurate and resulted in four sacks. I give defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver credit for knowing he needs to blitz to get pressure, but the run defense has to improve.

The offense kept the tempo up in this game as well. The spread and hurry-up were used to keep the Lions already staggered defense off balance. Knowing the Lions were without a couple defensive backs, I thought it would be the perfect marriage of their defense and the Texans' offense. A buddy asked before the game about the line (Texans -3.5) and the over/under (52.5). I told him bet the Texans and the over because neither team can play defense and both have good quarterbacks. Offensive coordinator Tim Kelly put together another good game plan and Watson executed it flawlessly. One route combo I saw later on in the game I particularly enjoyed. Two receivers were tight to the left side. Cooks ran a hook/curl and settled in the middle of the zone while Fuller ran a vertical route. Duke Johnson ran a swing route to that same side. It left Cooks wide open as the attention went to Johnson in the flat, Fuller deep, and the action to the other play side. Route combos are important because it gives the quarterback different reads as he goes through his progressions and lets him pick apart the defense based on what he sees. Combine that with Watson's play and the way Kelly has changed his play calling now that he's liberated from he who shall not be named, we're seeing a beautiful thing.

As good as things were, there's still room for improvement. The defense gives up way too many easy yards, both run and pass. They can't get pressure bringing only four and will often give up big plays if the blitz is picked up. Plus the run defense is still an issue as evidenced by the Lions' first possession of the second half. The Lions ran the ball 10 plays straight for a total of 58 yards on that drive. Utterly ridiculous! Watson was good (17/25 318 yards and four touchdowns), but he missed two more touchdowns with passes slightly off, and continues to hold onto the ball too long at times. The difference between these two issues I've presented here is the fact that Watson has so played well, his "issues" are minor and very correctable, while the defense is terrible and there's no easy fix in sight. But let Romeo Crennel and Anthony Weaver tell it, they're getting the most out of these guys and they're playing disciplined.

The thought that this team may actually creep into the playoff picture may take shape better after next week if they can beat the Colts. I doubt it, but it is getting interesting. Let's see what else happens around them because they need help getting there.

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