WORLD SERIES PARADE

Fans celebrate World Series at downtown parade

Downtown Houston was the site of the parade. Bob Levey/Getty Images

The Astros landed in Houston on Thursday evening as World Series Champs. On Friday afternoon the city of Houston came out to greet them. Getting out to City Hall for the Astros Parade was no easy task, but 100’s of thousands made it. It was a fight to get to the front. Through the sea of orange…..strollers, wheelchairs, bikes, lawn chairs, people of all ages screaming “Let’s Go Astros.”

It was then that I realized this moment was not just for Astros fans, it was for the city of Houston. A city where almost two months ago, the streets of the parade route sat under water. After everything this city has been through, there was nothing that was going to stop people  from getting to this parade. This team brought Houston back together and this city was going to be there for them  to welcome them home.  Bosses let their employees out of work early, HISD cancelled school, Metro busses & rails were free. We live in one of the largest cities in America and today it felt like every single person who calls Houston home was downtown at 2 p.m.

People sat in traffic, parked miles away from the route, walked for 30 minutes through tons of sweaty people in hopes to get a glimpse of the World Champions. No one complained and people just kept cheering through the streets because how often do you get to witness your hometown team win a Championship? The last major championship parade this city has seen was in ‘94, ‘95 when the Rockets won it all. We will talk about this parade for years to come because this time it was the Astros we get to call World Champions.

It took a lot of time to get downtown and only seconds for the boys in orange to ride by on a fire truck. We did it for the experience. To say we were there when the World Champs came home. Those were the faces we stayed up late watching all week.  Those were the guys we talked about at work, we all heard about on the radio and tv, and now they’re home. We won’t remember the traffic, or the heat. We will remember the moment.

Thank you to all the people who worked overtime to create this memory for our city. Streets were blocked off and there was increased security so families, friends, co-workers, and fans were all safe in the streets. A lot of people made a ton of sacrifices to make our safety a priority. It is an honor to call Houston home.  We have the world champions!

Sports Illustrated predicted your 2017 Champs, and now Ben Reiter is predicting it again. Back to back championships for the Houston Astros.

See you all next season at the ballpark.

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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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