Texans 27, Patriots 20

Five observations from the Texans 27-20 win over the Patriots

Texans win! Photo by Getty Images

The Texans got just their third win of there season on Sunday, beating the New England Patriots 27-20. Five obersvations from the win:

1) A look to the future: While this season is done, the Texans need some young players to solidify some spots for next season. Keke Coutee could be one of them. He started his career well, but injuries and Bill O'Brien's dog house stymied him. Pressed into service Sunday, he had just two catches for 10 yards, but one went for a touchdown, and he also returned punts. Maybe he can be a useful piece moving forward. Meanwhile, Jordan Akins looked like a beast with five catches for 83 yards. On defense, Tyrell Adams was hit and miss, but he continues to play well and could be a part of next year's rebuild. Rookie Jonathan Greenard had his first career sack. Finally, Justin Reid has regressed since his excellent rookie year, but on Sunday he played one of his better games. The Texans will need him to play at this level down the road.

2) Deshaun's big statistical season continues. Watson threw for 344 yards and 2 touchdowns and rushed for another 36 yards and a score. His numbers are going to look fantastic at the end of the season. It's baffling that a team with that kind of quarterback production is 3-7. There have been a lot of empty yards there in some blowouts, but on raw numbers, Watson has been terrific. He has not thrown a pick in six of the 10 games this season, and has not thrown one for five straight games. He is on pace for over 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns and he has not lost a fumble this season. That's impressive.

3) Give the OL some credit. Laremy Tunsil was a scratch with an illness, but Roderick Johnson filled in and did an OK job. They had some penalties, but they also gave Watson tons of time to throw the ball and did not allow a sack. They did not run block worth a damn, but that almost goes without saying. On that note...

4) Stop us if you have heard this before...The Texans could not run the ball other than Watson. Duke Johnson had 15 yards on 10 carries. C.J. Prosise had 4 on 3. Simply pathetic. It might be time to look at other team's practice squads and bring in some new blood. What could it hurt? Whatever they are doing just isn't working. Meanwhile, they did do a nice job slowing New England's terrific running game on the other side of the ball. Holding the Patriots to 86 yards is a big win for this group. As a matter of fact...

5) The defense is still terrible, but...They don't force turnovers. They can't cover homeless guys at receiver. And did anyone think New England was not going to score a touchdown on the next to last drive? But for the first time since the Bush Administration (pick either one), they came up with a big stop on fourth down to clinch the game. Overall, they have shown some improvement over the past few weeks. The Browns ran for over 200 yards, but the defense held them to 10 (what should have been 17 points), which should have been good enough to win. On Sunday, they sacked Cam Newton a couple times and made a few stops, which is how this team is going to have to win games. The formula is simple; stop the other team a few times and hope Deshaun plays elite. That was what the Texans did on Sunday, and it led to a big win.

The bottom line: This was the Texans best performance of the season, and first win over a team not named Jacksonville. It's too little, too late, but at least the fans had something to smile about. That's been very rare in 2020.

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Zack Greinke earned his 10th win of the season in Sunday's finale agains the Rangers. Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

With the first two wins of the series under their belt, the Astros entered Sunday looking to take care of business before heading on the road. Despite the Rangers taking the first lead of the day, the Astros responded on offense and defense to erase the deficit to get the victory.

Final Score: Astros 3, Rangers 1

Astros' Record: 61-39, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Zack Greinke (10-3)

Losing Pitcher: Dennis Santana (0-1)

Greinke, with some help, notches a quality start

Zack Greinke was doing well in the early goings of Sunday's finale. Despite allowing back-to-back singles to start the game, he stranded both runners to finish the top of the first. He followed that by erasing two more runners in the second, starting a stretch of eight straight batters which he would retire to make it through one out in the top of the fifth without allowing a run.

Texas finally added a blemish to his day at that point, getting a solo homer to grab their first lead in weeks. Greinke rebounded from it, sitting down the next two batters to finish the frame, then posted a 1-2-3 sixth. He returned for the top of the seventh, but would end his day with a struggle, loading the bases with no outs on a single, hit batter, and walk. That prompted Dusty Baker to bring in Cristian Javier, who saved Greinke's stat line by getting a strikeout and double play to keep the Rangers from scoring. Greinke's line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 86 P.

Houston grabs the lead

Houston's starter would leave in line for the win, thanks to the work of Cristian Javier, but also some timely offense in the two innings prior. With not much going for them in the first four innings, the Astros tried to take advantage of Chas McCormick being on base in the bottom of the fifth, sending him for a potential hit and run with Abraham Toro swinging.

That turned into two runs, with McCormick able to slow his run as Toro would launch a two-run go-ahead homer to erase the Rangers lead quickly. They extended the lead to two runs in the next inning, with Yordan Alvarez working a walk and then later scoring on an RBI single by Kyle Tucker, making it 3-1.

Astros finish the sweep

After cleaning up the inherited mess in the top of the seventh, Javier remained on the mound in the top of the eighth and made it through a 1-2-3 inning to give him six outs against five batters. With it still a two-run game in the top of the ninth, Ryan Pressly entered for the save opportunity. He notched it, sitting down the Rangers 1-2-3 to finish the sweep, handing Texas their twelfth straight loss.

Up Next: The Astros will head out west for an eight-game road trip starting with a three-game set with the Mariners kicking off at 9:10 PM Central on Monday. In the opener, Luis Garcia (7-5, 2.86 ERA) for Houston is slated to go opposite Darren McCaughan (0-0, 1.80 ERA), who will make his second career appearance and first start for Seattle.

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