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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Houston drops the opener

Angels use big sixth inning to take opener from Astros

Houston's offense started hot, then went cold Monday. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images.

With a 2-1 series win under their belt to start this ten-game homestand, the Astros turned the page to a three-game set with the Angels on Monday night. Things started strong for Houston, building an early lead, but it would erode in the middle innings as the Angels would respond with a big sixth inning to take the opener.

Final Score: Angels 5, Astros 4

Astros' Record: 18-17, tied for second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Jose Suarez (1-0)

Losing Pitcher: Brandon Bielak (1-2)

Houston Builds an early lead

After a 1-2-3 top of the first by Luis Garcia, Houston would start the scoring in the bottom of the inning. Back-to-back walks set things off, setting up an RBI ground-rule double by Alex Bregman, giving them the 1-0 lead. Kyle Tucker lead the bottom of the second off with a double, then came around to score on an RBI single by Myles Straw, then Michael Brantley made it 3-0 with an RBI double later in the inning.

Los Angeles roars back to take the lead

Los Angeles trimmed the lead to two runs in the top of the fourth with an RBI double, but Houston was able to get that run back on another RBI by Straw in the bottom of the fifth. Things fell apart for Garcia in the top of the sixth, with back-to-back one-out solo homers trimming the lead to one run and ending his night there: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 2 HR, 92 P.

The Angels didn't stop there, getting two more runs to take the lead off of Brandon Bielak, who managed just one out while blowing the lead. Brooks Raley would enter to get the final out of the inning, then tried to keep the deficit at one run when he returned in the top of the seventh. It looked like things might unravel for him, allowing the first two batters to reach base on a walk and single, but he would battle back to strike out the next three straight to strand both.

Angels take the opener

Joe Smith took over in the top of the eighth, still 5-4, but would get two outs while allowing a double in his three batters before Houston moved on to Kent Emanuel, who finished the inning off. After another scoreless inning for Houston's offense, Emanuel remained in the game in the top of the ninth to keep a walk-off chance alive, and he would do so by erasing a walk to send the one-run game to the bottom half. The Astros wouldn't pull off a comeback, though, dropping the opener to Los Angeles.

Up Next: The middle game of this series will be another 7:10 PM Central start on Tuesday night. It shapes up to be an exciting pitching matchup, with Lance McCullers Jr. (2-1, 3.58 ERA) for Houston going up against the two-way star Shohei Ohtani (1-0, 2.41 ERA) for Los Angeles.

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