TEXANS OBSERVATIONS

The good, bad and ugly from Sunday's game against the Rams

Jadeveon Clowney had his moments in the first half. Houstontexans.com

Another week without Deshaun Watson, another game scoring less than 30 points. The Texans fell to the Los Angeles Rams 33-7 in what was a competitive game for most of the first half. Tom Savage picked a bad game to have a turnover party, and the defense could no longer keep the high-powered Rams offense out of the end zone.

The Good

-Good to see C.J. Fiedorowicz return from a concussion. His presence should help Savage the rest of the season, as well as aid in run blocking.

-DeAndre Hopkins had another good game. He had 7 catches on 14 targets for 111 yards. He’s now at 51 catches on 94 targets for 692 yards and 8 touchdowns on the season.

-Jadeveon Clowney blew several plays up in the backfield (mostly runs). He had 3 tackles for loss, a quarterback hit, and a sack.

-Brennan Scarlett had 2 sacks and 3 tackles for loss himself. In a season in which 2 of the top 3 pass rushers are out for the season, the time is now for guys like Scarlett to step up to the plate.

The Bad

-Aaron Donald started the game off on Texans’ first possession with a strip/sack/fumble of Savage. Rams recovered at the Texans’ 11 yard line. It was a sign of things to come.

-While Clowney had a good game, all of his most effective plays came in the first half. He’s been known to flash his brilliance from time to time, but in order to take the next step, he must learn to take over games from beginning to end, especially with favorable matchups.

-The run game was abysmal yet again. 25 total rushes for a measly 89 yards. While it showed flashes (Miller’s 21 yard scamper after stopping a fake punt attempt), it never provided the success other teams have had against the Rams.

The Ugly

-A timeout was wasted early in 2nd quarter on field goal attempt because they only had 10 players on the field. It would’ve made a 34 yard attempt a 39 yard attempt. Ka’imi Fairbairn missed anyway. He also missed a 39 yarder last week. Looks like he may have the yips after starting the season perfect.

-Savage ended the game with 4 turnovers: 2 lost fumbles and 2 interceptions. The first 3 turnovers, led to 13 points for the Rams; the last ended the game.

-3 sacks, 8 quarterback hits and 3.6 yards per carry are all on the offensive line. Sure a quarterback’s pocket presence or running back’s vision is also responsible for those numbers, but my eyes saw different. Bill O’Brien called for a ton of 3 steps drops in pass game today. Several times on those drops, Savage had someone in his grill. Also, run lanes either closed before they were run through, or they never opened in the first place.

At 3-6, the Texans have very long road ahead in the final 7 games. They have no 1st or 2nd round draft picks to fall back on for improvement, or tanking purposes. The only thing left to play for is pride. Pride in one’s self, organization, teammates, city, and fans. At some point pride has to spur them on to bigger and better things, right?

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Houston now focused on postseason

Altuve and Correa homer, Astros drop final regular-season game

Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

With no playoff impact at stake if the Astros won or lost the game, Houston took Sunday's final regular-season game as a chance to get their lineup a few more at-bats before shifting focus to Tuesday's first game of the post-season. Here is a quick recap of the game against the Rangers:

Final Score: Rangers 8, Astros 4.

Record: 29-31, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Wes Benjamin (2-1, 4.84 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Chase De Jong (0-1, 14.73 ERA).

Houston's main bats get a final tune-up

Knowing they'd only have a couple of at-bats to work with, some of Houston's big bats took advantage, starting with Jose Altuve. He crushed a pitch in the top of the first, a solo homer to put the Astros in front 1-0. After the Rangers tied the game 1-1 in the bottom of the second, Altuve started the third with a walk before moving to third base on a Michael Brantley single, which improved Brantley's season average to .300.

Aledmys Diaz would pick up the RBI on a groundout to score Altuve, putting Houston back in front 2-1. In Correa's last at-bat in the top of the fourth, he extended the lead to 3-1 with a solo home run of his own.

Rangers hand Astros a loss to end the regular season

After getting the early run against Chase De Jong, the Rangers would put together a big inning against him in the fourth. After two one-out singles, Rougned Odor would give Texas their first lead of the day on a three-run homer to make it 4-3.

De Jong would continue to struggle in the inning, getting just one more out while loading the bases, prompting a move to the bullpen to bring in Nivaldo Rodriguez to try and eat up more innings. The Rangers greeted him with a two-RBI single to extend their lead to 6-3 before ending the fourth. Odor would hit his second home run of the game in the bottom of the fifth, a solo shot to make it a four-run lead at 7-3.

Rodriguez allowed another run in the bottom of the seventh, making it 8-3. Diaz, who drove in a run earlier, would account for another RBI in the top of the eighth, getting Houston's third solo homer of the day. That would make it an 8-4 game, which would go final as the Rangers would win the regular season's last game.

Up Next: Houston's first game of the playoffs will be on Tuesday, with the start time and opponent TBD while the rest of today's games wrap up, and the schedule is announced. Regardless, the Astros are expected to begin that best-of-three series with Zack Greinke (3-3, 4.03 ERA).

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