COMING OUT ON TOP

The good, bad and ugly from the Texans' 31-21 win over Arizona

Jadeveon Clowney played like a superstar. Houston Texans

The Houston Texans’ up and down season continued with a 31-21 victory over the Arizona Cardinals at NRG Stadium. Now 4-6 on the season, the Texans aren’t completely out of the hunt for a playoff spot, but it’ll truly be an uphill battle.

The Good

-Bruce Ellington took advantage of the opportunity of more playing time in the absence of Will Fuller. He had 6 catches for 63 yards and some key third down conversions.

-DeAndre Hopkins leads the league in touchdown receptions with 9. While only twp have come from Tom Savage, they looked to have found some chemistry against the Cardinals.

-The run defense was stellar. They held the Cardinals to just 45 yards and a 2.8 per carry average. Benardrick McKinney amd Jadeveon Clowney both had 2 tackles for loss each. Their best play came on a 4th and 1 from Cardinals 34 yard line where they dropped Adrian Peterson for a loss.

-D’Onta Foreman got some consistent carries. He responded by going for 65 yards and 2 touchdowns on 10 carries.

The Bad

-No way Blaine Gabbert should have had a career day throwing 3 touchdown passes. The pass defense continues to disappoint as the coverage and pass rush just isn’t cutting the mustard.

-Savage’s ball security is alarming. He had another strip/sack/fumble today. Granted, it was due to a nickelback blitz coming against the awful right tackle Breno Giacomini, but he’s got to do better protecting the football.

-Kevin Johnson went out of the game and will be in concussion protocol. Johnson may not be a top notch cover guy, but he does an adequate job. His biggest contribution may be his hitting, which apparently may have caused his concussion. This is just another in a seemingly laundry list of injuries for the Texans this season.

The Ugly

-Giacomini’s pass blocking at right tackle has been abysmal. He’s a clear sign of what happens when you wait until late in free agency to address a deficiency and there’s nothing but two day old bread left in the bakery.

-Jonathan Joseph has seen his best days of being a reliable cover guy pass him by. He routinely has been getting beat lately. The worst play came against rookie tight end Ricky Seals-Jones. Seals-Jones had about an 8-10 yard cushion on a simple 11 yard out route touchdown catch. We’re talking about a rookie versus a respected veteran.

-Foreman had his breakout performance as a rookie, but his season may be over. On his second touchdown run, he went to the ground not too long after crossing the goal line. Looks like it may be an ankle or lower leg injury. Any time the cart is brought out, it typically means trouble.

On the day the Texans induct Andre Johnson into the Ring of Honor, they also managed to keep their season alive. Getting contributions from guys like Ellington, Foreman, as well as usual suspects Clowney, McKinney, and Hopkins, this was a good win against a beatable opponent at home in front of a crowd that may have come mainly for the halftime festivities. The season may be on life support, and the pastor is still at the hospital to pray with the family expecting the worst, but there’s a glimmer of hope.

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Thursday on First Things First, Nick Wright lays out why he believes the Russell Westbrook-John Wall trade actually benefits both teams. Many NBA analysts have been very vocal about the Wizards getting the better side of the trade, but Wright doesn't see it that way. Also, Wright discusses what the trade means for James Harden and his future in Houston. The Harden conversation takes place at the 4:16 mark if you want to jump ahead.

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