Inside View

The good, bad and ugly from the Texans' 33-17 win over Cleveland

Deshaun Watson can do no wrong off the field. Matt Patterson/Houston Texans

Jermaine Every will be providing Texans commentary from every game.

The Houston Texans beat the Cleveland Browns today 33-17. While scoring thirty or more for the fourth straight game is awesome, Texans fans need to temper further expectations due to the fact that this came versus Cleveland and a quarterback making his first career start. Here are some observations:

The Good

1) Bill O’Brien’s play calling has been tremendous with rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson. I love the usage of read option play action passes and the motioning of a wide receiver into that action to create even more misdirection and confusion. Braxton Miller scored on a shovel pass by going into motion on read option play action. DeAndre Hopkins caught a touchdown pass off a similar play; so did Will Fuller.

2) The front seven played well. Not as well as they should against a team like the Browns, but well enough considering the injuries and relative inexperience of the guys replacing J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus. (D.J. Reader and Carlos Watkins are in years two and one respectively, while vet Lamarr Houston was signed earlier in the week. Brennan Scarlett played well also.)

3) Speaking of Fuller, his ability to stretch the field has been huge. That dynamic, along with the threat of the run game, created some openings underneath for tight ends and backs who accounted for six catches and 88 yards receiving.

The Bad

1) Dylan Cole appeared to have suffered a serious hamstring injury. As an undrafted rookie linebacker, he’s been a pleasant surprise, especially since Brian Cushing went Lattimer from The Program again. In my opinion, his play has made Cushing more expendable. Hopefully, it isn’t as serious and he can return soon. But a towel on the head riding a cart is never good.

2) Watson is still a rookie quarterback and makes rookie mistakes. A perfect example was his interception while extending the play in fourth quarter on a play action rollout. He has to learn to throw the ball away, or run and get down.

The Ugly

1) Missed tackles are this team’s Achilles heel. I stopped counting at 10, which was somewhere in third or fourth quarter. The Kansas City Chiefs took advantage of this last week. Luckily the Browns couldn’t. Moving forward, good offensive teams will take advantage of this and break big plays. This team can’t afford that with lack of pass rush already an issue, compounded by a defensive back group that has been subpar.

2) Tackle Chris Clark went down with a calf injury. When Kendall Lamm came in, they ran to the left and lost three yards. Browns rookie defensive end Myles Garrett took advantage and recorded a sack vs. Lamm as well. This isn’t a good look when you’re counting on a rookie quarterback to carry the torch for your team. I don’t care how mobile he is, this could get ugly.

All in all, this was a much-needed win coming off last week’s heart-breaking loss to the Chiefs. A win heading into the bye week before playing at Seattle can do some good. This team has some building blocks to become successful and reasons for fans to be excited. Let’s hope the “next man up” philosophy prevails with all the injuries because the AFC South is still winnable.

Finally, a shout out to Deshaun Watson rocking the Warren Moon Oilers throwback. The kid seemingly can do no wrong off the field.

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Houston's offense had another strong day at the plate in Seattle against the Mariners on Wednesday. Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

After striking a deal with the Mariners before Tuesday's game, along with a reported deal with the Marlins on Wednesday before the finale, the Astros continued to try and bolster their bullpen with fresh arms while also focusing on this series against Seattle. Having won the night prior to even it up, it came down to the rubber game on Wednesday afternoon to decide the series.

Final Score: Astros 11, Mariners 4

Astros' Record: 63-40, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Jake Odorizzi (4-5)

Losing Pitcher: Yusei Kikuchi (6-6)

Astros continue to score runs in Seattle

Just like in the earlier games in this series, the Astros had no problems offensively. They strung together four consecutive one-run innings, starting in the top of the second when they loaded the bases, then got an RBI groundout by Myles Straw to go up 1-0. In the top of the third, Yuli Gurriel drove one in on a two-out RBI double, bringing in Jose Altuve, who led the inning off with a double of his own. Chas McCormick led off with a single in the fourth, then later scored on an RBI single by Aledmys Diaz.

The fourth run in as many innings came in the top of the fifth, as Gurriel would notch his second RBI with a solo homer to start that inning, pushing the lead to 4-0. They didn't stop there, and neither did Gurriel, as he would get RBI number three on the day as part of a four-run top of the sixth, with RBI hits him, Altuve, Diaz, and Carlos Correa, doubling the lead to 8-0.

Odorizzi gets to the sixth before allowing two homers

The run support gave Jake Odorizzi plenty of leeway, which he didn't need until the bottom of the sixth. He held Seattle scoreless over the first five frames, allowing just four baserunners on a hit by pitch, a walk, and two singles, all peppered over that span and erased in each inning. Kyle Seager would get the Mariners on the board in the bottom of the sixth, blasting a one-out solo homer to cut the lead to seven runs at 8-1. After a single in the next at-bat, recently traded Abraham Toro made it four games in a row with a homer, this one a two-run shot to cut the lead to 8-3 and end Odorizzi's day. His final line: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 2 HR, 95 P.

Houston wins the series

Houston brought in Brooks Raley to finish the sixth, issuing two walks but stranding them to keep it a five-run lead. Myles Straw helped push that back to six in the top of the seventh, reaching on a single to start the innings, then stealing both second and third to get in position for Diaz's third RBI of the day, a groundout to make it 9-3. Cristian Javier was the next reliever out for the Astros, but he would not make it through the bottom of the seventh, allowing a single and three walks, the third with the bases loaded to bring in a run.

Bryan Abreu was brought in to get out of the jam, getting a strikeout to end the seventh. Then, in the top of the eighth, Kyle Tucker would put two more runs on the board with a two-run homer making the lead seven runs at 11-4. Abreu remained in for the bottom of the eighth, erasing two one-out singles to get through the frame. Brandon Bielak took over in the bottom of the ninth to close things out, posting a 1-2-3 inning to wrap up the win and give Houston the series victory.

Up Next: Houston will travel down the coast to San Fransisco before getting a day off on Thursday. They'll pick up an exciting three-game series with the Giants on Friday, with the opener slated to start at 8:45 PM Central. Framber Valdez (6-2, 2.97 ERA) will take the mound for the Astros, while San Fransisco's starter is TBD.

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