JERMAINE EVERY'S OBSERVATIONS

The good, bad and ugly from the Texans win over the Browns

Deshaun Watson (right) threw a nice TD pass to Jordan Thomas. Bob Levey/Getty images

The Texans bullied the Browns en route to their ninth consecutive win. Here’s how I saw the 29-13 win:

The Good

-Deshaun Watson made some really nice touch passes. One to tight end Jordan Thomas for a touchdown particularly stood out. The pass had to get over the underneath coverage, but deep enough for Thomas to make the catch without the safety drifting over to help. Did I mention it was on a play action rollout?

-Zach Cunningham made a couple unbelievable plays in pass coverage. He played the pass lane in zone and broke up one pass on a third down, and then he intercepted a pass by playing the pass lane and returned it for a touchdown. Plays like these, and his sideline to sideline speed

-Justin Reid is the real deal. He had a forced fumble to take away a for sure touchdown. A lot is said of his playmaking ability, but he can hit as well. In the fourth quarter with the game decided, the Texans were in cover two to keep everything underneath. Reid nearly decapitated Jarvis Landry when he ran from the hash mark to the sideline to make the play.

The Bad

-Kareem Jackson got called for a 47-yard pass interference penalty on a deep ball that may not have been catchable. He tackled Antonio Callaway and the ball fell about four to five yards in front of them. That could have led to points had Jonathan Joseph not picked off Baker Mayfield two plays later.

-Jabrill Peppers shot through the B gap (between the offensive tackle and guard) on a blitz and Lamar Miller whiffed on the block. That could’ve gotten Watson hit cleanly had he not side-stepped Peppers and ran for a first down. As good as Miller has run the ball, his pass protection lacked severely on this play.

-In the first half, the defense picked off Baker Mayfield three times and held the Browns to 46 yards passing. They gave up 351 in the second half and didn’t record a sack.

The Ugly

-Browns defensive end Myles Garrett sacked Watson on their opening drive and pulled him down via a horse collar tackle. The penalty wasn’t called because Watson was in the pocket. This is a very rare instance in which the quarterback isn’t protected. It looked worse than what it was and could have been scary given Watson’s history with knee injuries.

-Watson continues to unnecessarily extend plays and get himself hit. This will come back to haunt him one day if he continues to do so. It’s one thing to extend plays by moving around, but doing so by risking your health is dumb. Don’t be dumb.

-Offensive line depth is a problem. Only dressing seven guys and having two of them get hurt in multiple games this year isn’t good. That is not how you want to go into the playoff run. This is the second time in three games it has happened. While it’s too late to make a trade or getting a 300 pounder of his couch, maybe practice squad garage sale shopping can be an option.

Bonus

-Andre Hal made a great play to intercept a pass in the first half. His Tony Toe Tap pick took points off the board as he picked off the pass in the end zone. To come back from cancer to play at a high level in the same year is unbelievable.

Great all-around game by the Texans. There’s still work to do. Offensive line depth, Watson screwing around extending plays, and defensive brain farts are all issues. The run game is going strong. Despite some bumps along the road, 9-3 with a three game division lead is pretty sweet.

 

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The Rockets selected Jalen Green with the No. 2 pick. Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images.

The city of Houston can finally rejoice as Jalen Green was selected as the number two pick by the Rockets at the 2021 NBA Draft. It was already suspected that the Rockets would draft Green from past reports. Shams Charania of The Athletic already reported that the Rockets narrowed their decision down to Green.

Green is an explosive shooting guard that can get in-and-out amongst the perimeter and paint. With the G-League Ignite, he averaged 17.9 points, 2.8 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. He is an excellent free throw shooter at 82.9 percent. Like James Harden, he is incredibly good at getting to the free throw line. Green has a good trigger from three by shooting 36.5 percent on 5.7 attempts a game. His mature status since high school has prepared him for the NBA.

"His down-hill playmaking is really hard to guard", as Joey Fucca, his ex-coach told TDS. "If he says he's going to get to the rim, good luck. He is very good at getting to the free throw line, he is also very explosive to finish above the rim. When his three ball is on, you're just going to have a long night. I wouldn't be excited to guard him."

Green has blistering speed with outstanding handles to blow by his defenders and score. Spectators have compared Green to a younger Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady, Bradley Beal, and Zach Lavine, which are superstar players. He is a particularly good midrange shooter underneath the perimeter, as he shot 35 percent on a small quantity of attempts in a shorter season.

"Jalen is a uniquely blessed guy. He's a transcendent athlete," as Rockets GM Rafael Stone said. "He can handle the ball, and he can shoot. Normally, people that athletic aren't as skilled. We think that combination of tools makes him an extraordinarily exciting prospect."

During his press conference on Thursday night, Green emphasized the achievements he wants to accomplish with the Rockets. Green even discussed his desire of being a better defender, as he wants to continue to get better. He has a great wingspan and lateral movement to stay with opposing players on defense and be disruptive in the passing lanes.

"They're going to say it's a great choice," Green said. "Rookie of the Year, All-Star, All-Defense, max contract. We're doing it big."

"Yeah, I think I can be that piece. I think I'm going to bring that dominant mentality, that defensive mindset…They already got a lot of star players"

As the draft continued, the Rockets sent future draft picks from the Wizards to land the 16th pick in the draft, which was 6'10 Alperen Sengun from Turkey. The 16th pick did belong to the Oklahoma City Thunder until Rafael Stone executed an interesting deal with Sam Presti.

"We did not think he would fall to us at 23, so we were really aggressive to try and move up all throughout the first round to acquire him," as Stone said.

Sengun's abilities on the court revolve around his post ups and skillful passing. He even maintains good feet along the baseline. In his press conference, he mentioned his passing skills can become better. There are clips of him looking impressive on shovel passes, passing the ball behind his back, and finding the cutting man towards the basket. Sengun looked good in double teams by showing he can still find the open man with his back turned.

While playing in the Turkish Super League, Sengun was an MVP at 18-years-old, averaged 19.2 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2.5 assist, 1.7 blocks, and 1.3 steals per game. He could be another huge figure next to Christian Wood on the court, and a safety blanket for the Rockets if they cannot bring back Kelly Olynyk.

Usman Garbua is similar to former Rocket Luc Mbah a Moute. He is 6'8 with a tremendous wingspan at 7'3 and can guard anyone on the court, which is 1-5. Garbua was seen guarding Kevin Durant in the Team USA vs. Spain matchup and had interesting battles. The Rockets will get a ton of energy out of the 19-year-old player. He knows how to run the floor in transition, so he can finish around the rim. As I see it, he could be on a defensive first team in the future as he matures more. Garbua will become a defensive nightmare against opposing players.

"I think he's the best defender in the world outside of the NBA, and he's just 19 years old," Stone said. "I think he potentially could be really, really impactful on that side of the ball."

As the Rockets made their last selection, they selected Green's AAU buddy, Josh Christopher from Arizona State. He impressed a ton of scouts during his draft workouts and scrimmage against other prospects. Christopher had a double-double during his third scrimmage, which was 16 points and 10 rebounds. He is a very shifty guard with a ferocious step back.

While playing with the Sun Devils, he averaged 14.3 points per game and shot 49 percent from the field. Just like Green, he loved the midrange opportunities, as he shot 49.6 percent underneath the perimeter. He is another shifty big body the Rockets will have in their back court at 6'5. Christopher is very good at rebounding and playing defense. Stone loves watching him in defensive one-on-one situations. Christopher has Sixth Man of the Year written all over him because of his stocky body type and upside.

Hopefully, the Rockets have an exciting summer league and training camp along with their season.

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