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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Another win for the Coogs! Photo by Getty Images.

The Cougars were supposed to play a game in Tampa against The University of South Florida on Jan. 14th, but this contest was postponed due to positive COVID-19 tests and contact tracing within the USF program. Houston was able to take advantage of the extra time off to rest their players and prepare for their next game against UCF.

Their previous game against the Knights in Orlando on December 26th was a close matchup which saw UCF and the Cougars tied at halftime. The second half was a back-and-fourth contest between the two teams, but Houston was able to come away with a nine point victory.

This game however was nowhere near as close and their previous meeting.

Houston immediately got off to a 12-0 start thanks to four straight 3-pointers from DeJon Jarreau (2x), Marcus Sasser & Quentin Grimes.

The Cougars continued to surge past the knights and at one point led 38-9 with 3:43 left to go in the contest.

Houston led 45-19 at halftime, their largest first half lead of the season.

The Cougars were able to maintain their commanding lead with both efficient scoring early on and elite level defense. Houston forced UCF to commit 20 turnovers that resulted in 22 points for the Cougars.

The Cougars won most of their games this season with commanding defense, dominating the boards and superior guard play. All three boxes were checked as Houston was able to secure a 75-58 victory.

UCF did outscore Houston in the second half 39-30, but the Cougars' lead proved to be an insurmountable obstacle to overcome for the Knights. Essentially, Houston was on cruse control the second half of the game and never saw their lead drop below double digits.

Grimes scored in double figures for his 11th straight game after opening the season with eight points against Lamar. Senior forward Justin Gorham scored a season high 15 points as well.

Houston has now won its fourth straight game since its loss to Tulsa and now remain in sole position of 1st place in the AAC.

The Cougars moved up from No.11 to the 8th ranked team in the country as multiple top-ranked teams suffered losses over the week.

Kelvin Sampson passed former Houston coach Tom Penders as he earned his 650th career win. This also moves him into sole possession of 41st place on the NCAA wins list. He is also the second winningest coach in Houston Cougars Men's Basketball history behind only the great Guy Lewis.

UP NEXT: Houston looks to exact revenge against the only team to defeat them this season as they host Tulsa at the Fertitta Center on Wednesday at 7pm.

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