JERMAINE EVERY'S OBSERVATIONS

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

The Texans honored Bob McNair. Zach Tarrant/Houstontexans.com

Monday Night Football is always a bright stage to play on and the Texans showed they were up to the task beating the Titans 31-17.

The Good

-Despite taking four sacks, Deshaun Watson had a great game. He was 19/24 for 210 yards and two touchdowns passing. He also had nine carries for 70 yards and a touchdown rushing. We finally saw good Deshaun for a complete game.

-Lamar Miller came to play. He flashed his speed, and even kept his balance, on his 97-yard touchdown run. The run game has been good most of the season. Alfred Blue, A.K.A. Great Value Arian Foster, has been a steady change of pace back as well. The team totaled 282 yards rushing.

-DeAndre Carter has added spark to the return game for the Texans. His first kick return went 30 yards and his first punt return went for 25 yards. He’s provided a much needed injection of adrenaline to a severely lacking area for this team.

The Bad

-Pass interference against Justin Reid in 1st quarter was a terrible call. Reid didn’t “significantly hinder” the receiver from catching the ball as the NFL rule book states. That 33 yard penalty put the Titans in field goal range to take a 3-0 lead.

-Booger McFarland is an idiot! He said Whitney Mercilus is playing a new role. No he’s not you unprepared talking puppet! He’s playing the same role he’s played the last few years. He just hasn’t been as effective coming off his injury that shut him down last season!

-Despite the win, the defense finally forced a turnover with under a minute left in the game. I know the team did what it came to do in getting the win, but they could’ve at least forced more than one turnover.

The Ugly

-Titans tight end Jonnu Smith caught a 61-yard touchdown pass off a busted coverage to put them up 10-0. He chipped blocked on the outside, turned around, caught a five yard pass, and ran up the middle of the field almost untouched. It was Tyrann Mathieu who appeared to blow the coverage.

-Julien Davenport had his 13th penalty called on him and 10th accepted. He leads the league in both categories. I don’t doubt that he’ll eventually be a serviceable tackle one day, but his technique needs help. He is a very raw, but gifted, small school project after all.

-The Texans organization, and more importantly the city of Houston, lost a good guy in team founder and owner Bob Mc Nair. My only encounter with him was funny. He told a joke about the quarterback position when Brian Hoyer was here. He wasn’t perfect, but he was a good man. To disparage a man’s name simply because he said a few untimely things isn’t cool.

8-3 and now three games up in the division is a great place to be for the Texans. It’s time they prove themselves worthy of the record they have by making a deep playoff run. This isn’t some “win for Mr McNair” type of deal. This is more about them proving themselves to the league that they’re to be taken seriously. Until this team makes at least an AFC title game appearance, or better, I won’t be as impressed.

 

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Houston gets another victory in Anaheim

Astros overpower Angels again as magic number dwindles

Kyle Tucker had 3 of Houston's RBI on Tuesday night, including a two-run homer. Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images

After a beatdown of the Angels on Monday in the opener, the Astros entered Tuesday's game looking to replicate that success. Though Los Angeles would put up more of a fight, Houston still used their potent offense to keep the game out of reach.

Final Score: Astros 10, Angels 5

Astros' Record: 90-61, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Jose Urquidy (8-3)

Losing Pitcher: Packy Naughton (0-3)

Houston's bats keep connecting to back up Urquidy

The Astros picked up on Tuesday's game where they left off on Monday, launching homers to take and extend a lead. A leadoff walk by Carlos Correa in the top of the second set up Kyle Tucker, who drove a two-run shot. Aledmys Diaz was next, making it back-to-back jacks to push the new lead to 3-0.

That gave Jose Urquidy a lead to work with, which came in handy as former Astro Jack Mayfield cut the lead to two runs with a leadoff solo homer in the bottom of the second. Other than that, Urquidy did well through five innings, allowing just two other hits over that span. LA got to him in the sixth, getting two singles to set up a three-run homer to end his night. His final line: 5.1 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 2 HR, 79 P.

The runs keep coming

He would still leave in line for the win, though, as before that bottom of the sixth, the Astros had put up seven more runs across the fifth and sixth. A leadoff walk in the top of the fifth was followed by a two-run homer by Jose Altuve, then later in the frame, an RBI single by Aledmys Diaz made it 7-1. They pushed that to double digits in the sixth, with a leadoff solo shot by Martin Maldonado, a sac fly by Carlos Correa, and an RBI groundout by Kyle Tucker, putting them up 10-1 before the homer allowed by Urquidy cut that to 10-4.

Astros win to reduce magic number again

In the sixth, Cristian Javier took over for Urquidy, finished that inning, and returned for a scoreless seventh. He ran into Shohei Ohtani to lead off the bottom of the eighth and left a fastball in the zone, which Ohtani turned around 445 feet to make it a five-run game. Javier still got through the inning, leaving just the ninth for Houston's second reliever of the night, Josh James. James would get through a scoreless inning, erasing a leadoff walk as the lopsided win paired with an A's loss reduces Houston's magic number to 4.

Up Next: The third of this four-game series will be another 8:38 PM Central start on Wednesday. Janson Junk (0-1, 2.25 ERA) will make his third career start for the Angels, while Luis Garcia (11-7, 3.37 ERA) will have the ball for the Astros.

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