Texans vs Redskins: Observations

The good, bad and ugly: Texans ski-mask their way to another win

Demaryius Thomas (left) and DeAndre Hopkins celebrate. Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The Texans won their seventh in a row beating the Skins 23-21. This was a whirlwind of a game that had swings in momentum all the way until the end. Here’s what I observed:

The Good

-Rookie safety Justin Reid came up with a 101-yard pick six when the Skins were threatening to score before halftime. It’s his third pick on the season. He continues to show why he was potentially the steal of the draft in the third round.

-The run game looked healthy today totaling 139 yards on 31 carries. The Skins run defense was ranked fifth with a 90.9 yards per game average coming into today. This performance was needed since the pass game underperformed.

-I only saw Jadeveon Clowney rush from the standing linebacker position to the middle of the offensive line twice in the first half. Both times, he caused trouble. They lined him up there more in the second half and he got a sack on one crucial third down in the fourth quarter forcing a punt. I love seeing him rush inside from that standing position almost as much as I like tacos.

The Bad

-Deshaun Watson completed a pass to five different Texans, but none of them were to Demariyus Thomas! They spent a couple draft picks to get him in wake of Will Fuller being out for the season. This was akin to buying a used luxury vehicle, but not driving it.

-I tweeted out the kid smiley face when I saw Colt McCoy was coming into the game for the Skins. He ended up leading the Skins to taking the lead in the fourth quarter which was the first time they had a lead change all season!

-Kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn missed two field goals today (44 and 45 yarders). The second would’ve required the Skins to score a touchdown to win. Luckily the Skins missed a 63-yarder that could have won the game.  

The Ugly

-Before half time, the team lost Zach Fulton and Senio Kelemete to injury. It’s especially tough when they came into the game with seven offensive linemen on the game day roster. Neither came back into the game.

-Watson threw two picks today. He hasn’t thrown one in the last three games. This could have cost them the game given the way it was played so close. His decision-making under pressure has to improve.

-Skins quarterback Alex Smith was sandwiched between Watt and Kareem Jackson on a sack. Unfortunately, it appears as if his leg was broken in the process. Huge sign of the respect he has earned when both teams came over to check on him.

The Texans seventh straight win after starting 0-3 was the first time since 1925 that has happened. Most of the wins have been as improbable as today’s. This team has almost given away games all season. Somehow, they’ve found a way to escape. They are like the villain in a movie that keeps getting away with their crimes. Hopefully, they won’t get caught any time soon.

 

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Walter will host The Night of Champions. Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images.

In 2014, Austin Walter rushed for 2,704 yards and 34 touchdowns as a senior at Crosby High School. Despite falling short of a state title, Walter was named District 19-4A MVP and finished his prep career with a little over 6,000 rushing yards on 613 carries (6,062 yds). Seven years later, Walter will be returning to his high school alma mater to give back to the community that laid the foundation for an NFL career as a member of the San Francisco 49ers.

"It's a blessing to be able to come from a small town and be one of the guys who made it out," Walter said. "Not a lot of people made it to the NFL or the NBA from Crosby High School. To be one of the first, it's an amazing feeling. It's a blessing and an honor."

On Thursday, April 15, Walter will host The Night of Champions to benefit the Crosby High School Booster Club from 6-9 p.m. The event will be a weight lifting competition at Crosby High School for student-athletes around the area to showcase their talents and abilities.

In addition to hosting a weight lifting showcase, Walter will also share his life teachings with student-athletes in attendance. Perseverance and not taking no for an answer will be one of the most vital messages the Crosby native will share with aspiring pro-athletes. It's the two virtues Walter has leaned on from little league football to the NFL. And as an undrafted prospect in 2019, it was that same morale that helped him outshine six other running backs during the 49ers rookie training camp that same year.

"Before I started playing football in high school, a lot of people thought I was too small," Walter said. "They thought because we played little league and not in middle school we would not make it in high school. My twin brother [Ashton Walter] and I did not listen to that. We just kept pushing forward."

"When I left Rice, people thought I was going to play in the Canadian league or AFF, and I did not take no for an answer. I believed in myself. And I believed in God. And if I can make it out of a small town like Crosby, anybody can make it...It's the mentality I've had my entire life of not quitting. I feel like that is what got me to the point I am at right now."

Whether their life goal is to play in the NFL or not, Walter's primary objective for The Night of Champions is to be an inspiration and show kids they can find success despite their environment. It is one of the things the former XFL running back (Dallas Renegades) wished he would have seen growing up in Crosby.

After graduating from Crosby High School, Walter went on to have a record-breaking collegiate career at Rice University. He became one of two players in school history to rush for over 1,500 yards (1,744 yds.) and 1,000 kick return yards (1,548 yds.) in four seasons with the Owls. In February, Walter signed a one-year contract extension to re-join the 49ers ahead of the 2021 NFL season.

Click here to learn more about The Night of Champions at Crosby High School or support Walter and the Crosby High School Booster Club.

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