FALCON POINTS

Here's why this suspended Texan is a more significant loss

2020 strikes again for the Texans. Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images.

Let's face it; the Texans aren't going anywhere this season. But they have played better since ending the Bill O'Brien era, going 4-3 with two close losses.

After humbling the Lions for their most impressive win of the season, the Texans were able to bask for all of three days before the news came down that WR Will Fuller and CB Bradley Roby were handed six-game suspensions for PED use.

Fuller was surprisingly healthy and having his best season as a pro. It's probably no shock that he had to take something to stay healthy. It's also no surprise that Brian Cushing - he of the "overtraining" - is an assistant strength and conditioning coach on the team. But that is another story for another time.

The Texans offense will miss Fuller, especially with Randall Cobb on IR and Kenny Stills cut last week. They are down to Brandin Cooks and Keke Coutee plus whatever practice squad fodder they can find. But Deshaun Watson is the key and is playing well, and the tight ends and Duke Johnson out of the backfield can be used as passing game weapons. So Fuller will be missed, but the Texans will figure it out.

The bigger issue is the loss of Roby, their only real cornerback. The defense has been better of late, but when Roby has been out, the secondary has gotten torched. Gareon Conley is also out with injury, leaving Vernon Hargreaves, Phillip Gaines and Keion Crossen as the main culprits. It's debatable any of them even belong on an NFL roster.

Roby would take the opponent's best receiver, letting the others face off with lesser lights. While he was beaten a lot, he played well at times and gave the Texans a positive return from the position.

On a bad defense, losing a key player only makes things worse. Roby is a key player, and there simply is no replacement anywhere on the roster. Fuller is certainly a loss, but the offense can be adjusted. Roby? There does not seem to be any way to replace him. In the end, losing both players sucks. But losing Roby sucks more. And any good will or momentum the Texans built up took a major hit.

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Houston has lost back-to-back games

Astros drop series to Giants with finale loss

Houston's offense came up short again in San Francisco on Sunday. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

After splitting the first two games against the Giants, the Astros tried to grab the finale to win his high-difficulty series. They came up short, though, with San Francisco once again one-upping them on offense against Luis Garcia, giving Houston back-to-back losses.

Final Score: Giants 5, Astros 3

Astros' Record: 64-42, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Logan Webb (5-3)

Losing Pitcher: Luis Garcia (7-6)

Gurriel strikes first, but Giants get the better of Garcia

The Astros were able to grab an early lead against Logan Webb in the top of the first, getting a runner on base to set up Yuli Gurriel for a two-run homer to start the scoring. Luis Garcia, who erased a walk in the first and a double in the second to maintain the 2-0 advantage, ran into trouble in the third. After two quick outs, Kris Bryant, recently acquired by the Giants at the trade deadline, changed the momentum with a solo homer in the first game for his new team.

They scored two more runs during the two-out rally on three hits and a walk, grabbing a 3-2 lead before Garcia would get the final out. He managed a scoreless fourth, but San Francisco got to him again in the fifth, chasing him out of the game with a two-out, two-run homer to extend their lead to 5-2. His final line in the loss: 4.2 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 2 HR, 89 P.

Giants take series as Astros drop the finale

First out of Houston's bullpen was Rafael Montero, making his debut for his new team. He did well, getting the third out of the fifth then tossing a scoreless sixth. Phil Maton was next, coming in for the bottom of the seventh and erasing a single to keep it a three-run game. After wasting a chance with two runners on in the seventh, the Astros started a new rally in the top of the eighth, getting back-to-back hits to lead it off with runners on first and third with no outs.

They would get just one run from it, though, making it 5-3, which would go final after a scoreless bottom of the eighth by Ryne Stanek and a 1-2-3 inning at the plate by Houston in the top of the ninth. That gave the Giants the series and left the Astros reeling from back-to-back losses as they turn the page to another high-caliber opponent to finish this road trip.

Up Next: Houston will travel to the last leg of this road trip, Los Angeles, before a day off on Monday. Tuesday, they'll pick up a quick two-game series with the Dodgers, with Lance McCullers Jr. (8-2, 3.23 ERA) for the Astros going up against Walker Buehler (11-1, 2.19 ERA) for LA in the opener at 9:10 PM Central.

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