TEXANS GET A MUCH-NEEDED WIN

8 important takeaways from Lovie Smith's Week 5 Houston Texans presser

8 important takeaways from Lovie Smith's Week 5 Houston Texans presser
Lovie Smith recaps Week 5 | Houston Texans Press Conference

The Houston Texans recorded their first win of the season on Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars, winning 13-6. Here are some thoughts on head coach Lovie Smith's Monday press conference with the media.

1. The Texans are undefeated in the AFC South. Lovie made this point during presser, and while it is factually correct, let's pump the brakes and just enjoy the win. The Texans only managed one touchdown against the Jags and sit at 1-3-1 on the season.

2. Davis Mills is still a problem. Out of five games this season, twice now, Davis Mills has thrown for under 178 yards and recorded zero touchdowns. Mills missed several throws on Sunday, and was lucky to have running back Dameon Pierce save the day. Coach Smith said he likes the way Mills is trending. To be fair, bad QB play wasn't just a Houston thing. Trevor Lawrence looked awful on Sunday.

3. Speaking of Dameon Pierce. Lovie told the media that the team loved him from the start, and they like the way he is trending. Pierce made the play of the game, breaking 8 tackles on a twenty-yard run and was able to finish off the drive with a 1-yard TD run two plays later. Pierce rushed for 99 yards on 26 carries with 3 catches for 14 yards. Pierce's game-breaking run was called a "coach's dream" by Lovie Smith.

4. The Texans have an identity. Houston's win over the Jags is an example of how they want to play/win as a team. The Texans want to establish themselves as a running team, and running the football is how they got their first win of the season.

5. Nico Collins needs to be more involved in the offense. Collins made a big catch on 3rd and 2 with a little over 8 minutes left in the game. This drive eventually led to Pierce's legendary run down to the 1-yard line. Collins finished with 65 yards on 4 catches against Jacksonville. Lovie told the media on Monday that Collins needs to get more opportunities, and that might come at the expense of other players. Personally, I hope that means less targets to Rex Burkhead, that typically result in the Texans picking up two yards on third down, and then having to punt.

6. Derek Stingley Jr. got his first interception. Lovie mentioned Stingley's ability to play man coverage and zone, and that more interceptions occur in zone when defenders have their eyes on the QB. Coach Smith also praised the play of corners Steven Nelson and Desmond King.

7. The team was happy with the offensive tackles on Sunday. Lovie made the point that the Jaguars have some pass rushers that went very early in the draft, and he thought his tackles did a nice job blocking them. Dameon Pierce also gave the football to Laremy Tunsil to spike in the end zone after scoring in the fourth quarter. Clearly, Tunsil appreciated that. Check out this retweet about Dameon Pierce.


8. Garrett Wallow showed some flashes at linebacker. Coach Smith said Wallow played excellent on Sunday and that he's been good when he plays. Avoiding injury will be key for him. Also, look for the team to keep trying things at linebacker. Smith said they would like to see some improvement at the position. Christian Harris is also a player to watch as the Texans look for answers at linebacker. He might be ready to make his debut in the Texans next game against the Raiders on Oct 23.

Be sure to check out the video above to hear Lovie's complete thoughts on the big win.

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With both Luis Garcia and Lance McCullers making their way back from surgeries that sideline that Astros pitchers last season, and given the team's thin depth in their starting rotation, Houston fans and media have waited on bated breath for scraps of information to leak out of the notoriously secretive organization regarding their progress.

In a week full of mostly Hurricane Beryl-related bad news, the Astros organization had some discouraging news of their own when manager Joe Espada told the media that Lance McCullers has been shut down from pitching after his arm did not respond well to his latest bullpen session. The team says they are "formulating a plan for what's next."

Another Astros starter making his way back from injury is HOF-bound Justin Verlander. Verlander has been on the IL since June 16th with neck discomfort and, while there was initial hope that JV would only miss a start, his status has become increasingly murky as he is still apparently not close to returning.

Shifting from the health questions of the starters to the performance questions of the bullpen, some Houston fans have voiced concern via social media that Astros big-ticket 9th inning pitcher Josh Hader is not looking like a "shut-down" closer. Hader gave up more home runs in the first week of July (3) as he did the entire month of June (2).

In this week's episode of Stone Cold Stros, Charlie Pallilo and Brandon Strange discuss how the fluid dynamics of Astros pitching is impacting the competitive landscape of the division race. To watch the conversation, just click the video YouTube embedded in this article. To listen to the entire episode on podcast, search "Stone Cold Stros" in your favorite podcast app or click one of the following links.

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