BEST OF THE BEST

Texans' CJ Stroud and Cowboys' Micah Parsons compete in the ultimate showdown

Texans CJ Stroud
Both teams are loaded! Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images.

It all comes down to this! The perfect defense versus the perfect offense, who wins? That's the game Texans QB CJ Stroud played with Cowboys pass-rusher Micah Parsons. Here's how it works. Stroud has his pick of the formation and the players he wants to execute his offense. In turn, the same rules apply for Parsons on the defensive side of the ball.

The goal is to put together the team that has the best chance to win in a 4th and 3 scenario. You can see which players were selected below.

Team Stroud (offense)

Stroud elected to attack Parsons' defense with 11 personnel (1 RB, 1 TE, 3 WR)

QB: CJ Stroud (HOU)

RB: Jahmyr Gibbs (DET)

X Receiver: Davante Adams (OAK)

Slot: Tank Dell (HOU)

Z Receiver: Ja’Marr Chase (CIN)

TE: Travis Kelce (KC)

LT: Laremy Tunsil (HOU)

LG: Kevin Zeitler (DET)

C: Creed Humphrey (KC)

RG: Quentin Nelson (IND)

RT: Lane Johnson (PHI)

It's hard to argue with Stroud's selections. You can see that he drafted two members of his current team in WR Tank Dell and LT Laremy Tunsil. One does have to wonder if Texans receivers Stefon Diggs and Nico Collins might take exception to Stroud picking Davante Adams and Ja'Marr Chase over them. He's not wrong for doing it, but I bet he hears about it from Diggs and Collins. Receivers can be a sensitive bunch.

Team Parsons (defense)

Parsons elected to roll with six defensive backs using Dime coverage.

DE: Micah Parsons (DAL)

DT: Aaron Donald (LAR-RETIRED)

DT: Chris Jones (KC)

DE: Myles Garrett (CLE)

LB: Fred Warner (SF)

Safety: Kyle Hamilton (BAL)

CB: Sauce Gardner (NYJ)

CB: Trevon Diggs (DAL)

Nickel: Patrick Surtain Jr (DEN)

Nickel: Jalen Ramsey (MIA)

Safety: Derwin James (LAC)

No doubt, this is a terrifying defense. The defensive linemen alone would have any offense in trouble. So, in this hypothetical, who wins?

Be sure to watch the video above as Stroud and Parsons make their cases. Trust me, you'll be glad you did. You'll definitely be impressed with Stroud's knowledge of the game.

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Mariners defeat Astros, 3-2. Composite Getty Image.

Bryce Miller allowed two runs over six innings to pick up his first win since April 17, and the Seattle Mariners used a big first inning against Houston starter Framber Valdez to hold on for a 3-2 win over the Astros on Monday night.

Seattle scored three times in the first off Valdez and then leaned on its pitching to make the early lead stand up. Miller did his part and then turned it over to relievers Trent Thornton, Gabe Speier and Andrés Muñoz to close out the victory.

Muñoz got three outs for his 11th save.

Miller (4-5) had lost his last four decisions, including his past three starts. In his four previous May starts, Miller allowed 15 earned runs after yielding just eight runs over six starts during the first month of the season.

But he seemed to rediscover a bit of his dominant form from that first month, striking out six and walking a pair. Miller said part of the success was noticing batters being more aggressive on his pitches early in counts, forcing him to be better with his location.

“For me (it's) just trying to make sure I'm still getting ahead, but with certain hitters in the lineup not making a mistake just trying to get ahead,” Miller said. “Being aggressive on the corner early and then working off of that.”

Miller cruised through the first four innings and retired 12 straight after issuing a walk to Kyle Tucker, the second batter of the game. But he ran into trouble in the fifth when he gave up three straight singles, the last coming from José Abreu, which scored Jake Meyers. Victor Caratini’s sacrifice fly plated another run and after Jose Altuve doubled, Miller escaped the jam by getting a groundout from Tucker.

Miller again pitched out of trouble in the sixth, putting two runners on before Jon Singleton flied out to the warning track in right-center to end the threat.

Abreu was recalled from Triple-A Sugar Land ahead of Monday’s game and his single was his first big league hit since April 27. The 2020 AL MVP was batting .099 when he accepted an assignment to the minors on May 1.

All of Seattle’s offense came early. Meyers made a terrific sliding catch to rob Cal Raleigh of extra bases but it still resulted in a sacrifice fly. Ty France and Mitch Haniger followed with two-out RBI singles as Valdez faced eight batters in the first inning. He needed 43 pitches to get through the first two innings, but Seattle was unable to add on.

“We had all kinds of traffic and we had some good at-bats when we did have traffic out there. Unfortunately, sometimes the ball doesn't land on the grass like you want it to," Mariners manager Scott Servais said.

Valdez (3-3) allowed just two baserunners over his final four innings on the mound and was able to get through six. He permitted six hits, struck out four and walked three.

“I thought it took him a little bit of time for his sinker to be down and to execute. He just wasn't executing his pitches like he wanted to," Houston manager Joe Espada said. "Then after that he settled in and he threw a heck of a game.”

UP NEXT

Astros: RHP Hunter Brown (1-5, 7.06 ERA) allowed just two hits and two runs over six innings in his last start but took his fifth loss.

Mariners: RHP Luis Castillo (4-6, 3.31) lost his last time out, giving up two runs over five innings against the Yankees.

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