Buckle up

How compounding reality of Texans situation isn’t being talked about enough

The Houston Texans came up short against the Ravens in their opening game of the season. DeMeco and company had a tough challenge in front of them, with so many injuries to the offensive line and the defense.

Which makes us wonder, how much can we really judge the team with so many players injured or added to the team right before Week 1?

Houston went into the game missing 3 of their 5 starting offensive lineman, and starting safety Jimmy Ward was inactive as well. Not to mention their other starting safety Jalen Pitre left the game just before halftime.

Plus, the team's usage of Dameon Pierce in the running game was puzzling. They kept taking him off the field on third down, and only gave him 13 total touches in the game.

You would think the Texans want their best weapon on the field and able to run or catch passes on third down, but that wasn't the case on Sunday.

Be sure to watch the video above as we discuss the challenges listed above for the Texans, and how they can get Pierce more involved in the offense to take some pressure off CJ Stroud.

If you enjoy the videos, be sure to subscribe on YouTube.

And listen to The Bench with John Granato and Lance Zierlein weekday mornings on ESPN 97.5 and 92.5 FM.

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The Houston Astros managed to win the AL West once again, and while things got a little nerve wracking toward the end of the season, when it mattered most, the 'Stros took care of business.

It certainly didn't hurt to get a little help from the Mariners, beating the Rangers 1-0 on Sunday, paving the way for the Astros to secure the division. Rangers fans and members of their broadcast team were none too pleased with the Diamondbacks resting some of their starters on Sunday.

But let's be real, with the division on the line, the Rangers couldn't even manage to score a single run on Sunday against Seattle. That's why they're playing in the Wild Card series, not because of how Arizona approached Sunday's game.

So what did we learn during these must-win games over the last week? A lot was made of GM Dana Brown's comments on the team's flagship station. Brown was hoping manager Dusty Baker would put the best offensive lineup on the field. Yainer Diaz did not start a single game of the Diamondbacks series. But Chas McCormick played every game of the Mariners and Diamondbacks series, except for the finale against Seattle, after being hit in the back with a fastball the night before.

Michael Brantley played in two of three against Arizona, so he appears to be an option Dusty will turn to moving forward. And with the Astros only scoring 1 and 2 runs in two of the three wins against the D-Backs, the Astros need every bit of offense they can get.

Plus, we discuss how getting extra rest for Michael Brantley, Jose Abreu, and the bullpen could pay huge dividends for the club. And don't look now, but Jose Abreu is getting hot at just the right time!

Be sure to watch the video above for the full discussion.

And be sure to watch Stone Cold 'Stros (an Astros podcast) every Monday on SportMapHouston's YouTube channel.

Listen to ESPN 97.5 and 92.5 FM for Houston's best sports talk.

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