ROLL THE DICE

How all signs point to the Houston Texans finally taking the plunge

How all signs point to the Houston Texans finally taking the plunge
I's time to draft the Texans' next franchise QB. Photo by Getty Images. Composite by Brandon Strange.

The end of the Houston Texans 2022 season can’t come soon enough.

After a thorough spanking at the hands of the Jacksonville Jaguars on New Year’s Day, one area of need rose above all once again — the quarterback position.

Davis Mills missed his receivers left and right, high and low and struggled with ball security. He managed only 202 passing yards and a measly field goal drive in the fourth quarter to narrowly avoid the shutout.

While the Houston Texans are in the middle of the dark ages, there is a shining beacon on the horizon, or at least the potential for it.

With Sunday’s loss, the Texans clinched the second overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, and could secure the first pick with a loss against the Colts, which means they will have the option to take either Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud or Alabama’s Bryce Young in the upcoming draft if general manager Nick Caserio opts to.

This past Saturday both players got one more opportunity to showcase to a national audience why they are considered the top two quarterback prospects in this year’s draft, and both made the most of it.

Young shined in the Crimson Tide’s victory against Kansas State in the Sugar Bowl. The 6-foot quarterback threw darts all over the field against the Wildcats, finishing with an efficient 321 passing yards, on 15-of-21 attempts, and a whopping five touchdowns.

Young’s most impressive throw came early in the third quarter when he tossed an absolute dime to receiver Ja'Corey Brooks that created a buzz on social media.

Stroud showcased his skills later in the evening in primetime in the College Football Semifinal against top-seed Georgia in the Peach Bowl.

While the 6-foot-3-inch quarterback’s team fell to the Bulldogs, Stroud went 23-of-34 for 348 passing yards and threw four touchdowns against arguably the best defense in college football.

The bottom line

Regardless of the outcome in Houston’s game against the Colts this upcoming Sunday, the Texans cannot go wrong with choosing either quarterback in this year’s draft.

Some fans want Young, who many believe has superstar potential with the flashes of stardom he has shown at Alabama. Others want Stroud, who some argue is the most NFL-ready guy from day one.

Caserio would get a big hit with either for the 2023 season because no matter who it is, they will both create a lot more excitement for Texans fans, which appear to be on hiatus until further notice.

Don’t get it twisted, the Texans, especially if they get the No. 1 overall pick, will have tremendous pressure to make whoever they get with their first draft pick a home run. Caserio will need to decide which quarterback is the best fit.

However, the right move for the team is to take a quarterback now. Running back Dameon Pierce has shown he is a stud, and there are some building blocks on offense with the team’s tight ends and receivers.

If the Texans don’t take a quarterback in this year’s draft, the apathy will continue. For a team doing everything possible to rebrand itself after three years of being a bottom feeder, a new face to the franchise will go a long way.

Don’t trade back. The Texans need to take their quarterback.

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Braves beat Houston in extra innings, 5-4. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.

Marcell Ozuna hit his major league-leading eighth homer and Orlando Arcia’s RBI single in the 10th inning lifted the Atlanta Braves to a 5-4 win over the Houston Astros on Wednesday.

It completes a three-game sweep of the struggling Astros and is Atlanta’s fourth straight victory.

The Braves scored two runs in the eighth inning to tie it at 4-4. Michael Harris II started the 10th as the automatic runner on second and there was one out in the inning when Seth Martinez (1-1) intentionally walked Matt Olson.

Ozuna lined out to right field to send Harris to third base. Arcia then singled on a ground ball to left field to score Harris and put the Braves on top.

Pinch-runner Jake Meyers was on second when Kyle Tucker walked with no outs in the 10th. Meyers moved to third on a fly out by Yainer Diaz but Jeremy Peña grounded into a double play to end it.

A.J. Minter (3-1) got the last two outs of the ninth for the win and Raisel Iglesias earned his fifth save.

Reigning NL MVP Ronald Acuña Jr. added his first homer of the season to help the Braves to the victory. Ozuna also leads the majors with 23 RBIs and he extended his hitting streak to 16 games, which ties his career best and is the longest active streak in the majors.

Yordan Alvarez and Mauricio Dubón both homered for the Astros, who fell to 6-14 and are last in the AL West.

There was one out in the first when Alvarez connected on his homer to the seats in left field to put Houston up 1-0.

Ozuna opened the second with his 432-foot shot to left field, which bounced off the wall and tied the game.

Acuña put the Braves up 2-1 when he sent the first pitch of the fifth inning to straightaway center field.

The Astros tied it on an RBI single by Alex Bregman in the fifth and Kyle Tucker’s RBI double came next to put the Astros up 3-2.

Dubón hit his first home run of the year off Jesse Chavez to start Houston’s sixth and push the lead to 4-2.

Harris singled to start the seventh before a ground-rule double by Austin Riley. Olson reached, and Harris scored on a fielding error by first baseman José Abreu when he couldn’t grab a routine ground ball.

There was one out in the inning when Riley scored on a sacrifice fly by Arcia to tie it at 4-all.

Houston starter J.P. France allowed four hits and two runs in five innings.

Max Fried gave up seven hits and three runs in five innings.

UP NEXT

Braves: Atlanta is off Thursday before opening a series against Texas on Friday night with LHP Chris Sale (1-1, 4.58 ERA) on the mound.

Astros: Houston is also off Thursday before ace Justin Verlander will make his season debut Friday night against Washington. The three-time Cy Young Award winner opened the season on the injured list with inflammation in his right shoulder.

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