Every-Thing Sports

How signing Earl Thomas could help turn the Texans around

The Texans are likely to roll the dice on Earl Thomas. Composite image by Brandon Strange.

With the Texans off to an 0-3 start, people are wondering can they turn it around? Will they be able to turn it around enough to make the playoffs? Or will they continue to falter? Will they fail hard enough to get Bill O'Brien fired? Well, help may be on the way.

Sarah Barshop of ESPN broke news that the Texans are bringing in safety Earl Thomas for a workout and are a likely destination for him to sign. With AJ Moore going on injury reserve with a designation to return in three weeks and free agent signing Eric Murray looking like yet another bad move, Thomas would be a welcomed addition to the defensive backfield. Not only would he provide much needed depth, but he's a grizzled vet who'd help the younger guys learn the game. He may not be the athlete he once was, but he'd be a playmaker for a team who severely lacks one in the defensive backfield.

This team is in a serious hole. At 0-3, they're most likely not going to make the playoffs. If they do make the playoffs, it'll only be because the league added an extra team in each conference. Currently, they're eight places back of the final playoff spot in the AFC. It's early in the season. There are 13 games left and anything can happen. Can it turn around? Could Thomas be the impetus for change?

When you're at the bottom of the barrel, there's no way to look but up. They've gone through the toughest part of their schedule. Their first two games were the toughest to start a season since 1968. This doesn't excuse what O'Brien has done as a general manager. He's been a bad general manager so far and it's painfully obvious.

The Texans have given up almost 600 yards rushing and almost the same amount passing. Adding Thomas would help plug your piss poor defense immediately. Adding someone like Thomas can work wonders for your defense and help fill a void you're sorely lacking. Adding a playmaker to your defense means less time spent on the field, if it works out, which means more time for your offense. This dynamic could help spur on a boost in offensive production. The less time the defense spends on the field and more time the offense spends on it, the better they should be right?

If Thomas has his head on right, this should also help the younger guys. Mentoring younger players, especially guys at your position, is something I believe older vets should do. Having Thomas work with the Texans' younger defensive backs is a plus in this signing. What if he could get the most out of this group? Wouldn't you want to see if he could get them to play up to their capabilities?

The less time the defense spends on the field, the more the offense should spend on it. If Watson had an extra possession a game to work with, maybe the offense would average more than 20 points a game. This offense is set up to make Watson thrive by spreading the ball around. O'Brien and Tim Kelly have to do a better job of coaching Watson out of holding onto the ball so long by making quicker reads. Making quicker reads means getting rid of it quicker and not taking unnecessary risks. This is something Watson needs to limit that'll help this team on both sides of the ball.

Would Thomas help? Of course he would. Will he fit under the cap? There's plenty of cap space this season. Would he be a model citizen given his offseason? I believe so since this could be his last stop. Besides, where is this team really going? They aren't a threat to make the playoffs right now and don't own their high draft picks to help build this team's future. Swing for the fences O'Brien. You never know when you'll hit a homerun.

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Houston's losing streak extended to five games

With key Astros missing, Detroit completes the series sweep

An overall bad day for the Astros on Wednesday. Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

On Wednesday afternoon, the Astros received a big blow to their chances in the series finale against Detroit and potentially longer. Five players: Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Yordan Alvarez, Martin Maldonado, and Robel Garcia would all be moved to the IL due to health and safety protocols, leaving them scrambling to get a whole team together for the game against the Tigers.

The Astros would not be able to overcome both the loss of players and the onslaught of another strong start by Detroit in Wednesday's game which put them too far out front for Houston to come back from to avoid a series sweep.

Final Score: Tigers 6, Astros 4

Astros' Record: 6-6, third in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Michael Fulmer (1-0)

Losing Pitcher: Lance McCullers Jr. (1-1)

Tigers knock out another starter early

Detroit continued their success of making Houston's starter work hard in early innings, getting after Lance McCullers Jr., and giving him an early exit. After a lengthy fist, they broke through in the second getting two hits, a walk, a hit batter, and an RBI groundout to put up three runs on 34 pitches.

He would have a quicker 1-2-3 third, but after giving up a single, a walk, and hitting another batter to load the bases and reach 87 pitches, he would be removed in favor of Joe Smith. Smith would allow all three of the inherited runners to score, adding those runs to McCullers Jr.'s final line: 3.2 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 87 P.

Astros try to claw back into it

After Smith would go on to load the bases again in the inning, still with two outs, Houston made another pitching change to bring in Brandon Bielak to get the third out and stop the bleeding at 6-0. The Astros would get on the board in the fifth, getting a runner on base to set up a two-run homer by Jason Castro to cut the lead to 6-2.

Bielak remained in the game to try and eat up as many innings as possible. While he continued to hold the Tigers to their six runs through the six innings, the Astros clawed back into the game. In the bottom of the sixth, Houston put their first two batters on base with a walk and single before an RBI-single by Yuli Gurriel to make it 6-3. They would threaten for more but be held there for the time being.

Astros can't cash in, Tigers complete sweep

Ryne Stanek was Houston's next reliever in the top of the seventh, getting a 1-2-3 frame to keep it a three-run game, as did Brooks Raley in the eighth. In the home part of the inning, the Astros put their first two runners on base on an error and a walk, then loaded them with a one-out single by Carlos Correa. They'd waste their chance to make something happen, though, with an inning-ending double-play.

Ryan Pressly, who had no save opportunities in recent games, entered to get some work in the top of the ninth. He worked around a leadoff double for a scoreless inning, sending the 6-3 game to the bottom of the ninth. The Astros had yet another chance to make something happen, loading the bases with no outs to bring the go-ahead run to the plate. After two outs, Yuli Gurriel would bring one run in with a walk, but that's as close as they'd come, extending their losing streak to five games and getting swept by the Tigers.

Up Next: Houston will get a much-needed day off tomorrow to try and leave this poor homestand behind them. They'll pick things up in Seattle on Friday, with first pitch of the opener of three games at 9:10 PM Central. The expected pitching matchup is Jose Urquidy (0-1, 5.23 ERA) for the Astros and Yusei Kikuchi (0-0, 3.75 ERA) for the Mariners.

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