TEXANS 27, RAIDERS 24

Injuries continue to mount, but Watson works his magic in 27-24 Texans victory

Injuries continue to mount, but Watson works his magic in 27-24 Texans victory

The Texans took on the Raiders at NRG Stadium on Sunday and managed to escape with a 27-24 victory. A look at how it all played out.

Offense

The positives: Deshaun Watson had another big game, going 27 of 39 for 279 yards and three TDs with no interceptions. He also ran effectively with 46 yards on 10 carries (including three kneel downs at the end of the game). He gave them a lead in the fourth quarter with a miraculous escape in the pocket and throwing a touchdown pass after getting kicked in the eye. Bill O'Brien made some good offensive halftime adjustments. He also continues to go for it on fourth downs, and he did it again to start the third quarter from his own 35. The Texans converted, and it led to a field goal. The tight ends were a big part of the offense with eight catches including two touchdowns by Darren Fells. They managed to stay afloat despite losing Laremy Tunsil late in the game. DeAndre Hopkins had one clutch catch after another, with 11 for 109 yards.

The negatives: Once again, they started slowly. They have not scored on their opening drive this season. Untimely, drive-killing penalties continue to be a problem. The Texans converted a third down midway through the second quarter, but a holding penalty negated it. Watson nearly threw a pick six on a bad throw early in the game but the Raiders could not hold the ball. Jordan Akins had a rough day with a couple drops, the holding penalty mentioned above, and killed a drive on first down by running into his own running back, causing a huge loss. The Texans were forced to settle for a field goal on that drive. As a team they allowed three sacks.

Defense

The positives: They did a decent job against the run, which is the strength of the Raiders. But Oakland was also throwing the ball a lot more than normal. They did a better job with penalties - most were on the Texans offense. They came up with a huge fourth quarter stop up 27-24 to get the ball back to the offense with just under four minutes to play. The Raiders would not get the ball again.

The negatives: They blew a coverage then missed a tackle on Hunter Renfrow's 68-yard catch and run for a score. Tyrell Williams also caught a 46-yard touchdown pass. Both came on third downs, where the Texans continue to struggle. Injuries became the biggest issue as both J.J. Watt and Lonnie Johnson were knocked out late in the first half. Watt is reportedly lost for the season. Johnson's injury was particularly concerning since the secondary has been so beat up. They did not get much pressure on Derek Carr, even with Watt in the game. Dylan Cole dropped what could have been a pick six in the fourth quarter.

The bottom line

This was a solid win, considering the injuries. They were overmatched in the secondary but managed to play just well enough. Watson and the offense took over in the second half, scoring on every possession but the last one, where they were able to take a knee. They now head to London to take on the Jags with a chance to be 6-3 going to the break, but the injury concerns are very real. Watt is gone for the year and can't be replaced. Tunsil is also irreplaceable. Johnson is a key member of a secondary that is already depleted. They are 5-3 at the halfway point, and it was a much-needed win as the entire AFC South won on Sunday. The Raiders are a decent team, and getting a win was big considering the injuries. Now we just have to sit back and find out how bad the Tunsil and Johnson injuries are.

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Astros defeat Cardinals, 8-5. Composite Getty Image.

Yainer Diaz homered in a second straight game to lead the Houston Astros to an 8-5 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night.

Playing without star right fielder Kyle Tucker, the Astros got a three-run homer from Diaz in the third inning as they took the first two games of a three-game set with the Cardinals. Diaz hit a go-ahead two-run homer in Monday’s 7-4 win.

Tucker, who left Monday’s game after hitting a foul ball off his right shin, was diagnosed with a contusion and sat out Tuesday night. He is tied for second in the majors with 19 homers.

Houston scored six runs off Cardinals starter Andre Pallante (1-2). He allowed six hits and walked three in three innings.

Astros starter Spencer Arrighetti allowed three hits and one run in three innings. He was evaluated by trainers in the second after he was struck in the left leg by a 103.8 mph comebacker. He threw 64 pitches and left the game after the third with a left calf contusion.

Astros reliever Tayler Scott (2-2) allowed three hits and one run in two innings. Ryan Pressly pitched a scoreless ninth for his first save of the season.

The Cardinals cut into Houston’s lead with solo homers from Masyn Winn in the sixth inning and Nolan Gorman in the seventh. Gorman’s homer appeared to graze off the glove of a leaping Mauricio Dubón after a fan bumped into the Astros right fielder.

Alec Burleson homered for St. Louis in the first.

The Astros improved to 3-1 in June but remain six games under .500 (28-34). The Cardinals fell to 3-5 on a nine-game trip that wraps up Wednesday.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Cardinals: RHP reliever Keynan Middleton will undergo season-ending surgery to repair the flexor tendon in his right arm, manager Oliver Marmol said. Middleton, who signed with the Cardinals in the offseason, felt discomfort in his forearm during spring training and started the year on the injured list.

Astros: RHP Cristian Javier is expected to undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery on Thursday, the Athletic reported. Astros general manager Dana Brown and manager Joe Espada have said they wouldn’t have any information on the 27-year-old's condition until later in the week. Javier is 3-1 with a 3.89 ERA.

UP NEXT

RHP Miles Mikolas (3-6, 5.54 ERA) will start the series finale for the Cardinals on Wednesday. Astros RHP Ronel Blanco (5-1, 2.44) will try to bounce back from his first loss of the season in his last outing, against Minnesota.

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