Two offseason acquisitions come up big for Texans in win over Pats what's that mean for the future?

No GM, no problem for Texans

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3 Headlines, 2 Questions, and 1 Bet after the Texans beat the Patriots and get ready for the Broncos.

Jacob Martin finally breaks out

Jacob Martin had a big day for the Texans against the Patriots. I'm not breaking any news there, but as the above stats indicate this was finally a game he put it all together. The Texans desperately needed it too. Not to say he wasn't helped out, the rest of the line had their fair share of pushes and even Bradley Roby got a sack, but Martin was giving the Pats fits all night.

He has a lot of speed and Bill O'Brien mentioned as much when he said he sees Martin going "100 mph" and lauded his practice routine. This is what the Texans hoped for when they added Martin. A young player, under team control, that can grow into a key role player for this defense. I am sure he is slightly ahead of schedule in that regard.

Oh, and for the folks keeping track at home, Jacob Martin is healthy and a half a sack off Jadeveon Clowney's sack total on the year. Yes, Clowney plays Monday and can add to it, but he's dealing with a core injury that is expected to limit him.

Duke Johnson

This type of game is what we all envisioned from Duke Johnson when the Texans sent what is now a third round selection to the Browns. Up until this point Johnson hadn't put together a ground and air game that impressed at the same time. Last night he ripped off 90 total yards. It was his highest yardage total since week one in New Orleans. He was also targeted in the passing game a season-high six times.

If this is the Johnson the Texans are going to get going forward and the Carlos Hyde-led ground game is going to pick up watch out for what the Texans offense could be. Bill O'Brien intimated Monday Johnson's involvement was in the gameplan and if that is a mainstay going forward we maybe have just scratched the surface on Johnson's actual usefulness.

No general manager, no problem for me

Look, tell me the Texans have been managed poorly under the Bill O'Brien and company general manager leadership group and I will call you a liar. Plain and simple. Sure, there has been a hiccup or two, but the situation has been overwhelmingly positive so far. The Laremy Tunsil/Kenny Stills trade pays off week after week while additions like Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson have played well. The reshaping of the secondary on the fly through injuries has been impressive as well.

Is it the worst idea to let this crew operate a draft? No. You will know right off the bat if they can get it done though. It's not like they could hire Nick Caserio before the draft anyway so unless they were going elsewhere with that hire the current system was set to run free agency and the draft anyway .

I would be worried about the money. There is a possibility for a tremendous spend this offseason with Deshaun Watson potentially getting a new deal, Tunsil hunting money, and D.J. Reader and Bradley Roby expiring on the defense. I also expect J.J. Watt to want an adjustment on his deal.

Brian Gaine was a bargain hunter, I don't anticipate the current administration to be similar. The Texans have the money, and it leads to the star wideout, quarterback, left tackle, and pass rusher getting locked up for a few years there is nothing wrong with that.

Should the Texans try to get Bradley Roby locked up?

Bradley Roby has been as advertised in his role with the Texans. He is physically gifted and the flashes of first round talent are apparent in his play. Sure, there has been an issue here or there and he was hurt for a while but he played excellent against the Patriots.

I don't want to overreact to one good game, so let's see how he plays against his former team as well as the other games left on the Texans schedule. He is certainly on his way to achieving what he set out to do when he signed with the Texans. Roby intended to take a one-year "prove it" deal and enter free agency again hoping to cash in.

The right number might entice Roby to alter his strategy but it would be prudent for the Texans to see what else he can do this season now that he is healthy.

Can J.J. Watt come back? Sure. Will he?

I don't believe J.J. Watt is going to play again this season, regular season or the playoffs, but I would be happy to be wrong. His pectoral injury doesn't seem like it is anywhere close to as serious as the one Whitney Mercilus suffered in 2017. The thought and rumor was Mercilus was healthy enough by the end of the season, if the Texans had been in contention, to play.

It would stand to reason the same could apply to Watt. If by some chance he could return in week 17 for instance, the team could ease him back into the game and then ramp up his snaps in the playoffs for as long as they go.

Watt is third in QB Hits according to Pro Football Focus. He is the only player who has played in less than 10 games in the top ten. He obviously could help the Texans. For Watt though, there is a lot of risk.

There is no more guaranteed money on his contract. If he was hurt again that could hinder negotiations but at the same time a healthy-ish Watt could cause chaos and drive his tag way up. It is quite the risk if it gets to the decision.

As for the rumors, Bill O'Brien decided to take a pass on addressing it.

"I'm not going to get into all those things...we really need to focus on Denver."

I bet the Broncos are fired up to be playing with Drew Lock

Drew Lock looked like more than a capable passer at times in his NFL debut against the Chargers. He hit Courtland Sutton twice for a score but passed for just 164 yards. He threw a really bad interception that almost cost the Broncos horribly in the second half. Not bad though for his first NFL action that matters.

There's life though. He is clearly the team's quarterback next year and there are young pass catchers who need to grow with him like Sutton, DaeSean Hamilton, and fellow rookie Noah Fant. There's obviously still some talent on defense there as well. The Broncos are a live team compared to plenty of other teams who look like they've quit on their season.

O'Brien was emphatic on Monday he doesn't care about Denver's record he believes them to be a good football team. What I believe O'Brien has to drive home this week is the Texans beat the Patriots, but don't let beating the Patriots beat them against the Broncos.

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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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