The Z-Report

Lance's exit interview with the Texans

Photo via Houston Texans/Facebook

Every season when pro teams are eliminated from the playoffs, they have exit interviews where the head coach and/or front office speaks to different players about their season or what to do in the off-season. I guess that's what they talk about. I have no idea.

To be honest, I don't really know what happens in exit interviews. No idea. So let's do this… I'll play out the exit interviews I would have with a variety of Texans starting with the head guy.

Bill O'Brien

Lance: Hey Coach O'Brien, sit down.

OB: I'll stand, thanks.

Lance: Well, okay. Solid season, coach. I was really happy with the run you guys put together after such a bad start and I think it showed that guys keep on playing for you despite you getting a little surly sometimes.

OB: Surly?! Look, I'm not surly, I'm honest. If you can't handle honesty, then get out of this business. And I'm not going to sit and listen to some media guy grill me about the season. What's the best thing you ever did in football in your entire life, anyway?

Lance: I made a one-hand touchdown catch in street football on a perfectly placed throw by James Martinez near a mailbox.

OB: That's what I thought. I'm not staying here for this stupid sh*t.

Lance: I probably wouldn't either, coach. Three division titles in the last four years. Keep it up, but I would probably hand over the play-calling duties to someone else just so you can fine-tune clock management and your work with Deshaun Watson.

OB: And I would probably hand over your radio duties so you can work on writing bad draft reviews about players you will never draft or coach.

Will Fuller and KeKe Coutee

(Fuller and Coutee both come in on separate wheelchairs)

Lance: Hey guys, thanks for coming in today, but why the wheelchairs?

Fuller: They want us to be super careful because, you know, we tend to get injured. I've ended up on the injured reserve pretty much every year I have ever played with Houston. We have to be careful.

Keke: Yeah, and even though I played in the last game, my hamstring could snap at any second so Brian Gaine told me to just stay in the wheelchair this off-season because I can be really good if I can just actually play in multiple games in a row.

Lance: Man, when you guys are on the field, it's a different offense! Well, you were on the field and they scored 7 in their last game, Keke. But still, you are great for PPR fantasy leagues when you are on the field. And Fuller, wow! You and Deshaun have a great chemistry. It's like the offense just hits a different level when you are on the field.

Fuller: Thanks, man. Yeah, I'm just trying to get my body right and get back on the field because I feel like me, Hop, Keke, and Demaryius Thomas can all have special years next year.

Lance: I mean… I guess. You end every season on the IR, Keke hardly played, and Thomas is coming off of an Achilles injury. If you guys are all healthy, I think this is a super explosive passing game…

Fuller: Hold up. Aren't you the same guy that tripped over a curb at the Senior Bowl last year and cracked your foot when you were falling forward trying to catch your balance?

Keke: Oh damn! I heard about that! Yeah, man I heard scouts were clowning you because you had to get put into a walking boot and then you had it on for like 3 months… because you tripped over a curb. Injury prone, hatin' ass.

(they both shake their damn heads and roll out of the exit interview)

Deshaun Watson

Lance: Hey, Deshaun! Thanks for coming by to talk. So overall, you came back down to earth a little bit from that crazy start last year, but I thought you had a solid year. Your offensive line wasn't great and you had a bunch of injuries at receiver, but you lowered your interception percentage and I felt like you had some special flashes.

Watson: Please keep that same energy next year.

Lance: I don't really know what that means. What energy do I have?

Watson: What else.

Lance: I would like to see you continue to grow and improve at getting rid of the football a little earlier and recognizing blitzes so you can beat defenses for bigger plays.

Watson: (chuckling) Like I said, keep this same energy next year. We had a great year this year and I still have to deal with doubters and haters.

Lance: I don't know about all that, but maybe if y'all stop letting the Colts be your dad here in NRG, we can buy in a little more.

Watson: Wait a minute. Who are you? Like, I seriously don't know you or who you are?

Lance: I'm glad you asked, I host the top-rated morning show from 7-9 AM every day.

Watson: You work two hours a day and you're in here telling me how to be a quarterback?

Lance: Yes, but it's a hard two hours. I also gave you a late first round draft grade on NFL.com in my draft profile.

Watson: I have to go work out and keep building on an 11-win season. After that, I'm going to donate my playoff check to people in need. What are you going to do after this?

Lance: Well… I… I'm probably going to play some online poker and get into a YouTube rabbit hole of Karma videos and rope swing fails.

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After the big offensive showing to take the opener on Thursday, the Astros entered Friday's game at Globe Life Field against the Rangers just one win or Angels loss away from securing their spot in the playoffs. Here is how the game unfolded:

Final Score (10 innings): Rangers 5, Astros 4.

Record: 29-29, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Brett Martin (1-1, 1.98 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Enoli Paredes (3-3, 3.05 ERA).

Urquidy goes seven while allowing two

The Rangers would strike first in Friday's game, getting a two-out solo home run against Jose Urquidy in the bottom of the second to grab the early 1-0 lead. Urquidy did relatively well on the night, though he would allow another solo homer in the bottom of the fifth. Those were the only two runs he allowed, working in and out of some trouble throughout the game on his way to finishing seven innings. His final line: 7.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 2 HR, 98 P.

Houston grabs their first lead late

Unlike their hot night at the plate the night prior, it took the Astros until the fifth inning to get on the board. It came after Carlos Correa hit a leadoff single, then came all the way around to score on an RBI-triple by George Springer, making it a 1-1 tie at the time.

After the Rangers went back in front 2-1 in the bottom of the inning on their second solo homer of the night, Alex Bregman would tie it up again with a solo home run of his own, making it 2-2. Houston would get their first lead of the night in the top of the eighth, with Altuve working a leadoff walk before scoring later in the inning on an RBI-single by Yuli Gurriel.

Rangers get the walk-off to keep Houston waiting for playoff bid

After Urquidy, Blake Taylor would take over on the mound in the bottom of the eighth, retiring the Rangers in order for a scoreless inning to hold the one-run lead. Still 3-2 in the bottom of the ninth, Houston turned to their closer, Ryan Pressly. After two quick outs, he would allow a game-tying solo home run, making it 3-3 to postpone Houston's celebration at least another inning as the game headed to extras.

In the top of the tenth, Jose Altuve was placed on second as the free runner. He advanced to third on a groundout to start the inning, then scored on a sac fly by Alex Bregman, making it a 4-3 lead for Houston. Enoli Paredes would load the bases before Texas would tie the game on a sac fly in the bottom of the inning, keeping runners on second and third. Houston made the change to Brooks Raley to try and extend the game another inning, but instead, the Rangers would get the walk-off win, spoiling Houston's chance to clinch their playoff spot themselves with a win.

Up Next: The third game of this four-game set will get underway at 6:05 PM Central on Saturday. On the mound for Texas will be Kyle Gibson (2-6, 5.87 ERA), and, as of now, the Astros still have Lance McCullers Jr. (3-3, 4.24 ERA) listed as their starter.

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