CODY STOOTS/PRO FOOTBALL FOCUS

Mariota unimpressive, Watson taking shots ahead of Monday

Marcus Mariota had a rough game against the Colts. Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Pro Football Focus grades each individual player's performance and assigns them a grade. All 32 teams use Pro Football Focus. 

Each week we will take a look at some of the key grades as well as some from the Texans upcoming opponent. They also do great fantasy analysis and draft coverage as well. Stats are for the previous game unless otherwise noted. You can join Pro Football Focus here

Brennan Scarlett - 94.4 Defensive Grade

Hello, secret weapon. Who knew he could play inside linebacker so well? The Texans it seems. And now, Washington. He only produced a handful of tackles but came up with an interception and did one heck of a job in coverage for the Texans. Scarlett has been a special teams weapon for almost the entire season and now in a pinch, the Texans found a good defensive use for him outside of his normal position. This is a testament to Scarlett and the coaching which helped get him ready. 

Greg Mancz - 29.5 Pass Blocking Grade

Mancz came in for an injured Zach Fulton and had a surprisingly low grade. Mancz had done well filling in for Fulton earlier in the season when he was injured. He allowed the most pressures on the team in this game with four. It may have been a bad matchup for him, much like the Giants were earlier in the season when he filled in at left guard. A rare bad game for Mancz in this spot as he had been solid. 

Deshaun Watson - 14.9 Yards Per Attempt on Blitzed Plays

Watson saw a blitz on 10 dropbacks and was sacked twice. On the other eight plays, he tried to make a big play. It was the only situation in which he had a double-digit YPA. Watson's YPA was short, the Texans had a lot of yards after the catch. This is something Watson is very capable of doing because the offensive line has been good recently and his feet let him extend the plays. With play-calling being fairly conservative, Watson taking advantage of the defense risking blitz is good to see. 

Marcus Mariota - 34.8 Offensive Grade

The Titans quarterback is hurt and coming off a horrible performance in Indianapolis. His worst of the season in fact. He passed for just 85 yards and was injured and replaced by Blaine Gabbert. The week before though he posted his highest grade of the season against New England. He's about average for the season and that's what the Texans just faced in Alex Smith. He didn't play against the Texans earlier in the year, but ahead of Monday, he has a chance to finally impress against the Texans. He's thrown just one touchdown pass in three games against Houston. 

As always, you can join Pro Football Focus here

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Houston loses to end the road trip

Dodgers get best of Odorizzi to split series with Astros

Jake Odorizzi allowed four home runs over three innings against the Dodgers on Wednesday. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.

After spoiling the night of many Dodgers fans in the opener of this two-game series in Los Angeles the night prior, the Astros returned to the stadium to a fresh set of hostile fans, looking to get the mini-sweep. This one went much more in favor of the home team, though, as the Dodgers would ride three big innings to start the game to the win for the series split.

Final Score: Dodgers 7, Astros 5

Astros' Record: 65-43, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Max Scherzer (9-4)

Losing Pitcher: Jake Odorizzi (4-6)

Odorizzi gets shelled

After a Michael Brantley solo home in the top of the first run against Max Scherzer, making his Dodger debut, it looked like the Astros may continue their momentum from the night before to grab hold of this game as well. However, that all changed in the bottom of the inning, as the Dodgers would tee off against Jake Odorizzi.

In that inning, he allowed four runs, a leadoff solo shot by Mookie Betts, then later a three-run blast by Will Smith. Betts made it 2-for-2 with solo homers in the bottom of the second, extending the lead to 5-1. Things went from bad to worse in the third, with Los Angeles getting their fourth home run, this one for two runs to make it a 7-1 game. Odorizzi would finish the third but go no further.

Scherzer K's 10 over seven innings in his Dodger debut

Houston tried to start clawing back into it in the top of the fourth, getting a second run against Scherzer with a two-out RBI-single by Kyle Tucker, trimming the lead to five runs at 5-2. First out of Houston's bullpen was Yimi Garcia in the bottom of the fourth, and he tossed the first 1-2-3 inning for Houston. Rafael Montero was next in the bottom of the fifth, working around a leadoff double followed by a walk for a scoreless inning.

Montero remained in the game in the bottom of the sixth, still 7-2, and would get another scoreless inning, this time sitting down the Dodgers in order. Scherzer finished his quality debut for his new team in the top of the seventh, erasing a leadoff walk to complete seven innings while allowing two runs.

Astros lose to split the series with Dodgers

Brooks Raley was Houston's next reliever, and he, too, would get through a scoreless inning by erasing a two-out single. In the game-within-the-game, the Dodgers brought in Joe Kelly for the top of the eighth, who notched two strikeouts to bring none other than Carlos Correa to the plate, setting up a rematch of the well-known incident that led to the "pouty face" clip from 2020. Carlos Correa won this round, launching a 405-foot homer off of Kelly to make it a four-run game at 7-3.

Phil Maton kept the score there, stranding two runners in the bottom of the eighth to send the 7-3 game to the top of the ninth, where the Dodgers would bring in Kenley Jansen. After a leadoff single, Kyle Tucker would get the Astros within two runs on a two-run homer, making it 7-5. That's as close as they would get, as Jansen would regroup to get the next three batters out to wrap up the loss for Houston.

Up Next: With this road trip completed, the Astros will have a quick turnaround as they catch a late flight back to Houston then turn around with a game Thursday at 7:10 PM Central to open a four-game series with the Twins. Framber Valdez (7-2, 3.01 ERA) will take the mound for Houston in the opener, while Minnesota will counter with Griffin Jax (1-1, 6.41 ERA).

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