Every-Thing Sports

Never fear Houston, Watson is here!

Matt Patterson/Houston Texans

Sometimes in life you encounter people who command a room. Whether it's a good or bad thing, these people make eyes and attention shift to them. There's almost a mystic or magical draw to them. You can hardly describe it. You simply feel drawn to them for some reason. That feeling is amplified when the person is true and genuine. When they're perceived as real and/or authentic, they tend to have a more long-lasting effect on those around them.

A perfect example of the kind of person I'm referring to is Texans' quarterback Deshaun Watson. Watson is the type of athlete that only comes along every so often. Not only is he very good at his profession, he's also the kind of person you'd root for if he were a regular guy.

His backstory

It's been mentioned, featured, and talked about ad nauseum that Watson grew up under-privileged, dodging trouble in the streets of Gainesville, GA, and even getting one of the houses Warrick Dunn would gift to single mothers. Overcoming all of this, plus his mother's tongue cancer, is why he's built for just about anything. It is also why he's so easy to root for.

His abilities

It was second and six on the Bills' 44 yard line in overtime and the game was still tied at 19. Each team had a possession, so the next score would win the game. Watson evaded two would-be sackers, spun around, and found Taiwan Jones for a 34-yard gain that set up the game-winning field goal. Going back to his collegiate days at Clemson, we've seen Watson do these types of things. He's the only quarterback in the last 15 postseasons to lead his team to 14-point plus comebacks in both college and the NFL. Why? He works hard and prepares to amplify his God-given abilities. Remember that touchdown run against the Bengals his rookie season?

His likability

This kid gets it. He got drafted by the Texans and almost immediately endeared himself to the city. The picture above of him wearing the Warren Moon Houston Oilers throwback jersey heading to a game was one of those moments that made people instantly like him. The amazing plays help, but he knows what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. When he donated his first game check to cafeteria employees of the team affected by Hurricane Harvey, he started off the right way and has done nothing but make the right moves at every turn.

The results

While beating the Bills was huge, there's more work to be done. Watson has some impressive stats he's put up, as well as some good wins. But in the NFL, the only thing that ultimately matters is winning titles. The Texans have never advanced to an AFC title game, which also means they've never won, or played in, a Super Bowl. If Watson should happen to pull that off, he will cement himself as the greatest athlete in Houston sports history. Baby steps need to be made however, but Watson is seeming to make them in leaps and bounds. He will need help bringing a Super Bowl to Houston, but he appears ready to shoulder the bulk of the load.

When one looks at current Houston athletes and ranks them, most would put Jose Altuve or James Harden on top of that list. Some may still have J.J. Watt up there. For me, Watson is taking aim at that crown. Altuve is no longer the best player on the Astros. Harden hasn't been able to get the Rockets over the hump, despite putting up insane numbers. Watt has missed more games than he's played in over the last few years. Add all of this up with the fact that Watson has emerged as one of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL, and his other intangbles, I don't see how you can't have atop this list.

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Houston loses first game to Oakland

A's end losing streak against Astros with late homers

Lance McCullers Jr. went five innings of one-run ball Friday night. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

After maintaining their stronghold against the A's in Thursday's home opener, the Astros had the chance to lock up the three-game series victory against Oakland with a win on Friday night. On the mound, Lance McCullers Jr. hoped to improve upon his first start against this same team, a five-inning one-run outing.

Instead, he would have the same outcome, once again lasting five innings while allowing one run, before a big tie-breaking home run late in the game would push Oakland out of their losing skid against the Astros.

Final Score: A's 6, Astros 2

Astros' Record: 6-2, tied for first in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Yusmeiro Petit (2-0)

Losing Pitcher: Bryan Abreu (1-1)

McCullers Jr. makes it through five

McCullers Jr. looked sharp through the first three innings, allowing just two baserunners, one on a second-inning single, then a walk in the third. Oakland did better against him the second time through their order in the fourth, with Jed Lowrie leading the inning off with a solo home run to put Oakland in front 1-0.

They went on to load the bases with one out on an error and two walks, but McCullers would strand them all. He returned for the fifth, a much cleaner inning where a caught stealing by Martin Maldonado would help him face just three batters. His final line: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 88 P.

Oakland gets homer-happy to even the series

McCullers Jr. would leave the game without being eligible for the winning or losing decision, as an RBI-groundout by Kyle Tucker in the fourth would have it tied 1-1. Bryan Abreu was the first out of Houston's bullpen, and he would attempt to eat up multiple innings. He had perfect innings in the sixth and seventh, retiring six A's in order to maintain the stalemate.

Abreu remained in the game in the top of the eighth, allowing a single before getting a strikeout, ending his run as Dusty Baker would bring in left-handed Blake Taylor. Taylor would give up a single against his first batter, then a loud go-ahead three-run home run to Matt Olson to push the A's back in front 4-1. They'd add two more insurance runs off of Joe Smith in the top of the ninth, getting a two-run home run by Mark Canha to extend the lead to 6-1.

Oakland's bullpen would hold on to the newly created lead, allowing just one run on a sac fly by Jose Altuve in the bottom of the ninth, finally ending their losing streak against Houston and setting up the rubber game on Saturday to be for the series victory.

Up Next: This series's finale will be a Saturday afternoon start, with first pitch scheduled for 3:05 PM. For the Astros, Jose Urquidy (0-0, 4.15 ERA) will look to get a win on the board, while Oakland will hand the ball to Frankie Montas (0-1, 23.63 ERA).

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