CODY STOOTS: PRO FOOTBALL FOCUS

New WR Thomas set to contribute while Texans face struggling Von Miller

Greg Mancz and the OL had a big game. Bob Levey/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 good and bad from the Texans and a look at the upcoming opponent as well. 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

The Texans Offensive Line Pass Blocking Grades

Julie'n Davenport - 79.7

Senio Kelemete - 86.8

Nick Martin - 83.2

Greg Mancz - 80.5

Kendall Lamm - 61.2

Now, THIS is some pass protecting! The Texans allowed just one quarterback hit in the win over the Dolphins and no sacks. That's incredible considering where these guys were weeks ago. It's the highest pass block grade for Mancz at right guard and for Davenport this season. They have to maintain something close to this if the Texans are going to compete for a playoff spot and more. It's doable, they've now showcased they can pull it together. The Broncos boast the seventh highest graded pass rush in football and have two huge sack guys in Bradley Chubb and Von Miller. This isn't an easy task but success against these guys and this offensive line is for real. 

Von Miller - Defensive Grade 78.8 (Season)

Miller is in the middle of a career low year as far as Pro Football Focus grading. He's never finished below 90 in any season he's been graded and his pass rush and run defense grades are also at all-time lows. He's on pace for a career low in hurries per snap. He's doing all this while amassing eight sacks which is two off the league lead. It is important to see Bradley Chubb's development, he's the 31st best pass rusher from the edge defender spot, as he sets Miller and the Broncos up for success with his activity opposite Miller. 

Case Keenum - 70.7 Offensive Grade

The former Texans quarterback is far from his Minnesota version where he checked in 17 points better overall, but he has put together two of his better grades the past two weeks. The Broncos are starting to ask a little less of Keenum than when the season started as he is down on his attempts. Keenum has yet to play a clean game this season with an interception in all his contests and there is one thing very clear about Keenum that should alarm Broncos fans. Keenum isn't scrambling anymore. He had 21 scrambles last year keeping defenses honest and this year has just four through half the season. It isn't a huge thing but one has to wonder what else is missing from what Keenum did in Minnesota. 

Demaryius Thomas - 73.1 Offensive Grade (Season)

The Texans added Thomas at the cost of a fourth-round pick and another later pick to help with the Will Fuller injury. Thomas is in the middle of the lowest graded season of his career and was set to have the least productive year in his career since his rookie season. It will likely all change now as he goes from a crowded room of pass catchers to the clear-cut second best receiver on the Texans. Thomas has often been associated with drops and he has six this season, but just one in his last four games. He should see all his numbers get boosted with better quarterback play and more targets. He is still productive, graded out as one of the 40 best wideouts in football, and will help the Texans where injuries have hurt them. 

As always, you can join Pro Football Focus here

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Composite photo by Jack Brame

Former Astros manager Andrew Jay Hinch is on a short list of candidates to become manager of the Detroit Tigers in 2021.

The question is, after being suspended and later fired for his role in the Astros sign-stealing scandal, does A.J. Hinch deserve to manage again in baseball?

It's weird to think because so much has happened in 2020, but Hinch was suspended and fired only nine months ago. His banishment, however, ends in a matter of weeks with the final out of the upcoming World Series. At that point, he will be available to manage the Tigers or any other team. There's a possibility that the Mets are interested. Some were hoping it'd be the Astros, but the Astros are committed to manager Dusty Baker for next year. After that … never say never.

Shortly after getting the Astros ax, Hinch went on MLB TV and apologized for his role in the Astros cheating scandal. Although baseball's investigation said the garbage can banging scheme was "with the exception of (Astros coach Alex) Cora, player-driven and player-executed," Hinch took responsibility as manager and didn't challenge his punishment. No players were punished.

"I still feel responsible and will always feel responsible as the man out front," Hinch said. "As the leader, I was in charge of the team. I put out a statement to apologize. But there is something different to doing it on camera and putting a face to an apology, and saying I'm sorry to the league, to baseball, to fans, to players, to the coaches.

"It happened on my watch. I'm not proud of that. I'll never be proud of it. I didn't like it. But I have to own it. And the commissioner's office made very, very clear that the GM and the manager were in position to make sure that nothing like this happened. And we fell short."

In effect, while Hinch didn't authorize or participate in the sign-stealing scandal, he didn't do enough (really anything) to stop it. He is the rare case of being a guilty bystander.

To be clear, Hinch has not been offered the Detroit manager job. However, he has more experience and more wins under his belt than most of the other candidates being considered.

Hinch's reputation is blemished, but his credentials can't be disputed. During his five years as Astros manager, the team never had a losing season, won 100 or more games three times, including a team record 107 wins last year, made the playoffs three times and won a World Series.

Has baseball forgiven Hinch, and does he deserve another chance to manage in the big leagues? This is America, the land of forgiveness and second chances.

As Mahatma Gandhi said, "The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong."

Hinch knew his team was cheating and didn't do enough to stop it. There's no defense for that. But I think he's paid enough of a price to get back in baseball.

Mike Tyson raped a woman, went to jail, and now he's practically America's sweetheart. Hillary forgave Bill. We not only forgave Confederate leaders, we built schools and statues to honor them. Martha Stewart went to jail for insider trading, now she's back on TV baking crumpets. Ozzy Osbourne was arrested for pee'ing on a monument outside the Alamo, there is no more sacred place in Texas, and now he sells out concerts at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion.

Pee-wee Herman, well, let's not say what he was caught doing, but he's planning to tour the U.S. celebrating the 35th anniversary of Pee-wee's Big Adventure movie.

Remember, Hinch was suspended for a year. It could have been worse. Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred has the power to ban people for life. Since becoming the commish, Manfred has permanently banished two people: former St. Louis Cardinals scouting director Chris Correa for hacking into the Astros computer database, and former Atlanta Braves general manager, John Coppolella for signing international players illegally.

Manfred also has temporarily banned Astros assistant general manager Brandon Taubman for shouting inappropriate comments at female reporters last year. Taubman is eligible to apply for reinstatement after this year's World Series. However, if he commits one more violation of baseball rules, he will be banned for life.

Lifetime bans aren't as unusual as you might think. Since baseball's beginnings in the 1800s, dozens of players, managers and team owners have been banned, mostly, like Pete Rose and the Chicago Black Sox, for gambling-related offenses.

A.J. Hinch copped to his crime, suffered the consequences, now it's time for him to manage a baseball team again. It's not like he'd be landing a plum job with Detroit. The Tigers are out of this year's playoff picture. They lost 114 games last season. And were 64-98 the two years prior. Managing the Tigers will be punishment enough.

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