A WEEKLY REVIEW OF O'BRIEN'S CRENNEL'S COACHING

​Now​ my job: Big win for the Texans and Romeo Crennel

The team looked better without O'Brien. Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

The Texans came away with a big win Sunday besting the Jags 30-14. It was a huge win. The biggest win of the season. Bigly. It was the best. I'd go as far as to say this was the best win this team has had ever!

Enough with the superlatives. This was a good win. I was impressed by the way the coaching staff handled things. They put the players in position to execute and the players did just that.

At 73 years and 115 days, Romeo Crennel was the oldest coach in NFL history. He's also the oldest to win a game. The offense and defense looked different, and for the better. Let's take a look at some of the things that I found that were worthy of praise, and criticism:

The output of the offense was impressive. Deshaun Watson threw for 359 yards and three touchdowns. David Johnson ran for 96 yards. Will Fuller, Darren Fells, and Brandin Cooks each caught touchdown passes from Watson. Cooks caught eight passes for 161 yards. The offense looked fluid and was productive. The biggest difference I saw was Watson checking into and out of plays. You could tell he was more comfortable checking in and out of plays at the line of scrimmage. The no huddle and/or sugar huddle was executed perfectly. Keeping things up-tempo kept the Jags off guard and kept the Texans in rhythm. Watson did throw two picks. The first was all on him, but the second wasn't. At first, David Johnson looked like the complete bust that he's been the last few years. He regained some life and looked good later on. The zone split run play was a favorite. The tight end would motion then block across the line of scrimmage, while the offensive line would zone block to the inside. Johnson had some of his best runs off this play. Major props to Tim Kelly as the offensive coordinator for recognizing what he has, what it's capable of, and calling plays accordingly.

Anthony Weaver called a good game on defense. It was scary at first because they couldn't stop the Jags. Too many times they weren't getting pressure and were getting burned. Eventually, the blitzes dialed up started causing trouble. They even found a way to get two turnovers! They were their first two turnovers of the season and they came at the right times. Several times down the stretch as they were nursing a lead, the pressure caused incompletions, led to sacks, or a turnover. Sure it was the Jags, but it was a win and a much-needed flex of some muscle on both sides of the ball.

The elephant in the room undoubtedly will be if this was done because of or in spite of Bill O'Brien's absence. One can only speculate. Time will tell. They have the Titans, Packers, and Jags again in their next three games. If they somehow pull away from that stretch 4-4, I'll be more impressed. The Packers are a Super Bowl favorite in the NFC and will not be easy. The Titans are solid, but beatable, and they just beat the Jags. 4-4 at the half point puts them in position to make the playoffs still. Even a 3-5 record leaves them an outside shot, especially considering the extra playoff spot. Here's to us finding out if O'Brien's absence is addition by subtraction! Cheers!

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Rockets get another much-needed win. Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images.

The Houston Rockets went on a redemption tour by beating the Detroit Pistons and Dallas Mavericks. But the most pivotal win was against the Mavericks as the Rockets finally showed their true potential. John Wall finally made his return from his injury hiatus and played with a lot of energy. DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Gordon combined for 61 points. It was great to see Stephan Silas crack a smile as he was able to beat his former team.

The Rockets clearly missed Wall during his eight-game absense. This season, the Rockets are a .500 team with Wall on the court. Wall is the Rockets' floor general that leads, constructs, and also pushes his teammates to become better.

Wall only played 21 minutes in the 133-108 win over the Mavericks but still had eight assists. Even though Wall only had 7 points, his presence was still felt by finding his teammates for open looks beyond the perimeter. Wall made sure Cousins and Gordon got a plethora of touches. He called multiple actions, so they got open looks from three, which was mainly Gordon. Gordon and Cousins' struggles have been similar but with Wall on the court, they were successful against the Mavericks. According to NBA Stats, Wall posted a 111 offensive rating with the starters versus the Mavericks, which included Gordon and Cousins.

"He's the engine to this team. He gets everybody going. He makes the game easy," Cousins told a reporter after the game. "The pressure that he constantly puts on the defense is a tough thing to deal with."

Gordon has struggled all season long with three-point shooting and relied on his slashing abilities. Saturday night, Gordon made six three pointers against the Mavericks, which was 66 percent from beyond the perimeter. Gordon increased his three-point percentage from 31 percent to 34.5 percent after Saturday night's game. Gordon's 33 points came from being able to attack the entire Mavericks' defense. Willy Cauley-Stein didn't stand a chance against Gordon as he was burned multiple times. Gordon's been a lifesaver for the Rockets in the last two games, and hopefully he maintains his play.

Cousins played fantastic against the Mavericks scoring 28 points and grabbing 17 rebounds. This is Cousins' first double-double with the Rockets this season. Cousins became the vintage player from the New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings. It was extremely fun watching Cousins push the ball up the court and aggressively snatch rebounds. Boogie shot 50 percent from behind the arc by making four three-pointers. He was dominant inside the paint as Cousins went 7/8 from the restricted area versus the Mavericks. This was the game Cousins needed after having a poor performance against the Pistons Friday night.

"It was really, really good. He did it all. He's a physical presence on both ends of the floor," as Silas said on Cousins' performance.

David Nwaba and Mason Jones were big factors off the Rockets' bench by having a combined total of 34 points together. Nwaba has been great in transition for the Rockets the entire season. Keep in mind that Nwaba is returning from an Achilles injury he suffered with his former team, the Brooklyn Nets. Nwaba has became a great defender, slasher, and is averaging a career-high nine points per game with the Rockets. He finished with 18 points on Saturday night versus the Mavericks.

Mason Jones has become a fan favorite of the Rockets because of his confidence. Silas is loving the usage of Jones off the bench but wants to find more minutes for him. Jones had a breakout performance versus the San Antonio Spurs with 24 points off 66 percent shooting from the field. He continues to get better with his reads from the point guard position. Jones' knowledge of running the offense has helped his efficiency on the court. He is never afraid to take clutch shots in pivotal moments of the game.

"To have a young kid who can come in and not be afraid of the moment, that's big. That's a tough position to be in as an undrafted rookie. I trust him. It's a good problem to have," Silas mentioned after the game. "He's showing me he's ready. He's a confident kid, and he should be. That's why he's good. He's not afraid of the moment, at all. He can get us organized, run plays, and score the basketball."

Hopefully, the Rockets can sustain their level of play when Victor Oladipo returns against the Washington Wizards, Tuesday. It will be interesting to watch Oladipo and Wall play in the same backcourt.

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