The passing game was stifled and the running game has struggled

Offense sputtering on multiple levels for Texans

Houston Texans Bill O'Brien
Houston Texans/Facebook

3 Headlines, 2 Questions, and 1 Bet as the Falcons are next up for the 2-2 Texans.

"He cares deeply about trying to help us win"

Bill O'Brien offered little on his quarterback staying late and working after the loss to the Panthers. Watson had one of his more inconsistent games as a pro and as you will see below he took a lot of the blame.

Crash course in Carolina defense

You can hear Deshaun Watson's annoyance at the futility the offense exhibited. The quarterback and the rest of the offense clearly knew what the Panthers approach was and yet, couldn't beat it. Watson mentions the two throws he missed that would have certainly been the biggest plays of the day.

O'Brien said after the game they called bad plays. The Panthers had allowed over 21 points on average heading into Sunday's game.

The offensive line didn't help the situation, but the offense only really having two or so chances to really beat the Panthers defense deep isn't ideal. Kenny Stills, who left with a hamstring injury, could have helped.

No kicking woes...yet

Are you worried about kicker Ka'imi Fairbairn at this point?

"No. No. I don't worry about Ka'imi (Fairbairn)," O'Brien said. "He's got a good mindset. He's had a couple kicks that have, you know, sprayed to the right on him but he'll fix it."

Last week Fairbairn missed an extra point. This week his missed a field goal and nearly missed his second attempt. The Texans moved on from their punter after two weeks, but from O'Brien's comments Fairbairn is safe, for now.

The way the Texans play, close games rarely blowing people out, they can't afford to have misses in the kicking game. There are so many teams struggling at kicking in the NFL right now there isn't a lot they can do if Fairbairn falls off. They'd do better to work on him than make a rash decision and bring in a new face.

Is the rushing attack broken after hot start?

Don't get fooled by the box score. The Texans didn't run the ball well against the Panthers.

Carlos Hyde had five rushes of his 12 go for one yard or less. 25 of his 58 yards came on one play.

Duke Johnson had 40 of his 56 yards come on one run.

If you take out Deshaun Watson's rushing production, Keke Coutee's rush, and the two long runs by Johnson and Hyde the Texans had just 49 rushing yards on 16 carries. That's a 3 yards per carry average. That would be the 30th ranked yard per carry average in football.

The offensive line didn't help Sunday, Greg Mancz was awful in filling in for Zach Fulton. Houston has to rush the ball better for the offense to get back on track.

Trouble at home?

The Texans offense is significantly less impressive at home than it is on the road.

Road PPG: 27.5

Home PPG: 11.5

Road YPG: 395

Home YPG: 263.5

Now, the Panthers are the fourth best defense in yards per game but the Jaguars are 18th in the same statistic. The Chargers are 12th and the Saints are well into the bottom half. So it isn't the opponent.

It would be interesting to know how many teams have that drastic of a difference between their home and road splits.

I bet the Texans play a shootout with the Falcons next week

I have no idea how the Texans are going to slow down Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, and Mohammed Sanu. I also have no idea how the Falcons are going to slow down the Texans. Atlanta might relish a shootout as they've been playing from behind mostly this year. Sunday they made Marcus Mariota look like a star. We know that's not the case. Deshaun Watson is a star, and should get the offense back on track in a hurry against the Dirty Birds.

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Astros defeat the Mets, 9-6. Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images.

Alex Bregman put Houston ahead with a two-run single in the eighth inning, and the surging Astros rallied from five runs down to beat the New York Mets 9-6 on Saturday.

Jake Meyers homered early and Jeremy Peña began the comeback with a two-run double off Mets starter Tylor Megill in a three-run fourth. After its seven-game win streak was snapped Friday night in the series opener, Houston (41-41) won for the 11th time in 15 games.

New York still led 6-4 in the eighth, but a taxed and injury-tattered bullpen minus suspended closer Edwin Díaz couldn't hold on. Mark Vientos homered for the Mets (40-40), who had won four straight and 16 of 20.

Jake Diekman and Reed Garrett (7-3) combined to walk four Houston hitters in the eighth. Garrett threw a run-scoring wild pitch with two outs, then gave up Bregman's go-ahead single on a full-count pitch.

Mauricio Dubón added a two-run double off Danny Young with two outs in the ninth.

Seth Martinez (3-2) pitched a perfect seventh for the win after starter Framber Valdez, hurt by shoddy defense, permitted six runs and 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings.

Ryan Pressly worked a scoreless eighth and Josh Hader got three quick outs for his 12th save in 13 opportunities.

Pete Alonso's two-run single capped a five-run second, when the Mets took advantage of Valdez's error and two other defensive miscues to open a 5-1 lead.

Vientos lined a 429-foot solo homer to center field in the third. Singing sensation Jose Iglesias had three hits for the Mets — two doubles and an RBI infield single.

New York has homered in 12 straight games.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Astros: RHP Jake Bloss (shoulder discomfort) is scheduled to throw a bullpen Sunday. If it goes well, he might be a candidate to rejoin the rotation after he's eligible to come off the injured list July 7. Bloss got hurt in his major league debut June 21. ... RHP Justin Verlander (neck discomfort) is feeling better and could play catch this week, manager Joe Espada said. ... RHP Luis Garcia (Tommy John surgery) woke up feeling good and is expected to make his next rehab start at a different affiliate. Garcia threw 12 pitches in a perfect inning during his first rehab outing Friday in the rookie-level Florida Complex League.

UP NEXT

Mets RHP Luis Severino (5-2, 3.29 ERA) pitches the series finale Sunday. He is 2-4 with a 4.93 ERA against the Astros and hasn't beaten them since May 2018 with the Yankees. Houston had not announced a starter and could go with a bullpen game.

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