Falcon Points

Ranking the 5 biggest moves in a busy summer for Houston sports

Ranking the 5 biggest moves in a busy summer for Houston sports
Compilation by Brandon Strange

Someone asked me on Twitter if there has ever been a more active summer in terms of Houston sports teams both on and off the field. You would be hard-pressed to find one. Let's look at the five biggest moves this summer and grade them:

5) Texans go GM by committee, ship out Clowney for nothing

Texans Jadeveon ClowneyHouston Texans/Facebook

The Texans botched their draft, then fired their GM search and botched that, leaving them with a "flatter" organization. It's also a dumber one. Mainly because of the "deal" they made to trade Jadeveon Clowney.

This is a move the Texans did not need to make, especially if they were going to go all-in on the other move on this list. Trading one of your best five players when you did not need to is frankly just dumb. Seattle might only get a year out of him, but then they would get a third round pick if he signs elsewhere, which is basically what they give up. Huge win for Seattle.

Grade: F.

4) Verlander's dominance

Justin Verlander pitches Game 1. Bob Levey/Getty Images

Justin Verlander cemented his Cy Young case with a no-hitter on Sunday in Toronto, striking out 14. Verlander is 17-5 with 2.56 ERA and 257 strikeouts. We are seeing a future Hall of Famer at his very best.

Grade: A+.

3) Astros additions

Colorado Rockies v Houston Astros

The Astros made a big splash at the deadline, acquiring Zack Greinke. While he has not been dominant yet as an Astro, he is one of the best in the business and the move bolstered the Astros World Series chance. In addition, the exciting young Jordan Alvarez was called up and all he has done is make a run at the Rookie of the Year award by hitting well over .300 with 22 HRs and 63 RBI in just 66 games. Throw in Aaron Sanchez's debut with a combined no-hitter and the Stros continue to be the best run organization in the city.

Grade: A+

2) Texans go all in on Tunsil

After the disastrous Clowney trade, the Texans shipped two No. 1s and a 2 to Miami for Laremy Tunsil and WR Kenny Stills. Tunsil is something the Texans have been desperate for ever since they shipped off Duane Brown for nothing - a legitimate, No. 1 left tackle with upside. The price was steep, but players like Tunsil are rarely available. He should make a huge difference. It also makes the Clowney trade worse, because if you are going all-in on the season, why don't you keep him?

Grade: B

1) Rockets acquire Westbrook

Russell WestbrookJayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

The Rockets made a huge splash, acquiring former MVP Russell Westbrook for Chris Paul and a package of picks. While it may or not be a fit, putting Westbrook with Harden gives the Rockets an intriguing duo in the Western Conference. For sheer entertainment value, the Rockets get a good grade.

Grade: A-

The bottom line

The Texans and Rockets may never have another first-round pick, but if either team is successful, that will be forgotten. The Astros continue to be the gold standard by which all others are measured. Regardless, it has been one hell of an active summer. Now we will see how it all plays out when it counts.

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Here are the key solutions, challenges to finally unlocking Houston Texans offense

During the Texans' game against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, center Jarrett Patterson sustained a leg injury that will keep him out of the lineup for the foreseeable future, per Aaron Wilson.

Monday, Texans head coach DeMeco Ryans was about the health of rookie center Juice Scruggs who has missed the entire regular season to this point with a hamstring injury. Ryans said he didn't have an update on Scruggs when asked if he would be returning to practice this week.

So it looks like the Texans may turn to Michael Dieter at center, who replaced Patterson on Sunday, while they wait for Scruggs to get healthy. The Texans have already dealt with a ton of injuries to their o-line this year. Which is why Tytus Howard is struggling to play left guard instead of lining up at right tackle, the position he was given a hefty contract extension to play before the season.

The coaches have said they want to have their best 5 linemen on the field, which is why Howard is not likely to move back to tackle anytime soon, even though his run blocking has been below average at guard. This also means the Texans inability to run the ball may not get fixed this season.

Houston's running backs have also received criticism for the lackluster running game, but all three backs haven't seen much success, so this feels like a scheme/talent issue on the line. In fact, the Texans' two biggest runs on Sunday came after the backs had to make a defender miss in the backfield.

Houston had a great opportunity to run the ball against one of the worst run defenses in the league against Carolina. But even that matchup couldn't get the Texans run game on track. So where do they go from here? Maybe being less predictable and throwing more on first down could help Stroud and the offense. How they shuffle the line when Scruggs returns could also be an option.

Either way, be sure to watch the video above as we examine all the possibilities to get the ground game going, and protect Stroud in the process.

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