Broncos 38, Texans 24

Shame bells all around for Texans in brutal loss to Broncos

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Sunday's game against the Broncos had all the look of a trap game for the Texans. Coming off a huge win over New England and with the Titans up next, it would have been easy to overlook Denver. It's an act we have seen before with these Texans. Not only was the trap sprung, the Texans were embarrassed by a bad football team, getting beat 38-24. Rest assured, the game was not nearly that close. They deserve shame bells all around. Here is how it all played out:

Offense

Positives: They scored 21 garbage time points!

Negatives: They could not have started any worse. They have scored 3 points in 13 first possessions this year. They not only failed to score on their first drive, they gave up a defensive touchdown on their second to put them in a 14-0 hole. Keke Coutee fumbled after a catch, and the Broncos returned it for a touchdown. They could do nothing for the rest of the half. They went for it on fourth and 1 at their own 34 with two minutes left in the first half, and failed thanks to a terrible play call. It led to another Broncos score and an insurmountable 31-3 halftime deficit. Deshaun Watson was ineffective until garbage time. His numbers at the end would look OK, but it was textbook empty stats.

Defense

Positives: Zach Cunningham had 17 total tackles.

Negatives: Like the offense, they started terribly, giving up a touchdown on the opening drive, and things got worse from there. Jonathan Joseph allowed a huge gain on the first play making a poor decision to try to intercept the football. They let Drew Lock march down the field on the Broncos first four offensive drives. The Texans got no pressure and were awful in coverage, giving up 24 first half points to a struggling offense. They of course got defensive holding penalties on the last drive of the half, and did not stop the Broncos once in the first half, and they started out the second half just as badly. It was just a terrible performance across the board. The Broncos had not scored more than 24 points all season. They had 31 in the first half alone. The Texans gave up 309 yards passing to Lock and did not get a stop until 2:37 remained in the third quarter when Tashaun Gipson picked off Lock inside the Texans 5 yard line.

The bottom line

A week after their best win of the season, the Texans followed it up with perhaps their worst performance yet. The Baltimore loss was one thing; the Ravens are the best team in the AFC. The Broncos are a losing team with a rookie quarterback, and they dominated the game. The good news is the Texans tend to bounce back from awful efforts like this one, and they have the Titans in a key AFC South battle next week. The bad news? They still have awful efforts like this. The coaching was bad, Watson was not good when it mattered, the defense was a joke. There was literally nothing positive to take from this game. Other than that...

The Texans fall to 8-5. They can still win the AFC South or earn a wild card spot, but after a performance like this, it is hard to see them being much of a postseason threat.

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Houston gets another victory in Anaheim

Astros overpower Angels again as magic number dwindles

Kyle Tucker had 3 of Houston's RBI on Tuesday night, including a two-run homer. Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images

After a beatdown of the Angels on Monday in the opener, the Astros entered Tuesday's game looking to replicate that success. Though Los Angeles would put up more of a fight, Houston still used their potent offense to keep the game out of reach.

Final Score: Astros 10, Angels 5

Astros' Record: 90-61, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Jose Urquidy (8-3)

Losing Pitcher: Packy Naughton (0-3)

Houston's bats keep connecting to back up Urquidy

The Astros picked up on Tuesday's game where they left off on Monday, launching homers to take and extend a lead. A leadoff walk by Carlos Correa in the top of the second set up Kyle Tucker, who drove a two-run shot. Aledmys Diaz was next, making it back-to-back jacks to push the new lead to 3-0.

That gave Jose Urquidy a lead to work with, which came in handy as former Astro Jack Mayfield cut the lead to two runs with a leadoff solo homer in the bottom of the second. Other than that, Urquidy did well through five innings, allowing just two other hits over that span. LA got to him in the sixth, getting two singles to set up a three-run homer to end his night. His final line: 5.1 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 2 HR, 79 P.

The runs keep coming

He would still leave in line for the win, though, as before that bottom of the sixth, the Astros had put up seven more runs across the fifth and sixth. A leadoff walk in the top of the fifth was followed by a two-run homer by Jose Altuve, then later in the frame, an RBI single by Aledmys Diaz made it 7-1. They pushed that to double digits in the sixth, with a leadoff solo shot by Martin Maldonado, a sac fly by Carlos Correa, and an RBI groundout by Kyle Tucker, putting them up 10-1 before the homer allowed by Urquidy cut that to 10-4.

Astros win to reduce magic number again

In the sixth, Cristian Javier took over for Urquidy, finished that inning, and returned for a scoreless seventh. He ran into Shohei Ohtani to lead off the bottom of the eighth and left a fastball in the zone, which Ohtani turned around 445 feet to make it a five-run game. Javier still got through the inning, leaving just the ninth for Houston's second reliever of the night, Josh James. James would get through a scoreless inning, erasing a leadoff walk as the lopsided win paired with an A's loss reduces Houston's magic number to 4.

Up Next: The third of this four-game series will be another 8:38 PM Central start on Wednesday. Janson Junk (0-1, 2.25 ERA) will make his third career start for the Angels, while Luis Garcia (11-7, 3.37 ERA) will have the ball for the Astros.

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