Some important takeaways from the Texans final game of the season

Another heartbreaking loss for Houston. Photo by Getty Images.

Division games are always tough. No matter the records or what's on the line, division games rarely seem to disappoint, especially when it comes down to the end of the season. In this case, we had the Titans fighting for playoff positioning, while the Texans were playing for pride. Turns out, the Titans' playoff positioning and winning the AFC South meant a bit more to them than the Texans' pride meant to them as the Titans pulled out a 41-38 win on a last second field goal that banged in off the upright.

The brightest spot in this mess is clearly Deshaun Watson. He was 28/39 for 365 yards and three touchdowns. The lone interception he threw wasn't all his fault. Watson ended this season with 4,823 yards passing that led the league. He also threw a team record 33 touchdown passes. All those numbers without a true number one receiver, no run game, okay at best offensive line, and a terrible defense. Imagine what he could do if he had improvements in those areas? Some will say he's putting up gaudy numbers on a bad team that was often behind. There is some merit to that, but this kid is special. I believe he could do this, and it could translate into wins if he had improvements in the areas I just listed.

If Anthony Weaver (and to a lesser extent Romeo Crennel) still has a job when you're reading this, The McNairs should sell the team. They gave up 288 yards rushing to the Titans. I understand they're going against Derrick Henry who's arguably the best running back in the league, but dammit man! This defense is nowhere near as talented as other defenses are, so I don't expect greatness. What I do expect are much better performances than the ones this defense has been giving.

For example, setting the edge against the run does not take an All-Pro at defensive end or linebacker or defensive back. It takes discipline. Twice on the Titans' last touchdown drive, J.J. Watt crashed hard down the line and went after Derrick Henry, only for Ryan Tannehill to keep it. One brought the ball to the 1-yard line, the other put the Titans up 38-35. I'm not saying it was his fault, because the keeper certainly could've been someone else's responsibility. Whoever it was, they failed.

Another key failure was the long pass to put the Titans in field goal range to end the game. It appeared as if they were in a cover 2 man and the safety on the right side of the field failed to stay over the top. That, or cover 1 and the single high safety blew it. Either way, they should've been in a cover 4 to blanket the field in four quadrants deep and give them anything they wanted underneath and in front. With 18 seconds left, nothing should beat you...except doing what the Texans' did.

This team has a lot of holes to fill, and not nearly enough materials to fill said holes with. The head coach and general manager search and hire should turn up a notch now that the regular season is over. Black Monday is upon us. So is interview season. I feel bad that this fan base only has the hirings of a new coach and GM as the high point of the upcoming offseason. Here's to hoping they make the right hires in both cases to get this franchise turned around.

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Houston loses in San Francisco

Astros drop back-and-forth middle game to Giants to even series

Houston's offense couldn't keep up with the Giants on Saturday. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images.

With the impressive win in the opener to start the series, the Astros entered Saturday's middle game against the Giants with an opportunity to not just secure the series but surpass San Francisco for the best record in the league. They'd have to wait to take that crown, as the Giants would out-slug the Astros to even the series.

Final Score: Giants 8, Astros 6

Astros' Record: 64-41, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Jay Jackson (2-0)

Losing Pitcher: Blake Taylor (2-3)

Teams trade blows early, Giants chase Greinke out early

The teams traded blows early in this one, with the Giants tagging Zack Greinke with six runs, all on homers. The first was a solo shot in the bottom of the second to start the scoring before hitting one in each inning through the fourth: two-run blasts in the third and fourth, then a go-ahead solo shot in the bottom of the fifth, putting them ahead 6-5 at the time. Greinke would face one more batter, allowing a single to end his lackluster day: 4.0 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 4 HR, 93 P.

Houston's offense kept things close to try and keep Greinke in a position to win, going up 3-1 in the third on a two-run Aledmys Diaz homer and another coming in on an error. After San Francisco scored four unanswered to make it 5-3, Diaz homered again in the top of the fifth to cut the deficit to one run before Yuli Gurriel would tie it with an RBI double.

Astros stay in it, but Giants even the series by winning the slug-fest

With Greinke exiting with no outs in the fifth, Houston handed the ball to Phil Maton, acquired in the recent Myles Straw trade, to make his debut for his new team. He worked himself into a jam, allowing a single and hitting a batter to load the bases with one out, but was able to get back-to-back strikeouts to strike out the side and strand all three runners, keeping it a one-run game.

That proved pivotal in the top of the sixth, as with two outs, Martin Maldonado would launch a game-tying solo homer, making it 6-6. Blake Taylor took over out of the bullpen in the bottom of the inning but would face just three batters, getting two outs while leaving one on as Dusty Baker moved on to Cristian Javier. Javier would watch the Giants retake the lead, getting back-to-back singles to bring in a run and make it 7-6.

Javier stayed in the game in the bottom of the seventh, allowing a leadoff single but erasing it by striking out the next three batters. Still a 7-6 game in the bottom of the eighth, Yimi Garcia made his Astros debut but did not keep the score there, allowing a leadoff solo homer to make it a two-run game. The 8-6 score would go final as Houston's offense came up empty again in the top of the ninth, setting up a rubber game in the finale.

Up Next: The series finale will get underway at 3:05 PM Central on Sunday in San Francisco. Luis Garcia (7-5, 3.19 ERA) will take the mound for Houston, going opposite Logan Webb (4-3, 3.36 ERA) for the Giants.

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