Every-Thing Sports

Sorry, J.J., Kareem Jackson is the Texans defensive MVP

Kareem Jackson is having his best season. Zach Tarrant/Houstontexans.com

At the midway point of different sports’ seasons, lots of media outlets like to do midseason awards. You’re safe here because this isn’t that article.

That being said, I truly believe Kareem Jackson is the Texans’ defensive MVP this season. I know most of you are J.J. Watt Stans. Yes, Watt is having a great season. Before you dismiss my idea, hear me out.

Kareem is 30 years old and in a contract year. For a guy who can’t run well, and never really has, he has been playing his best ball. Oh, you need stats? Through nine games he has 51 total tackles (22 off his career high), two interceptions (two off his career high), two forced fumbles (one third of his career total), and a fumble recovery (one third of his career total).

As of last few years, he primarily played as the nickel corner, while Jonathan Joseph and Kevin Johnson played outside. Coming into the year, he was asked to move to safety in a move to help bolster the defensive backfield. He made the move and played well there. That was until the team had depth issues at corner due to injuries. He was asked to move back to corner and his play level remained high. Not only has he been one of the team’s best tacklers, but he’s also been one of its best cover guys.

For you Watt Stans, I’m going to have to burst your bubble. Of his nine sacks, only one came against a team that is currently .500 or better (Dolphins are 5-5 right now). Three of those came against the Giants (that team’s only win until last night). We’re talking the same Giants that released two of their starting offensive lineman this season. Sure he needed a few games to get going after coming off back to back seasons lost to injury, but this is similar to a top college team padding stats against Directional State University. Nine sacks is still nine sacks, but change the game with sacks and forced fumbles against playoff contenders.

A good pass rush will make defensive backs look better than they really are. On the flip side, if the defensive backs cover well, a pass rush will get coverage sacks. This isn’t a knock on Watt. This is to draw attention to a guy who’s been often looked over in his career as a Texan.

I’m not a huge fan of Jackson’s play, but I call it how I see it, and he’s played well this year. The true question will be do they bring him back, and if so, at what price? Kareem will be 31 next season. Defensive backs over the age of 30 tend to fall off faster than a mumble rapper after their second album, or an old school rock band trying to tour with new music instead of playing their hits. Maybe he bucks the trend. History says that won’t happen. So enjoy the second half of the season and what Kareem brings to the table because it may never get better than this.

 

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

Houston's offense once again obliterated Baltimore in Wednesday's finale. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Owners of a nine-game winning streak, the Astros tried to keep the train rolling to make it double digits and complete the three-game sweep of the Orioles in Baltimore. Not only would they get the win, but they also did it by dominating on both sides of the ball again in a one-sided shutout.

Final Score: Astros 13, Orioles 0

Astros' Record: 46-28, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Jose Urquidy (6-3)

Losing Pitcher: Thomas Eshelman (0-1)

Houston keeps mashing

Unlike Tuesday's game which ended 3-1 in a much closer affair, the finale on Wednesday was once again a lopsided affair like Monda's opener, favoring the Astros. Houston once again put up double-digit runs in an offensive explosion. It started right off the bat, with three runs scoring in the top of the first on a two-RBI double by Carlos Correa and an RBI single by Kyle Tucker to grab a 3-0 lead.

Yuli Gurriel extended it to 4-0 with a two-out RBI single in the second, then Jose Altuve made it a six-run game with a two-run blast in the top of the fourth. Michael Brantley joined in with an RBI single in the top of the sixth, then Yordan Alvarez led off a four-run seventh with a solo bomb before a three-run homer by Abraham Toro made it 11-0.

Urquidy cruises through seven scoreless

Jose Urquidy was cruising all the while, allowing just three baserunners over that span, a double to start his night, which he erased, then a one-out walk in the second and leadoff single in the sixth. He returned at the bottom of the seventh with a manageable pitch count, where he'd erase a one-out single to keep Baltimore scoreless. With the insurmountable lead, he'd be given the rest of the night off. His final line: 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 84 P.

Astros complete the sweep and grab tenth straight win

Chas McCormick, who came off the bench defensively in the bottom of the seventh, made it a twelve-run lead with a one-out solo homer in the top of the eighth, then later Abraham Toro notched his fourth RBI with a run-scoring single to make it 13-0. Brandon Bielak took over for Urquidy in the bottom of the eighth, and after loading the bases with no outs, was able to escape with a strikeout and double play.

Ralph Garza Jr. was Houston's third pitcher, wrapping things up at the bottom of the ninth. He erased a one-out walk and a single with a double play to end the game, giving Houston the three-game sweep and extending their winning streak to ten games as they continue to look like baseball's best team.

Up Next: The next stop on this road trip for Houston is Detroit, where they will kick off a four-game set with the Tigers on Thursday at 6:10 PM Central. The pitching matchup for the opener will be Luis Garcia (5-4, 2.82 ERA) for Houston and Jose Urena (2-7, 5.79 ERA) for Detroit.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome