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.

 

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Houston's magic number stays at 2

Astros drop series finale to Mariners after rough start by Greinke

Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

With their magic number at 2 to secure their spot in the 2020 MLB postseason, the Astros returned to T-Mobile Park in Seattle for this three-game series' finale and rubber game. Here are the highlights from the game:

Final Score: Mariners 3, Astros 2.

Record: 28-28, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Nick Margevicius (2-3, 4.57 ERA)

Losing pitcher: Zack Greinke (3-3, 4.03 ERA).

Greinke unable to complete five innings

While the Astros were being held scoreless, the Mariners were putting up runs on Zack Greinke. They took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first with back-to-back singles followed by an RBI-double with one out. Greinke would stop the damage there, then looked to settle in over the next few frames.

He allowed just one baserunner in the second through fourth innings, a one-out single in the bottom of the fourth. Then, in the fifth, the Mariners would knock him out of the game by getting a one-out single that would come around to score on a two-out RBI-double, followed by an RBI-single to extend the lead to 3-0. Greinke faced one more batter, allowing a single before Dusty Baker would take the ball and move to the bullpen. His final line: 4.2 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 0 HR, 92 P.

Astros try a late rally, come up short

On the other end, the Astros were unable to break through against Nick Margevicius, getting just one hit and two walks through the first four innings. They had a chance to get on the board in the top of the fifth, starting the inning with back-to-back singles before a walk loaded the bases with one out to turn the lineup over. They'd come up empty, though, with George Springer striking out before a long flyball to center by Jose Altuve to end the inning.

After finishing the fifth for Greinke, Andre Scrubb returned for a scoreless sixth, working around a one-out walk. Still 3-0, Blake Taylor took over on the mound in the bottom of the seventh, erasing a leadoff single and two-out walk to keep Seattle from extending their lead. Houston had another chance to score in the top of the eighth, getting two runners in scoring position, but again would strand them.

Cy Sneed was the next reliever out for the Astros, working around a two-out walk to send the game on to the ninth. The Astros would avoid the shutout, getting a two-RBI single by pinch-hitting Josh Reddick in the top of the ninth to make it a one-run game at 3-2. That's as close as they'd come, though, as the Mariners would eventually get the final out to take the series and keep the Astros' magic number stagnant at 2.


Up Next: There is one series left in the regular season for Houston, and it awaits them in Arlington with a four-game series against the Rangers, who are well eliminated from playoff contention. The first of the four games will start at 7:05 PM Central on Thursday with a pitching matchup of Lance Lynn (6-2, 2.53 ERA) for Texas and Cristian Javier (4-2, 3.33 ERA) for the Astros.

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