TEXANS SHOCK CHARGERS

11 observations from the Texans' 41-29 win over the Chargers

The Texans recorded their second straight win on Sunday. Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images.

The Houston Texans surprised the football world with a victory over the Los Angeles Chargers. Here are 11 observations from Houston’s fourth win of the season.

1. The Texans had a number of players out due to Covid. This checks in as one of the more surprising results of the NFL season and one of the better wins when putting the game into context.

2. The victory all but cements David Culley’s return to the team after speculation on his job status popped up this week.

3. Davis Mills played yet another good game. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the team forgo a chance at a first-round quarterback in the draft to give Mills the opportunity to start for the team next year. He looks totally comfortable as a starting quarterback in the NFL.

4. Mills has now played three games as the starter since he replaced Tyrod Taylor. In this stretch Mills has passed for 794 yards, completed 67 percent of his passes, and thrown just one interception against five touchdowns.

5. The best throw of the day from Mills was likely the score before halftime. The rookie quarterback dropped a ball right into Chris Conley’s hands for a 41-yard score. It was one of the best throws of the season by Mills.

6. Penalties played a big part in the game today. The above-mentioned drive was kept alive by a Chargers penalty. The Texans had some yellow flags on the field of their own. It was a sloppy game from the Texans, but they still had enough to get the win.

7. Rex Burkhead had a career day behind a makeshift offensive line. He scampered for a 25-yard touchdown after a penalty had taken a score off the board. Burkhead constantly fought for extra yards on the ground. He finally surpassed Mark Ingram as the team’s leading rusher.

8. The wideouts, and Brevin Jordan at tight end, had a very good day. Nico Collins scored his first touchdown. Chris Moore and Philip Dorsett had some nice catches as well. Some important reps for the offense with Brandin Cooks out.

9. The defense had a very good day against Justin Herbert and the Chargers. Tavierre Thomas had a pick-six late in the game. Jonathan Owens had a fumble recovery and an interception. The makeshift defensive line played well as did the fill-in linebackers. Lovie Smith’s defense again performed much better than their overall talent level.

10. Andre Johnson was in attendance and took the game in from the owner’s box with Cal McNair and Janice McNair. The former Texans wideout was critical of the organization in January of this year and advocated for Deshaun Watson to stand behind his trade request. Johnson was also critical of Jack Easterby’s role in the organization. It would seem nobody has hard feelings from the January tweet.

11. The Texans have matched their win total from last year with a less-talented roster. It is impressive the organization earned the fourth win in the manner it did as well. There’s still a long way to go towards relevancy in the NFL landscape but there are bright spots with this team. The win plus the other results in the NFL this week left the Texans unchanged in the draft order as they still have the third overall pick.

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ROCKETS FALL TO WARRIORS

Critical takeaways from Rockets' 105-103 loss to Warriors

Rockets fall short against Warriors. Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

This wasn't the typical Houston Rockets-Golden St. Warriors game when Mike D' Antoni and Steve Kerr were having an offensive battle of wits. James Harden, who plays for the Brooklyn Nets, was nowhere in sight for the Rockets Friday night. Although the Rockets are in rebuild mode, it was still an interesting game. The intensity was high throughout the entire game. Emotions between Stephen Silas and Kerr were heavy, as they were yelling and jumping up-and-down along the sidelines.

A series of runs and back-and-forth scoring gave a slight reminder of the old rivalry between the Warriors and Rockets. Steph Curry was having a tough game, but with 5.1 seconds left, he was able to create great separation from a step back and drained an incredible midrange shot over Kevin Porter Jr. It was heartbreaking because Porter played great defense on Curry throughout the entire game, with Curry only making 6 out of 22 shots. Porter had a tremendous first-half defensively on Curry and recorded an 88.9 defensive rating. Porter had a good feel for guarding Curry, he didn't allow himself to switch away from him. He anticipated passing lanes and ripped Curry a couple of times.

Besides Porter playing great defense, the Rockets played good as a whole. They finished with 10 steals. Their main technique was to switch everything on defense, and Kenyon Martin Jr. and Christian Wood did a good job. It's never easy staying in front of Curry and Jordan Poole, but if they could hold their ground for five seconds, it became possible. Porter did a great job at times by communicating on defense, so he could tell Jalen Green and Eric Gordon when to switch.

And speaking of Green--- he had a strange night offensively. He went 0-11 from the field but made two great plays in the fourth quarter. Instead of Silas keeping Green on the bench because of his cold hand, he kept him in the game for learning purposes. Green made an outstanding play on Curry at the 2:52 mark in the 4th quarter. Before that, he missed a shot from three but fought hard for the rebound, then found a cutting Wood towards the rim. Green might of struggled, but the effort was there.

This was a tough loss for the Rockets, but they are steadily improving. The Rockets are 3-5 in their last five games.

Up next: The Rockets face the Spurs on Tuesday night.

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