PRO FOOTBALL FOCUS AND THE TEXANS

Texans defense boasts some of NFL's Best

Kareem Jackson is having a monster year. Houston Texans/Facebook

Pro Football Focus grades each individual player's performance and assigns them a grade. All 32 teams use Pro Football Focus. 

Usually each week we will take a look at some of the good and bad from the Texans and a look at the upcoming opponent as well. With the bye week here will we look at Texans players to this point in the season. They also do great fantasy analysis and draft coverage as well. Stats are for the previous game unless otherwise noted. You can join Pro Football Focus here

Kareem Jackson - 90.1 defensive grade

Kareem Jackson is the third best defensive back by grading when accounting for playing for 50 percent of the team's snaps. He's the eighth best defender in all of football when including all players who have played 50 percent of their team's snaps. That's incredible when you think about the conversations about moving on from him this offseason. He has taken to his new role at safety well and he has had to fill in at cornerback a ton but played well. His run defense is astonishing and he's handled coverage well this year. 

J.J. Watt - 90.1 defensive grade

He's back. He's tied with teammate Kareem Jackson as the eighth best defender in football. Watt is tearing through defenses and has an average of a sack per game which is insane when you think how far removed he is from his healthy former self that was Defensive Player of the Year. He's a monster. His run defense is among some of the best numbers in his career and 

Justin Reid - 74.8 defensive grade

Justin Reid is the seventh rated rookie overall for defenders who have played 50 percent or more of their snaps. Let that sink in. Reid has six players playing regularly better than him on defense from this rookie class. That's it. None of them were drafted behind him they were all picks in the first or second round. That's an eye-popping number. He's gotten better and better too playing more snaps and posting three of his four best grades the past three weeks. Reid has been a true steal for the Texans and it's scary to think he may be getting better. Oh, and Reid has the best tackling grade in all of football.

Deshaun Watson - 79.8 passing grade

The Texans quarterback checks in at 15th in the NFL. It makes sense considering all he has dealt with so far this season. His offensive line struggled mightily and then he was injured. He's gotten going lately though. Two of his top three grades in overall offense and passing have come in the past two weeks and with the bye coming and a new wideout to get used to Watson should be back to his improving ways against Washington. He's on his way to being a dynamic force again. 

DeAndre Hopkins - 90.9 receiving grade

The second best grade in football for players that actually play most of the snaps for their team. He's only behind Michael Thomas of the Saints but Hopkins has no drops to Thomas' three drops so let's call Hopkins the best in football. He's playing like it. No one has slowed him and even with the shaky offensive line to start the season he's shown an ability to really blow up. He is tied for second in touchdowns and third in yards and he's just spectacular and getting better. The Texans have a bonafide superstar in Hopkins and he plays like it every week. 

As always, you can join Pro Football Focus here

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Houston dropped two of three

Astros drop series finale to Oakland, A's win series

Jose Urquidy couldn't hold Oakland back on Saturday. Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

With Oakland finally ending their drought against the Astros on Friday night to split the first two games of the series, and with the Angels staying in step with them as both teams started the day 6-2, the Astros needed a win to keep momentum in their favor on Saturday.

Instead, Oakland would outslug Houston once again to take the series finale and take the series win. The loss moves Houston to 6-3 and down to second place, at least for now, until the 6-2 Angels complete their game on Saturday evening.

Final Score: A's 7, Astros 3

Astros' Record: 6-3, second in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Frankie Montas (1-1)

Losing Pitcher: Jose Urquidy (0-1)

Urquidy gives up four over six

Much like the night before, Oakland was able to bring in runs against Houston's starter, this time Jose Urquidy, Saturday afternoon in their second time through the order. Their first time through, Urquidy was cruising, allowing just one baserunner in the first three innings on a single in the top of the third.

Things shifted in the top of the fourth, with the A's getting back-to-back singles to set the stage for a two-run frame with dual RBI-singles to take a 2-0 lead. Oakland doubled that in the fifth, getting a two-out single to set up a two-run homer by Ramon Laureano to make it 4-0. Urquidy would go on to finish six innings, but with no run support to that point, would leave in line for the loss. His final line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 93 P.

A's pad their lead before Houston gets on the board

Meanwhile, although getting five hits, the Astros could not get anything on the board against Frankie Montas through six innings. Brandon Bielak took over out of the bullpen for Urquidy in the top of the seventh, but after loading the bases, he would allow a dagger two-RBI single to make it a 6-0 deficit for Houston.

With Montas starting the seventh looking to face a batter or two before Oakland moved to their bullpen, Kyle Tucker would finally get Houston on the board with a leadoff solo home run, cutting the lead to 6-1 and ending Montas' day. Houston would get a two-out rally going, with an RBI-double by Jose Altuve followed by an RBI-triple by Michael Brantley to make it a three-run game at 6-3.

Oakland takes the series win

Ryne Stanek tried to keep it a three-run game and give the Astros a chance to stay in it in the top of the eighth but instead would give up a two-out solo home run to push Oakland's lead back to four. That 7-3 score would go final as Houston would go scoreless in the eighth and ninth.

Up Next: Houston will have a day off on Sunday before continuing this homestand Monday night by welcoming in Detroit and former manager A.J. Hinch for three games. In the series opener, the Tigers will send young star Casey Mize (0-0, 2.25 ERA) to the mound, while the Astros will get another start by Zack Greinke (1-0, 1.38 ERA).

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