FRED FAOUR

Texans defense is a complete joke, which is why they are 0-3

The Texans have gotten nothing from Whitney Mercilus and Jadeveon Clowney. Photo courtesy of Houston Texans

The Texans lost on Sunday to the New York Giants 27-22. Why? The Texans defense - supposed to be the strength of the team - is terrible.

Bill O'Brien said the Texans have to "coach better, and play better" at halftime. That is his go-to statement. They simply needed to play better. But this loss was solely on the defense.

J.J. Watt? Yeah, he had three sacks once the game was decided. But he was nowhere when it mattered. Jadeveon Clowney? Useless. Bernardrick McKinney? Worthless. Remember when Whitney Mercilus made plays? Yeah, me either. The Texans have lost nine games in a row. Who is to blame for that? 

The vaunted defense, which the Giants gashed all game. The Texans gave up 27 points, all earned by the Giants offense. You can blame Bill O'Brien. You can blame Deshaun Watson. But how about blame the defense? They were terrible in all phases. 

Let's start with the beginning of the game.

-The Texans allowed points to the Giants on four straight possessions, putting themselves in yet another early hole. 

-They let a broken down Eli Manning throw for almost 300 yards. He completed 25 of 29 passes for a QBR of 88.0 and a traditional rating of 132.3.

-The Giants best offensive weapons were unstoppable. Odell Beckham Jr. had nine catches on 10 targets for 109 yards. Rookie Saquon Barkley rushed for 82 yards on 17 carries and added another 35 on five catches. As a team the Giants averaged 4.2 yards per carry on 27 attempts.

-The Texans did not force a turnover for the second straight game.

-For a second straight game, they made adjusments and finally slowed the Giants to start the second half. But on the last drive, when they needed a stop to have a chance, they allowed a 9-play, 77-yard drive for the clincher.

-The Giants were 7 of 13 on third downs and 3 of 4 in the red zone.

The game was eerily similar to last week's, when the Texans started slow, got in a big hole, made adjustments but could not stop the opponent with the game on the line.

When your top two tacklers are in the secondary (Tyrann Matthieu and Kareem Jackson, nine tackles each) you are fighting a losing battle. So while it would be easy and convienient to blame the offense (and O'Brien did more than his share to assist in the loss), the group that was supposed to be the strength of the team is killing them.

As a result? They are 0-3. The season is all but over. And all because the defense could not stop anyone. That was supposed to be their strength. Clowney may not be healthy, but he has been beyond useless. And he wants Khalil Mack money? What a joke. 

The Texans are bad as a whole. Their defense is brutal. And that's why they have not won a game.

And unless there is a major turnaround, don't expect that to change anytime soon.

 

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Houston gets back in the win column

Astros end six-game skid thanks to a gem by Greinke

Zack Greinke tossed a gem Saturday night. Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

After the Mariners roared back Friday night to get a walk-off win over the Astros, dashing their hopes of ending their losing streak, Houston tried to even the series with a win on Saturday night with their ace Zack Greinke on the mound. Greinke would do his part, throwing a terrific game, and the Astros would squeak out one run, which was enough to get back in the win column.

Final Score: Astros 1, Mariners 0

Astros' Record: 7-7, fourth in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Zack Greinke (2-1)

Losing Pitcher: Chris Flexen (1-1)

Plenty of hits, but only one run

Although the Astros were racking up hits against Chris Flexen, they had little to show for it. Eight different batters would notch ten hits against him, but the only time it amounted to a run was on a two-out RBI-single by Taylor Jones in the top of the fourth, giving Houston a 1-0 lead.

Greinke spins a gem

Luckily for them, Zack Greinke was making it look like that would be enough. He cruised through the Mariners all night, allowing just four hits while giving up zero runs along with six strikeouts, one of which moved him past 2,700 on his career. He could have attempted to finish the complete-game shutout, but at 91 pitches after eight, Dusty Baker opted to bring in closer Ryan Pressly for the ninth. Greinke's final line: 8.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K, 91 P.

Houston finally ends their losing streak

With the high-leverage save opportunity in the bottom of the ninth, Ryan Pressly entered to hold on to the one-run lead. He would do his job, finishing off the win for Greinke and putting an end to Houston's disappointing losing streak.

Up Next: The third and final game of this series will get underway at 3:10 PM Central on Sunday. Jake Odorizzi (0-1, 13.50 ERA) will look to make a rebound from his disappointing first start with the Astros, while the Mariners will start Nick Margevicius (0-1, 7.04 ERA).

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