Primetime football

Texans defense takes significant hits in 42-34 loss to Chiefs

Deshaun Watson had a big game, but the Texans defense lost two key cogs. Bob Levey/Getty Images

(For another view, check out Brien O'Donal's article on houstonsportsandstuff.com).

The Texans lost a game and two of their best players Sunday night.

J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus were lost for the season in Sunday night's 42-34 loss to Kansas City.

The Chiefs' Alex Smith was terrific all night, especially on third downs. They converted 7 of 10 in the first half alone and kept the Texans offense off the field.

Without Watt and Mercilus, the Texans defense was awful, and they had little chance. 

Deshaun Watson was amazing once again, with five TD passes. He continues to produce points and yards and is well on his way to becoming a star. But it wasn't enough.

Watson completed just 16 of 31 passes, but threw for the five TDs and ran three times for 31 yards. He was awesome, but the Texans defense was gashed without Watt and Mercilus. 

The Texans fell to 2-3 on the season, while the Chiefs are 5-0. 

Smith continues to play like an MVP for KC. He was 29 of 37 for 324 yards and three TDs and was at his best on third down.

Now the Texans are left with a below average defense. DC Mike Vrabel's play calling was questionable to begin with, and without Watt and Mercilus, they are up against it. Watson's emergence can't overcome that. 

In a few short weeks, the Texans have gone from a team with an elite defense and anemic offense to having a great offense and no defense. 

The good news is they get Cleveland next week and have some time to figure out what to do.

But the Texans lost more than a football game Sunday night. How they respond will define their season.

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Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

After the big offensive showing to take the opener on Thursday, the Astros entered Friday's game at Globe Life Field against the Rangers just one win or Angels loss away from securing their spot in the playoffs. Here is how the game unfolded:

Final Score (10 innings): Rangers 5, Astros 4.

Record: 29-29, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Brett Martin (1-1, 1.98 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Enoli Paredes (3-3, 3.05 ERA).

Urquidy goes seven while allowing two

The Rangers would strike first in Friday's game, getting a two-out solo home run against Jose Urquidy in the bottom of the second to grab the early 1-0 lead. Urquidy did relatively well on the night, though he would allow another solo homer in the bottom of the fifth. Those were the only two runs he allowed, working in and out of some trouble throughout the game on his way to finishing seven innings. His final line: 7.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 2 HR, 98 P.

Houston grabs their first lead late

Unlike their hot night at the plate the night prior, it took the Astros until the fifth inning to get on the board. It came after Carlos Correa hit a leadoff single, then came all the way around to score on an RBI-triple by George Springer, making it a 1-1 tie at the time.

After the Rangers went back in front 2-1 in the bottom of the inning on their second solo homer of the night, Alex Bregman would tie it up again with a solo home run of his own, making it 2-2. Houston would get their first lead of the night in the top of the eighth, with Altuve working a leadoff walk before scoring later in the inning on an RBI-single by Yuli Gurriel.

Rangers get the walk-off to keep Houston waiting for playoff bid

After Urquidy, Blake Taylor would take over on the mound in the bottom of the eighth, retiring the Rangers in order for a scoreless inning to hold the one-run lead. Still 3-2 in the bottom of the ninth, Houston turned to their closer, Ryan Pressly. After two quick outs, he would allow a game-tying solo home run, making it 3-3 to postpone Houston's celebration at least another inning as the game headed to extras.

In the top of the tenth, Jose Altuve was placed on second as the free runner. He advanced to third on a groundout to start the inning, then scored on a sac fly by Alex Bregman, making it a 4-3 lead for Houston. Enoli Paredes would load the bases before Texas would tie the game on a sac fly in the bottom of the inning, keeping runners on second and third. Houston made the change to Brooks Raley to try and extend the game another inning, but instead, the Rangers would get the walk-off win, spoiling Houston's chance to clinch their playoff spot themselves with a win.

Up Next: The third game of this four-game set will get underway at 6:05 PM Central on Saturday. On the mound for Texas will be Kyle Gibson (2-6, 5.87 ERA), and, as of now, the Astros still have Lance McCullers Jr. (3-3, 4.24 ERA) listed as their starter.

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