HOUSTON LOSES TO MIAMI

11 observations from the Texans' 17-9 loss to the Dolphins

Texans Tyrod Taylor, Brandin Cooks
The losing streak continues for Texans. Composite image by Jack Brame.

The Houston Texans faced a team with a seven-game losing streak and lost 17-9. It extends their NFL-long losing streak to eight. Here are 11 observations from the miscue in Miami.

1. Tyrod Taylor was terrible in his return as the starter for the Texans. Taylor had never thrown an interception against the Dolphins in his career and Sunday he tossed three. One of the interceptions was just sheer carelessness as he was trying to throw the ball away.

2. Tyrod Taylor missed Danny Amendola on a pass up the sideline which would have been the biggest play of the day for the Texans. Taylor was rusty coming off his hamstring injury.

3. Tyrod Taylor was under siege all day long. The Dolphins sent blitz after blitz and the Texans never adjusted. Taylor couldn't get the ball out clean, wideouts couldn't get open, and the line had no chance against the pressure.

4. David Johnson whiffed, yet again, on a block early in this game. The defender he was supposed to pick up drastically affected Tyrod Taylor and led to a quick decision from the quarterback. Taylor's wobbly pass would be intercepted in the end zone. Johnson is supposed to be a third-down back and he frequently fails to pass block.

5. There was a pathetic moment from the offense by the Texans towards the end of the first quarter. After a holding penalty pushed the team back, Tyrod Taylor and company faced a second and 20. The team elected to run the ball with David Johnson for three yards.

6. The Texans defense forced five turnovers, which is the first time since the team played Jameis Winston in Tampa in 2019. The highlight was the punched-out fumble by Kamu Grugier-Hill who has played very well for the team this season.

7. The Texans defense did disappoint when the Dolphins lined up in the wildcat formation. It was a clear run situation, and the Dolphins hammered the Texans.

8. Eric Murray pulled in his first interception as a member of the Texans. It was his second career interception and first since 2018. He played far more than he had in recent weeks. It was a welcome change from watching Lonnie Johnson.

9. Jordan Jenkins played well notching 1.5 sacks. The defensive line is mostly full of rotation players that likely will be replaced by more rotation players in the future, but Jenkins did well with his opportunity.

10. Roy Lopez and Jonathan Greenard are two of the four pieces of this defensive line you can smile about as a future piece. Greenard was violent in the early game and Lopez gathered another sack and hit his signature dance.

11. The Texans head into the bye week with the longest losing streak in the NFL with no reprieve in sight. The Titans are up after the bye week. There is a strong potential for the team to reach 16 straight losses.

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

ESPN Houston 97.5 FM
Astros defeat the A's, 6-3. Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images.

Jake Meyers hit a three-run homer to highlight Houston's six-run fourth inning that backed Justin Verlander's winning start, and the Astros beat the Oakland Athletics 6-3 on Friday night.

Verlander (3-2) struck out nine over six innings to increase hit total to 3,377, passing Hall of Famer Greg Maddux (3,371) for 10th on the career strikeouts list. He gave up two runs — one earned — on eight hits and didn't walk a batter for a second straight start and seventh time this year.

After another milestone to add to a long list of them, Verlander wasn't sure exactly how to feel.

“I feel like I should be more excited but I feel like I’m a little more introspective and reflective,” Verlander said. “A lot of sacrifices you make in this game, a lot of time away from the family, but I love it, so it’s pretty amazing. I don’t know if as a 21- or 22-year-old kid in professional baseball if I’d thought I’d be in the top-10 in anything. This sport’s been around for so long. Hard to put into words, but a lot of thoughts, a lot of thoughts went through my mind.”

When his teammates celebrated him once the special outing had ended, Verlander allowed himself to ponder the meaning.

Verlander remembers his first strikeout and he recalls one against Hall of Fame slugger Frank Thomas here at the Coliseum — and the pitcher wears No. 35 because of Thomas.

“I have a lot of great memories here,” he said.

A's manager Mark Kotsay, a former Oakland outfielder, has been witness to some of those.

“He’s just tough. He’s a Hall of Fame pitcher. He knows his game plan and he executes it really well," Kotsay said. "He doesn’t make a ton of mistakes.”

Yordan Alvarez added an RBI double and Josh Hader finished the 2-hour, 31-minute game with his seventh save for the Astros, who began a seven-game road trip.

After right-hander Ross Stripling (1-9) retired the first nine Houston hitters in order, Jose Altuve singled to start the fourth for the first of four straight hits that included Alex Bregman's two-run single.

The A's drew an announced crowd of 9,676 for the series opener after winning two of three against Colorado following an eight-game losing streak.

Miguel Andujar came off the injured list and immediately hit an RBI single in the first off Verlander and finished with three hits in his A's and season debut — including another run-scoring single in the seventh.

Andjuar's RBI marked the first time the A's have scored first in 18 games — ending the longest streak in franchise history. Batting cleanup, he also singled in the third.

Astros left fielder Chas McCormick robbed Max Schuemann of an extra-base hit when he crashed into the wall to make a great catch ending the eighth.

“That was a big play at the moment,” manager Joe Espada said.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Astros: RHP José Urquidy was pulled from his rehab start with Triple-A Sugar Land because of right forearm discomfort. He has been on the injured list with inflammation in his pitching shoulder. ... 1B José Abreu is scheduled to rejoin the club Monday in Seattle after playing at least two games with Triple-A Sugar Land as he works to regain his hitting rhythm.

Athletics: Andujar had been sidelined all season after having meniscus surgery on his right knee. He was claimed off waivers from the Pirates on Nov. 6. Oakland created roster room by optioning INF Brett Harris to Triple-A Las Vegas.

UP NEXT

RHP Spencer Arrighetti (2-4, 7.16 ERA) pitches for the Astros in the middle game opposite A's LHP JP Sears (3-3, 4.31).

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome