Friday Texans Cody Stoots Six-Pack

Texans turn corner with primetime win, but Fuller injury is a downer

Will Fuller tore his ACL. Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

The Texans have a bonafide winning streak and they added their first blowout win of the season to their resume. We look at it with today's six-pack. 

1. This is perhaps the greatest catch that didn't count of all-time. DeAndre Hopkins makes it look easy too. He was stellar tonight with a slow start but got going, finishing with 82 yards and two catches. Hopkins had plenty to say about his catch that didn't count. "They took my catch away" was his first comment. He maintained he didn't push off and someone "owed him an apology." When asked if he was the game's best pass catcher he simply said "If y'all don't know who I am by now then don't ask me that question."

2. Deshaun Watson had his most efficient and successful game of the season. He tied his career high in touchdowns with five and did so with only 20 attempts. He had just four incompletions. He played magnificently and is clearly as healthy as he has been in weeks. He even showed his exceptional escapability on a few plays. He now has the second-most touchdown passes ever by a quarterback through his first 15 games with 34. That trails Kurt Warner who had 36. They have the same number of total touchdowns with 37 when you add rushing touchdowns. 

3. The offensive line was fantastic Thursday night. They allowed zero sacks and one quarterback hit, which was on the fourth play of the game. They paved the way for Lamar Miller's first consecutive 100-yard rushing games as a Texans player. Greg Mancz has been a breath of fresh air at right guard. He should be the starter there even when Zach Fulton gets healthy. Kendall Lamm said after the game they take pride in improving and making the plays they need to make. When asked about the effective rushing attack helping the play action game Lamm exclaimed "oh man, as you can see as you watch, you can see the linebackers come down, the safeties, it puts them in conflict. They see us pounding the rock and they have to respect it and as you can see we just pick them apart. It's just a beautiful thing."

4. Will Fuller tore his ACL. He is a dynamic element to this offense. This is a major blow to the Texans as no one posses a similar enough skillset to replicate the necessary respect Fuller commands from opposing defenses. Sammie Coates and Vyncint Smith will be the two competing for snaps opposite Hopkins. It doesn't seem likely the Texans would pursue a trade with their offense being so demanding and reportedly hard to learn, but, they have an extra asset with Seattle's second-round pick this year. 

5. The injuries piled up for the Texans on Thursday. Johnathan Joseph was lost early in the game and took a wait and see approach when asked about his injury. Zach Cunningham left the game and didn't return with a knee injury. His replacement, Peter Kalambayi, left with a concussion. Jadeveon Clowney got dinged up late but he said after the game he was fine and joked he forgot what he hurt. The ten-day break ahead of their contest at Denver followed by the bye week couldn't come at a better time. 

6. It is the first time the Texans have won five straight games since the 2012 season where they rattled off two win streaks of at least five games. The win streak didn't start in the most impressive way but it has turned into a nice showing with the Texans eliminating more and more mistakes. There are still a few shortcomings on this team but they are playing complete football the past two games which is a rarity for them. If they continue playing like Thursday there aren't many teams they can't hang with on their schedule. 

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Houston gets the lopsided win

Valdez, Astros dominate the Angels in 10-0 rout in Anaheim

Framber Valdez was dominant against the Angels on Monday night. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

With a series win at home over the weekend, the Astros started their final regular-season road trip on Monday, squaring off against the Angels in Anaheim. They held the momentum firmly in their favor all night, dominating both sides of the game to start the series with a victory.

Final Score: Astros 10, Angels 0

Astros' Record: 89-61, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Framber Valdez (11-5)

Losing Pitcher: Jaime Barria (2-4)

Siri leads off with a bang

With Jose Altuve being given the night off, Houston gave Jose Siri a shot at the leadoff spot, and he delivered to start the opener in Anaheim. He launched a missile to left field, 426 feet, to put the Astros in front 1-0 before the Angels could record an out. Later that same inning, they strung together three singles, the third being an RBI by Carlos Correa to double the lead.

Valdez goes seven shutout innings

That gave Framber Valdez a lead to work with as he stepped on the rubber in the bottom of the inning, and he didn't give it up as he would post a dominant start. He started with a 1-2-3 first, worked around a couple of singles in the second, then used a double play to face the minimum in the third.

He retired Los Angeles in order again in the fourth, stranded a two-out single in the fifth and a single and a walk in the sixth. He had his worst inning of the night in the seventh, giving up a leadoff single then loading the bases on back-to-back two-out walks. He'd escape the jam, though, keeping the shutout alive and finalizing his impressive line: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 98 P.

Astros take the opener in lopsided fashion

Houston tacked on an insurance run in the top of the eighth, getting a one-out double by Correa to set up an RBI single by Marwin Gonzalez, pushing the lead to 3-0. Things escalated from there, as another single put two on base for Martin Maldonado, who blew the game open with a three-run homer to make it a six-run lead.

Brooks Raley took over for Valdez in the bottom of the inning, and with a 1-2-3 inning, made it his eighth appearance in a row without allowing a run. The Astros didn't let up in the top of the ninth, getting two hits and a walk to load the bases before a grand slam by Gonzalez made it 10-0 and gave him 5 RBI in a two-inning span. Seth Martinez, called up by the Astros earlier in the day, made his big-league debut in the bottom of the ninth and closed out the lopsided win to put Houston's magic number at 6.

Up Next: The second of this four-game set will be another 8:38 PM Central start on Tuesday. Jose Urquidy (7-3, 3.38 ERA) will take the mound for the Astros, going opposite Packy Naughton (0-2, 4.32 ERA) for the Angels.

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