Texans 27, Chargers 20

Texans vs Chargers: Good, bad and ugly

Zach Tarrant/Houstontexans.com

In a battle 1-1 AFC contenders, the Texans managed to come out victorious after nearly giving the game away by besting the Chargers 27-20. Here's what I saw in the Texans heart-attack inducing victory:

The Good

-Deshaun Watson had himself one helluva game. He completed 73.5% of his passes for 351 yards and three touchdowns. While he made his fair share of bad throws and indecisiveness, he basically saved the day for his team by coming back after being down 17-7.

-Ballsy call by Bill O'Brien on third and one in the second quarter. Instead of a standard run, he dialed up a flea flicker that gained 38 yards on a Deshaun Watson to Kenny Stills hookup. Two plays later, Watson found Darren Fells for a 16 yard touchdown to make the score 10-7.

-I have been impressed so far with Lonnie Johnson Jr so far. Since given the opportunity last week to get more playing time, he's held his own. Early in second quarter, he prevented Mike Williams (6'4 220lbs) from catching a touchdown on a fade route. Johnson is listed at 6'2 213 lbs. The Texans last had a long, lanky corner a few years ago, but let him go via free agency to a division rival.

The Bad

-The hits just keep coming. Unfortunately, we aren't talking about music. Watson got sacked, fumbled, and it lead to a three play, 15 yard touchdown drive for the Chargers a shade over five minutes into the game. I list it here because they didn't give up 146 sacks today. They only gave up two.

-Watson started the game the game 8 of 9 for 35 yards. I understand you want to get off quick throws against the Chargers pass rush, but averaging less than four yards per pass is not ideal winning football. Hell, four yards per rush is considered average.

-Watson has to do a better job of eluding the rush and making better decisions. He had an interception turned around early in the fourth quarter due to offsetting penalties on both teams. He faded further and further back, then wildly flung a ball into coverage. Throwing the ball away is a good thing. Taking dumb sacks or throwing picks playing hero ball is not.

The Ugly

-The defense continues to struggle in the two minute drill. The Chargers worked an eight play, 89 yard touchdown drive 1:18 that started with 1:40 left before halftime. It culminated with Justin Reid missing an open field tackle on Keenan Allen as he ran in a short crossing route behind a blitz. The pass interference call on Dylan Cole gave up 22 of the 89 yards early on in the drive.

-A paltry 19 yards rushing in the first half. This team had well over 100 yards in each of their first two games. Priding itself on running the ball well, this was a poor performance. They ended the game averaging 2.2 per carry.

-Justin Reid's injury issues with his shoulder are a concern. It's early in the season, so it won't get any better. The thought of Jahleel Addae having to play more at safety and relying on him in coverage scares the crap out of me.

If you feel like you need a drink, a cigarette, amd a cardiologist, you're not alone. They were down, came back, almost lost it, and outlasted their opponent on the road. This team has shown an affinity to play extremely close games and come out on top. They should have won the Saints game, but we'll count that as a moral victory. The fact they're 2-1 right now is a testament to their toughness. It also shows they have tons of room for improvement. They get a Panthers team next week that may be without their franchise quarterback. However, they still have one of the best offensive weapons in the league in running back Christian McCaffrey. The Texans should still win. Hopefully, it won't be as close. Going to grab that drink now.

COWBOYS REPORT

Cowboys come up short; Lions up next

Dallascowboys.com

The Dallas Cowboys lost another close game on Sunday.They were defeated at home by the score of 28-24 to the Minnesota Vikings.

Recap

The Cowboys were forced to being a one dimensional team as the Vikings shut down Pro Bowl running back Ezekiel Elliott but they were able to move the ball easily with their passing game. What got them in the end was the defense's inability to stop the 2019 NFL leading rusher Dalvin Cook and bad play calling late in the game. They stopped themselves from scoring the winning touchdown with two horrible running plays on 2nd and 3rd down at the Vikings 11 yard line instead of keeping the ball in the air where they had been successful all game long.

Quarterback Dak Prescott was 28/46 for 397 yards, 3 touchdowns, and one interception. He connected with six different receivers, which included big days for both Amari Cooper and Randall Cobb. Cooper had 11 catches for 147 yards and 1 touchdown. Cobb had his best day as a Cowboy with 6 catches for 106 yards and a touchdown. 2nd year receiver Michael Gallup only also had a solid receiving day with 4 catches for 76 yards and a touchdown as well.

Superstar Ezekiel Elliott had one of his worst games of the year. The Vikings defense locked in on him and did not allow him to get free. He carried the ball 20 times for 47 yards and only caught 2 balls for 16 yards. The Cowboys only had 50 rushing yards total for the game that does not correlate to wins.

Dallas falls to (5-4) and is now tied with the Philadelphia Eagles (5-4) atop the NFC East but edge them in a tiebreaker due to their (4-0) divisional record.

3 Things to Watch For

1.Ezekiel Elliott (Running Back): Needs to have a better game.He averaged 2.4 yards a carry last week. Luckily, he will be going against the Detroit Lions and the 6th worst defense in the league this week. Zeke should have himself a big day this Sunday.

2.Amari Cooper (Wide Receiver): Was questionable with a knee injury most of the week but came up big last week.He made two amazing catches on the sideline and was able to keep his toes inbounds on both of them.Let's see if he can follow up on one of his best games of the year.

3.Dallas Defense (All): The Cowboy defense should be primed for a big game.The Lions will most likely be starting a 2nd string quarterback and a 3rd string running back.I can see big plays being made by the front 7.

Coming Up

The Cowboys (5-4) will be on the road taking on the Detroit Lions (3-5) in the Motor City at Ford Field. Kickoff is set for 12:00 pm Central Time. The Cowboys are in dire need of a win to try and stay ahead of their division rivals. They should be able to control the game with Zeke and come away with an easy victory.

If you have any fantasy players, the only must start players are:

Cowboys: Ezekiel Elliott (RB), Amari Cooper (WR), Dak Prescott (QB), Michael Gallup (WR)

Lions: Kenny Golladay (WR), Marvin Jones, Jr. (WR)

For you gamblers out there, the Cowboys are currently -3 and the over/under is 51. I think the Cowboys are the right side in the game at 3 or less. If you want to bet the total, I would lean under because I don't think Detroit can score enough to help hit the over even though the over hit again last week.

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