COLTS 30, TEXANS 23

Texans vs Colts 1: Good, bad and ugly

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In the battle for the early AFC South lead, the Texans lose a close one to the Colts 30-23. Here are my observations:

The Good

-Deshaun Watson had a good game, minus one play here or there. 23/34 for 308 yards and a touchdown to go along with 32 yards rushing on three carries. The three sacks he took weren't really his fault either. One bad decision turned the ball over, but he kept them to a minimum as well.

-DeAndre Hopkins and Kenny Stills both helped Watson's stat line. The duo combined for 13 catches for 211 yards and a touchdown. Moving forward, if the receiving corps stays healthy, I can see this stat line becoming more of a norm. Awesome to see Hopkins have a capable No. 2 on the other side.

-Phillip Gaines had a decent game. For a guy who was injured and has never found a home, he's seemed to have found one in the Texans secondary room which has doubled as an infirmary. He's always had good size and athleticism, but never stayed healthy. (I wrote this earlier in the 2nd half, and he got carted off with 1:46 left in the game. I jinxed him.)

The Bad

-Midway through the 1st quarter, Jonathan Joseph tipped a sideline pass to Chester Rogers. Rogers ended up catching it off the tip and managed to stay in bounds. JJo made a decent play on a ball, but to no avail. That drive eventually led to the Colts' first score and capped a 12 play, 94 yard drive.

-After settling for another field goal instead of a touchdown before halftime, the Texans came out to start the second half by giving up another touchdown drive. This is how they always end up losing games by not stopping opponents and trading field goals for touchdowns.

-With 9:31 left in the game down 28-16, Deshaun Watson threw an interception on a pass intended for Duke Johnson. Johnson was open, but Watson sailed it over his head and into the arms of Pierre Desir. It was a poor decision in an otherwise good game Watson played.

The Ugly

-Tashaun Gipson left the game with a back injury early on and never returned. Will Fuller was also ruled out with a hamstring injury. Jonathan Joseph banged up his shoulder. At this point, I think I'm going to get in shape again. They may need me to play a few snaps. Expect open tryouts on Kirby soon.

-Awful call by the refs cost the Texans a touchdown on their second field goal. Watson was in the grasp of Justin Houston, but managed to keep himself upright long enough to complete what was though to be a touchdown pass to Hopkins. However, the refs blew the play dead saying he was sacked. Protecting the quarterbacks at all costs cost the Texans here.

-Situational football and clock management are like an incurable disease for Bill O'Brien. Down 28-23 in the 4th quarter with about 3:23 left, O'Brien waited until about 2:44 left to call a timeout and call in a safety and free kick. Good idea, poor execution. Know the situation and call for that safety immediately. Or, call the timeout ASAP without letting so much time run off. Will someone get this man a Coaching For Dummies book please?

After Starting 0-13 in Indy, the Texans won three of the next four. Today's loss shouldn't start a new streak. While Watson ended the game with two interceptions, one is for sure his fault, while the other was a great play made on a tipped/dropped ball. While they didn't run the ball well as a team (24 carries for 100 yards and a touchdown), they held the Colts to 62 yards rushing. Perhaps because Jacoby Brissett torched them for 326 yards and four touchdowns passing. I understand they'll need any warm bodies to play defensive back for them in the next few weeks, but what about a pass rush to help those guys? Oh, I forgot, they traded Jadeveon Clowney for a pack of cigarettes and a gas station tuna fish sandwich. They could've traded him long time ago for better draft picks, but didn't listen to me. Such is life. Hopefully this team will have the "next man up" mentality and guys will step up. If not, it could be a long rest of the season.

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Houston's losing streak extended to five games

With key Astros missing, Detroit completes the series sweep

An overall bad day for the Astros on Wednesday. Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

On Wednesday afternoon, the Astros received a big blow to their chances in the series finale against Detroit and potentially longer. Five players: Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Yordan Alvarez, Martin Maldonado, and Robel Garcia would all be moved to the IL due to health and safety protocols, leaving them scrambling to get a whole team together for the game against the Tigers.

The Astros would not be able to overcome both the loss of players and the onslaught of another strong start by Detroit in Wednesday's game which put them too far out front for Houston to come back from to avoid a series sweep.

Final Score: Tigers 6, Astros 4

Astros' Record: 6-6, third in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Michael Fulmer (1-0)

Losing Pitcher: Lance McCullers Jr. (1-1)

Tigers knock out another starter early

Detroit continued their success of making Houston's starter work hard in early innings, getting after Lance McCullers Jr., and giving him an early exit. After a lengthy fist, they broke through in the second getting two hits, a walk, a hit batter, and an RBI groundout to put up three runs on 34 pitches.

He would have a quicker 1-2-3 third, but after giving up a single, a walk, and hitting another batter to load the bases and reach 87 pitches, he would be removed in favor of Joe Smith. Smith would allow all three of the inherited runners to score, adding those runs to McCullers Jr.'s final line: 3.2 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 87 P.

Astros try to claw back into it

After Smith would go on to load the bases again in the inning, still with two outs, Houston made another pitching change to bring in Brandon Bielak to get the third out and stop the bleeding at 6-0. The Astros would get on the board in the fifth, getting a runner on base to set up a two-run homer by Jason Castro to cut the lead to 6-2.



Bielak remained in the game to try and eat up as many innings as possible. While he continued to hold the Tigers to their six runs through the six innings, the Astros clawed back into the game. In the bottom of the sixth, Houston put their first two batters on base with a walk and single before an RBI-single by Yuli Gurriel to make it 6-3. They would threaten for more but be held there for the time being.

Astros can't cash in, Tigers complete sweep

Ryne Stanek was Houston's next reliever in the top of the seventh, getting a 1-2-3 frame to keep it a three-run game, as did Brooks Raley in the eighth. In the home part of the inning, the Astros put their first two runners on base on an error and a walk, then loaded them with a one-out single by Carlos Correa. They'd waste their chance to make something happen, though, with an inning-ending double-play.

Ryan Pressly, who had no save opportunities in recent games, entered to get some work in the top of the ninth. He worked around a leadoff double for a scoreless inning, sending the 6-3 game to the bottom of the ninth. The Astros had yet another chance to make something happen, loading the bases with no outs to bring the go-ahead run to the plate. After two outs, Yuli Gurriel would bring one run in with a walk, but that's as close as they'd come, extending their losing streak to five games and getting swept by the Tigers.

Up Next: Houston will get a much-needed day off tomorrow to try and leave this poor homestand behind them. They'll pick things up in Seattle on Friday, with first pitch of the opener of three games at 9:10 PM Central. The expected pitching matchup is Jose Urquidy (0-1, 5.23 ERA) for the Astros and Yusei Kikuchi (0-0, 3.75 ERA) for the Mariners.

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