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Texans vs. Jaguars: The good, bad and ugly from Sunday's win

Andre Hal (center) made a triumphant return. Zach Tarrant/Houstontexans.com

The Texans are now in sole possession of first place in the AFC South due to their 20-7 win over the Jags today. This was not as ugly as their previous three wins, but it was ugly nonetheless. Let’s dig into some main points the way I saw them:

The Good

-Texans’ run game decided to make an appearance today. They racked up 102 yards in the first half (75 by Lamar Miller). This coupled with a fumble and four Jag punts helped the Texans to a 13-0 halftime lead. This is key because the team is now 25-1 under Bill O’Brien when leading at the half.

-Jadeveon Clowney continues to give teams fits. He added two sacks to his season total, but his best work came against the run. I love when they use him to rush the A gap (between center and guard), or head on with the center. He’s a matchup nightmare when rushing inside because of his speed and strength.

- Texans’ safety Andre Hal played and registered a tackle today. Normally that’s no cause for celebration, but considering he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in May, I consider this celebratory. A man of faith, Hal used it to get to where he is today and I respect him tremendously for beating the disease and making it back in six months.

The Bad

-With two timeouts, 1:11 before halftime, and getting the second half kickoff, the Texans played it safe and simply ran out the clock with three straight runs. O’Brien still doesn’t understand you can’t hoard timeouts. Either that or he’s not confident in his play-calling or team’s ability to go for the jugular.

-While the run game was pretty dominant in the first half, it fizzled in the second half. They managed only 38 yards after halftime. With a two score lead, running the ball should have been higher on the priority list. Running the ball takes good blocking and attitude and this team showed me they lack the toughness it needs to do so consistently.

- When you win the turnover battle by a plus three margin, you’d expect a more convincing victory. Those three turnovers led to 10 points. Most would say this is good. I disagree. They had the ball on the Jags’ 36 and 12 yard lines after the two fumbles and on their 26 after the fourth quarter interception with 5:49 left in the game. Teams that can’t consistently score touchdowns off turnovers are destined to lose more often than they win.

The Ugly

-The Texans lead the league in false starts (15), pre-snap penalties (25), and sacks given up (26). Henceforth why Watson is banged up and the team is constantly behind in down and distance.

-Keke Coutee was ruled out for the game as his hamstring injury caught up with him. He missed significant time to start the season and quickly gained a prominent role in the slot and as a weapon on misdirection plays.

-Deshaun Watson’s accuracy is still a concern of mine. Going 12 of 24 for 139 yards (no interceptions) against the Jags’ defense isn’t going to cut it. Sure they have the best corner tandem in the league and a good pass rush, but 50% completion is awful. The run game and defense isn’t going to continue to bail him out. Star quarterbacks win games for their teams instead of their teams winning in spite of their performances.

Being 4-3 and in sole possession of first place in the division is not a bad place at all. It could be much worse had a few things not gone their way. This team has a long way to go in order to make noise in the playoffs. But hey, making it to the playoffs by winning your dumpster juice of a division is certainly one way to make the playoffs. What they do from there is up to them. This was a big win and hopefully it gives them the confidence they need to go on a run.

 

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The Rockets traded for Kevin Porter Jr. on Thursday night. Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

The Houston Rockets received 20-year-old Kevin Porter Jr. in a trade acquisition from the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night. Unfortunately, Kevin has been in recent trouble while playing for the Cavilers. So, it makes sense why the Rockets received Porter for a second-round draft pick. Hopefully, Porter can squash his troubles, so he can blossom for the Rockets.

In November, Porter was arrested on gun charges but eventually got released in three hours. As the season was ramping up in December, Porter's gun charges were dismissed. Even though the charges were dropped, Porter still managed to have issues with the Cavs. The Athletic's Jason Lloyd and Joe Vardon reported Porter had an outburst inside the Cavaliers' locker room. It was seen that newly acquired Taurean Prince had Porter's locker, which caused him to be upset. Porter then started to throw food across the locker room and get into a heated exchange with GM Koby Altman. After the locker room debacle, Altman decided to put the talented Porter on the trade block. Thursday night, Rockets GM Rafael Stone struck a deal to acquire Porter.

Porter is 6'4 with tremendous upside and could become one of the building blocks for the Rockets' future. Since the Harden-era has ended, the Rockets need a spark for this season because they are 4-9. I'm curious to see how head coach Stephan Silas adjusts his roster, including the starting rotation with Porter now onboard. Silas has changed his starting rotation 13 times so will it be 14 now? Who knows? Hopefully, Porter adds a spark with newly acquired Victor Oladipo.

Porter averaged 10 points per game and shot 44 percent from the field with the Cavs. He isn't a three-point shooter but is an excellent mid-range shooter. Porter shot 50 percent from mid-range, including being able to shoot 40 percent in "catch-in-shoot" situations. He is also a shifty dribbler and can shoot above 40 percent off the dribble. Porter is a young talent that can create a lot of opportunities for himself on offense, including being extremely athletic. The Rockets need more scorers and creators on offense since John Wall is still nursing a knee injury and James Harden is in Brooklyn.

Hopefully, assistant coach John Lucas and John Wall can counsel Porter as he starts his new career in Houston.

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