JERMAINE EVERY'S OBSERVATIONS

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.

 

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

The Rockets selected Jalen Green with the No. 2 pick. Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images.

The city of Houston can finally rejoice as Jalen Green was selected as the number two pick by the Rockets at the 2021 NBA Draft. It was already suspected that the Rockets would draft Green from past reports. Shams Charania of The Athletic already reported that the Rockets narrowed their decision down to Green.

Green is an explosive shooting guard that can get in-and-out amongst the perimeter and paint. With the G-League Ignite, he averaged 17.9 points, 2.8 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. He is an excellent free throw shooter at 82.9 percent. Like James Harden, he is incredibly good at getting to the free throw line. Green has a good trigger from three by shooting 36.5 percent on 5.7 attempts a game. His mature status since high school has prepared him for the NBA.

"His down-hill playmaking is really hard to guard", as Joey Fucca, his ex-coach told TDS. "If he says he's going to get to the rim, good luck. He is very good at getting to the free throw line, he is also very explosive to finish above the rim. When his three ball is on, you're just going to have a long night. I wouldn't be excited to guard him."

Green has blistering speed with outstanding handles to blow by his defenders and score. Spectators have compared Green to a younger Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady, Bradley Beal, and Zach Lavine, which are superstar players. He is a particularly good midrange shooter underneath the perimeter, as he shot 35 percent on a small quantity of attempts in a shorter season.

"Jalen is a uniquely blessed guy. He's a transcendent athlete," as Rockets GM Rafael Stone said. "He can handle the ball, and he can shoot. Normally, people that athletic aren't as skilled. We think that combination of tools makes him an extraordinarily exciting prospect."

During his press conference on Thursday night, Green emphasized the achievements he wants to accomplish with the Rockets. Green even discussed his desire of being a better defender, as he wants to continue to get better. He has a great wingspan and lateral movement to stay with opposing players on defense and be disruptive in the passing lanes.

"They're going to say it's a great choice," Green said. "Rookie of the Year, All-Star, All-Defense, max contract. We're doing it big."

"Yeah, I think I can be that piece. I think I'm going to bring that dominant mentality, that defensive mindset…They already got a lot of star players"

As the draft continued, the Rockets sent future draft picks from the Wizards to land the 16th pick in the draft, which was 6'10 Alperen Sengun from Turkey. The 16th pick did belong to the Oklahoma City Thunder until Rafael Stone executed an interesting deal with Sam Presti.

"We did not think he would fall to us at 23, so we were really aggressive to try and move up all throughout the first round to acquire him," as Stone said.

Sengun's abilities on the court revolve around his post ups and skillful passing. He even maintains good feet along the baseline. In his press conference, he mentioned his passing skills can become better. There are clips of him looking impressive on shovel passes, passing the ball behind his back, and finding the cutting man towards the basket. Sengun looked good in double teams by showing he can still find the open man with his back turned.

While playing in the Turkish Super League, Sengun was an MVP at 18-years-old, averaged 19.2 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2.5 assist, 1.7 blocks, and 1.3 steals per game. He could be another huge figure next to Christian Wood on the court, and a safety blanket for the Rockets if they cannot bring back Kelly Olynyk.

Usman Garbua is similar to former Rocket Luc Mbah a Moute. He is 6'8 with a tremendous wingspan at 7'3 and can guard anyone on the court, which is 1-5. Garbua was seen guarding Kevin Durant in the Team USA vs. Spain matchup and had interesting battles. The Rockets will get a ton of energy out of the 19-year-old player. He knows how to run the floor in transition, so he can finish around the rim. As I see it, he could be on a defensive first team in the future as he matures more. Garbua will become a defensive nightmare against opposing players.

"I think he's the best defender in the world outside of the NBA, and he's just 19 years old," Stone said. "I think he potentially could be really, really impactful on that side of the ball."

As the Rockets made their last selection, they selected Green's AAU buddy, Josh Christopher from Arizona State. He impressed a ton of scouts during his draft workouts and scrimmage against other prospects. Christopher had a double-double during his third scrimmage, which was 16 points and 10 rebounds. He is a very shifty guard with a ferocious step back.

While playing with the Sun Devils, he averaged 14.3 points per game and shot 49 percent from the field. Just like Green, he loved the midrange opportunities, as he shot 49.6 percent underneath the perimeter. He is another shifty big body the Rockets will have in their back court at 6'5. Christopher is very good at rebounding and playing defense. Stone loves watching him in defensive one-on-one situations. Christopher has Sixth Man of the Year written all over him because of his stocky body type and upside.

Hopefully, the Rockets have an exciting summer league and training camp along with their season.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome