Ravens 41, Texans 7

Texans vs Ravens: Good, bad and ugly

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In a matchup of potential MVP candidates, Deshaun Watson was outdueled by Lamar Jackson as the Ravens smashed the Texans 41-7. Here's how I saw the bloodletting:

The Good

-DeAndre Hopkins caught his 600th pass in the first quarter. Hopkins is the second youngest to catch 600 passes behind Larry Fitzgerald and the second fewest games behind Odell Beckham Jr. Incredible company to be listed with, especially considering Hopkins has played with subpar quarterback play most of his career.

-Carlos Hyde's 41-yard touchdown run was the play of the day for the Texans. It was a zone run to the right side of the line. Hyde saw a crease open, hit the hole after a slight cut to his left, and mashed the gas to the end zone. Whether it was lack of care or a business decision, a couple Ravens defenders declined trying to tackle Hyde in the open field. He did juke one defender, but Earl Thomas looked to make a business decision.

-AJ Moore Jr deserves some love. He was an undrafted rookie free agent who signed with the Patriots, but was picked up by the Texans last season, made the 53-man roster, and led the team in special teams tackles. He's leading the team in that category again this year. He made a tackle on a fake field goal in the first quarter on a fourth and four. Special teams players deserves some love, especially those that went undrafted.

The Bad

-Watson fumbled on their first possession. He managed to escape the pass rush several times while trying to make a play down the field, but was ultimately sacked and fumbled. His ability to escape and make a play got the best of him and it cost the Texans points as they were driving. The Ravens ended up missing the field goal, otherwise this would've been an ugly.

-The ended the first half with only 102 yards of total offense and gave up five sacks. Some of those sacks were on Watson for not getting rid of the ball. The Ravens defense made the Texans offense look completely inept in the first half. That 102 was the lowest in a game started by Watson.

-Missed tackles led to too many big plays for the Ravens. I know Jackson is as slippery as a fresh caught fish dipped in baby oil, but Mark Ingram and Mark Andrews aren't exactly the most nimble or fleet of foot guys. Justin Reid and Zach Cunningham were amongst the most egregious offenders on the Texans defense, but those were the ones I saw look the worst and certainly not alone.

The Ugly

-The NFL needs to do something about the refs not overturning obvious pass interference challenges. DeAndre Hopkins got his jersey pulled, grabbed, and was turned before the ball got there on a shot to the end zone on a fourth and two in the first quarter. How they could watch that play in slow motion and not rule it pass interference is beyond me. Conversely, Lonnie Johnson Jr got called for one early in the third quarter for a slight push to Hollywood Brown.

-It may be time to bring in some other kickers. Ka'imi Fairbairn missed his fifth field goal this season at the end of the first half. A 43-yard field goal isn't a gimme, but it should be far more routine than what it is for Fairbairn. He doesn't have the yips, but it's in his head and his confidence is shot.

-The Texans had just as many point as sacks given up (7). They were outgained by 245 yards and sported a paltry -142 rushing yardage differential. Oh, don't forget the two turnovers committed by Watson. This whole damn game was UGLY!!!

"This game should've been flexed to Sunday Night Football!" "How come they're playing at noon? This is a prime time game!" Yeah, right. This was the kind of game that would have been better off taking place at midnight on a Tuesday in Croatia it was so terrible. The Texans were again outmatched and appeared to be out-coached by a better opponent, They're 0-1 after the first game of a crucial three game stretch of their season. Here's to hoping Thursday Night Football versus the Colts at home turns out much better for them. Time to go back to the drawing board.

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Houston looked much more like themselves

Astros return to form in win over Angels at home

Cristian Javier was impressive Thursday night. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Hoping to avoid spiraling further out of control, the Astros turned the page from their disappointing road trip and the recent stretch of games. They hoped to start this new homestand on a good note, welcoming in the Angels for four games of this eight-game stint at Minute Maid Park.

Houston would get the much-needed win, with their offense coming alive early in the game to put up big innings, which they rode to the victory thanks in part to a great start by Cristian Javier.

Final Score: Astros 8, Angels 2

Astros' Record: 8-10, fifth in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Cristian Javier (2-0)

Losing Pitcher: Alex Cobb (1-1)

Astros' offense starts clicking early

Houston would grab the early momentum, despite leaving the bases loaded in the first inning. They would get a leadoff double by Aledmys Diaz in the bottom of the second, followed by an RBI triple by Myles Straw to jump in front 1-0. They made it a three-run inning, with an RBI by Carlos Correa then a bases-loaded RBI-walk by Yuli Gurriel, though for consecutive innings would leave three runners stranded on base.

Correa drove in another in the bottom of the next inning, getting an RBI single to push the lead to four runs, then would come in on a two-run single by Alex Bregman, who made it 6-0. That set things up nicely for Cristian Javier, who was on the mound trying to take advantage of the opportunity for another start.

Javier has an electric start



Javier was electric over the first three innings, including getting eight of the first nine outs by strikeout while allowing only a walk and double during that span. He would have longer innings in the next two, but in both cases would keep the Angels off the board, finishing in line for the win. His final line: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K, 98 P.

Houston gets the much-needed win

Meanwhile, Houston's offense kept scoring. They pushed the lead two runs further over the fourth and fifth, getting a run in each with another RBI each for Straw and Bregman. With Javier's night done, Bryan Abreu was first out of the Astros bullpen, and despite allowing a controversial two-run home run to Albert Pujols, of all people, that looked to be a foul ball, got through the inning.

Abreu remained in the game in the top of the seventh but would get just one out while hitting a batter and allowing a single before Dusty Baker brought in Brooks Raley to face the heavy left-handed part of the Angels lineup. Raley would get through it, sending things to the seventh-inning stretch with the six-run lead intact.

Raley would get another out before Joe Smith would finish that inning in the top of the eighth. Ryan Pressly, who has been starved for work lately with no save opportunities, would close things out in the ninth as Houston would start this series off with a win.

Up Next: Game two of this four-game set will be another 7:10 PM start on Friday night. Andrew Heaney (1-1, 5.65 ERA) will be on the mound for the Angels, while Zack Greinke (2-1, 2.81 ERA) will look to repeat the success of his last start; an eight-inning shutout performance for the Astros.

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