Ravens 41, Texans 7

Texans vs Ravens: Good, bad and ugly

Texans vs Ravens: Good, bad and ugly
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Deshaun Watson running for his life vs Ravens

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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Astros lose to Braves, 6-2. Composite Getty Image.

Reynaldo López struck out seven over six scoreless innings, Orlando Arcia homered and the Atlanta Braves won their third straight, 6-2 over the Houston Astros on Tuesday night.

López (2-0) allowed four hits and walked one in his third straight sterling outing to start the season.

“It’s like I’ve always said, for me, the important thing is to focus,” López said through an interpreter. “To have the focus during the outings and then, to be able to locate those pitches.”

He has given up one run in 18 innings for an ERA of 0.50.

“He threw the ball really well against a really good hitting club,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. “Another solid one.”

Arcia hit a solo home run to left in the second and a sacrifice fly in the seventh.

Luis Guillorme and backup catcher Chadwick Tromp each hit a two-run double in the ninth to put the Braves ahead 6-0.

“Tromp has done a good job ever since we’ve been bringing him in these situations and filling in,” Snitker said. “I’ve got all the confidence in the world in him back there. ... He’s an aggressive hitter. He’s knocked in some big runs for us in the limited time that he’s played.”

Kyle Tucker homered for the Astros leading off the ninth against Aaron Bummer, and Mauricio Dubón had a two-out RBI single to cut the lead to four. After Bummer walked Chas McCormick to put two on, Raisel Iglesias induced a groundout by Victor Caratini to end it and secure his fourth save.

“They pitched well, and our guys are grinding out at-bats,” Houston manager Joe Espada said. “Even in the ninth inning there, we’re grinding, fighting until the end.”

Hunter Brown (0-3) yielded two runs on five hits with three strikeouts and three walks in six innings. Brown allowed nine runs in two-thirds of an inning in his previous start, last Thursday against Kansas City.

Brown said he executed better Tuesday than he had in his previous two starts.

“He mixed all his pitches well,” Espada said. “The breaking ball was effective. He threw some cutters in on the hands to some of those lefties. He mixed his pitches really well. That was a really strong performance.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Braves: 2B Ozzie Albies was placed on the 10-day injured list with a broken right big toe. IF David Fletcher had his contract selected from Triple-A Gwinnett to take Albies’ place on the roster.

Astros: RHP Justin Verlander (right shoulder inflammation) threw a side session Tuesday, but Houston will wait until Wednesday to see how Verlander feels before deciding whether he will make his first start this weekend against the Nationals, Espada said. ... RHP Luis Garcia (right elbow surgery) threw around 20-25 pitches off the bullpen mound, and RHP José Urquidy (right forearm strain) also threw off the mound, Espada said. ... LHP Framber Valdez (left elbow soreness) played catch off flat ground.

UP NEXT

Atlanta LHP Max Fried (1-0, 8.74 ERA) starts Wednesday in the series finale opposite RHP J.P. France (0-2, 8.22).

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