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Texans vs Seahawks: Observations

Deshaun Watson kept the Texans in the game. Getty Images

Texans vs Seahawks: Observations

This was a great game to watch. Most eyes were on the game due to Bob McNair’s comments and subsequent fallout. The majority of the team chose to kneel and lock arms. Given the climate around the team, most thought this was going to be a lamb led to slaughter. However, the lamb brought some weapons, just not enough in coming up short 41-38.

The Good

-Deshaun Watson is the first player in NFL history with 400 plus yards passing, 4 plus touchdowns, and 50 plus yards rushing in a single game. This guy is special.

-DeAndre Hopkins had 8 catches for 224 yards and a touchdown. He repeatedly made contested catches against Richard Sherman who’s considered one of the best corners in the league. His 72 yard touchdown catch came on a screen pass to put them ahead 38-34.

-The team had 142 yards rushing, while giving up a measly 33 to Seattle. Watson led the team with 67 yards rushing. He showed he knows when to fight for yards (directing Alfred Blue to block as he picked up a key first down on 3rd & 14) and when to baseball slide.

-Will Fuller V is proving to be the vertical threat he was drafted to be. He has 13 catches, with 7 of them going for touchdowns this season since returning from injury.

The Bad

-Watson threw 3 interceptions. The first two were rookie mistakes he appeared to be baited into by Seattle’s talented secondary (Earl Thomas reading him wanting to go to Hopkins on a 3rd down play; Sherman stepping in front of a crossing route leaving his zone responsibility).

-The offensive line gave up 5 sacks this game. With a mobile quarterback, you’d think that wouldn’t happen. Some of those are Watson’s fault, the majority aren’t. This line will need to be addressed this offseason.

-Chris Thompson made two special teams errors by running out of the end zone, and not getting to the 25 yard line. On one of those plays, he fumbled, but recovered it. Special teams cannot continue to plague this team, especially when the defense is playing like a PAC12 defense.

The Ugly

-The team gave up 446 yards passing to a Seattle team the averages 243.8 passing yards a game with just as bad of an offensive line, and a fairly average receiving core. Four different pass plays went over 45 yards. This secondary is atrocious! Numerous blown coverages led to several key plays, including Zach Cunningham and Benardrick McKinney losing Jimmy Graham up the middle for the game winning score. They had an assist from safety Marcus Gilchrist who had deep middle coverage, but chose to float over the side to far left of his vantage point.

-This team cannot win shoot outs. The defense isn’t what it was last year, and the special teams (specifically the kick return game) are actually worse. Watson is proving himself to be everything he was advertised to be pre-draft. But this team will only go as far as the defense and kick return game will take them.

Bonus Coverage: Given team owner Bob McNair’s divisive comments, the team played well. Rookie quarterbacks were 2-10 in previous 12 games at Seattle. Watson gave them a chance to win the game, and the defense let it get away. I hope they don’t turn Watson into Dan Marino, or post-Super Bowl Drew Brees. They were/are all-time great quarterbacks who’s defenses resemble weekend warriors and career/s were/are being wasted because the organization didn’t put the right pieces around them while they were/are at their best.

 

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Walter will host The Night of Champions. Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images.

In 2014, Austin Walter rushed for 2,704 yards and 34 touchdowns as a senior at Crosby High School. Despite falling short of a state title, Walter was named District 19-4A MVP and finished his prep career with a little over 6,000 rushing yards on 613 carries (6,062 yds). Seven years later, Walter will be returning to his high school alma mater to give back to the community that laid the foundation for an NFL career as a member of the San Francisco 49ers.

"It's a blessing to be able to come from a small town and be one of the guys who made it out," Walter said. "Not a lot of people made it to the NFL or the NBA from Crosby High School. To be one of the first, it's an amazing feeling. It's a blessing and an honor."

On Thursday, April 15, Walter will host The Night of Champions to benefit the Crosby High School Booster Club from 6-9 p.m. The event will be a weight lifting competition at Crosby High School for student-athletes around the area to showcase their talents and abilities.

In addition to hosting a weight lifting showcase, Walter will also share his life teachings with student-athletes in attendance. Perseverance and not taking no for an answer will be one of the most vital messages the Crosby native will share with aspiring pro-athletes. It's the two virtues Walter has leaned on from little league football to the NFL. And as an undrafted prospect in 2019, it was that same morale that helped him outshine six other running backs during the 49ers rookie training camp that same year.

"Before I started playing football in high school, a lot of people thought I was too small," Walter said. "They thought because we played little league and not in middle school we would not make it in high school. My twin brother [Ashton Walter] and I did not listen to that. We just kept pushing forward."

"When I left Rice, people thought I was going to play in the Canadian league or AFF, and I did not take no for an answer. I believed in myself. And I believed in God. And if I can make it out of a small town like Crosby, anybody can make it...It's the mentality I've had my entire life of not quitting. I feel like that is what got me to the point I am at right now."

Whether their life goal is to play in the NFL or not, Walter's primary objective for The Night of Champions is to be an inspiration and show kids they can find success despite their environment. It is one of the things the former XFL running back (Dallas Renegades) wished he would have seen growing up in Crosby.

After graduating from Crosby High School, Walter went on to have a record-breaking collegiate career at Rice University. He became one of two players in school history to rush for over 1,500 yards (1,744 yds.) and 1,000 kick return yards (1,548 yds.) in four seasons with the Owls. In February, Walter signed a one-year contract extension to re-join the 49ers ahead of the 2021 NFL season.

Click here to learn more about The Night of Champions at Crosby High School or support Walter and the Crosby High School Booster Club.

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