The good, bad and ugly

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.

 

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

Houston can win series on Sunday

Timely hitting helps Astros edge out D-backs to even series

Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

The Astros had two losses over the last 24 hours; one a game against the Diamondbacks in the series opener on Friday night, the other the news that their recovering ace, Justin Verlander, announced Saturday afternoon that he is opting to undergo Tommy John surgery. The decision and surgery will likely sideline Verlander through 2021 when his current contract with Houston ends.

With that, the Astros headwinds continued to increase, meaning a win to even the series with Arizona on Saturday would be a much-needed pick-me-up. Here's how they did:

Final Score: Astros 3, Diamondbacks 2.

Record: 26-26, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Enoli Paredes (3-2, 2.84 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Luke Weaver (1-8, 6.51 ERA).

D-backs score two on Javier who is pulled early

Kole Calhoun, who drove in four runs, including a home run in Friday's game, would start the scoring on Saturday with a solo home run off of Cristian Javier in the top of the second, giving Arizona an early 1-0 lead. Javier allowed another run in the top of the third, giving up a leadoff single that would move to third on a groundout then score on a sac fly, doubling the lead to 2-0.

Javier finished the third and tossed a 1-2-3 fourth, but whether it be due to a pre-determined pitch count or other situation, he would not go any further, ending his night there on just 77 pitches. His final line: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 1 HR, 77 P.

Astros grab a lead in the sixth

The Astros were able to cut the lead in half in the bottom of the third, getting a leadoff single by Josh Reddick, who would move to third after a walk and fielder's choice before scoring on an RBI-groundout by Jose Altuve, making it 2-1. Enoli Paredes was first out of Houston's bullpen, taking over for Javier in the top of the fifth and retiring six straight batters for two perfect frames.

Houston would get to Luke Weaver in the bottom of the sixth, getting a leadoff single by George Springer, who would score from first on an RBI-double by Altuve to tie the game. Altuve would come around as the go-ahead run later in the inning on an RBI-single by Kyle Tucker, knocking Weaver out of the game as the Astros took their first lead of the game, 3-2.

Houston evens the series and moves back up to .500

Josh James was the next reliever for Houston in the top of the seventh, and despite getting into a jam by issuing a one-out walk and hitting the next batter, he was able to get out of it. It was thanks to a great play by Michael Brantley, who started a double play by catching a lineout and throwing a runner out at second to end the inning.

Brooks Raley had the eighth and erased a one-out walk by retiring the next two batters to maintain the one-run lead. After a scoreless bottom of the eighth, the Astros turned to closer Ryan Pressly to get another save and finish the one-run game. Pressly would do so, as Houston would move back up to .500 and even the series 1-1 heading into the rubber game on Sunday.

Up Next: The finale of this series between Houston and Arizona, and Houston's last regular-season home game of 2020, will get underway at 1:10 PM Central on Sunday. Madison Bumgarner (0-4, 8.53) ERA will be on the mound for the D-backs, while Jose Urquidy (1-1, 2.70 ERA) will start for the Astros.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome