DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller had big games. Zach Tarrant/Houstontexans.com
The Texans continue their piss poor record in one score games by losing 20-17 today to the division rival Tennessee Titans. Titans first year head coach Mike Vrabel was elated on the sidelines after the victory over his former team where he coached the league’s worst defense last year. This was another close game that the Texans should have won. Let’s take a look at some observations:
-Will Fuller looked good. He didn’t have ANY drops! Eight catches on nine targets for 113 yards and a touchdown in which he flat out burned Malcolm Butler. Sure he’s body-catching the ball, but I’m okay with that as long as he holds onto the ball. His big play ability will be needed if this offense has a chance at putting up big points.
-Deshaun Watson finally started using his legs. Not only did he gain 44 yards, but he also extended several pass plays. He got out of bounds on the plays he ran, and found guys wide open on scramble drill pass plays. It was a very welcomed sight for those who wanted Watson to do the same last week vs the Patriots.
-The Texans put up 148 rushing yards on 26 carries for a 5.7 yard per carry average. These numbers look very healthy two games into the season. Hopefully this trend can be sustained all season long. This offensive line isn’t very talented, but they’ve been run blocking well so far.
-Both Jonathan Joseph and Tyrann Mathieu missed…whiffed on tackles leading to a Ttians touchdown. The worst part is Joseph had the receiver stopped for a loss, and Mathieu could have saved the touchdown.
-The front seven failed to take advantage of the Titans missing both starting offensive tackles and starting their backup quarterback. They managed only one sack. Even though Jadeveon Clowney wasn’t playing, this should’ve been a much higher number. Which leads to…
-…Titans backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert went 13 of 20 for a piddly 117 yards and a touchdown. BLAINE FREAKING GABBERT!!! I know the whole “they’re in the league for a reason” excuse will be thrown out there, but come on. He’s not listed as a bust in Jacksonville simply because of how bad their current quarterback is. He’s the kind of guy that’ll have a long career because he’s smart in the class, but a dud on the field.
-Going for a blocked punt is cool, but it has to be a strategic play. Leaving a gunner WIDE OPEN on the outside and the Titans took advantage scoring on a 66 yard touchdown pass by faking the punt.
-Offensive line was terrible. They racked up penalty yards like a shopaholic racks up airline miles on a credit card. So many times they let Watson got hit. I pray for him every time he drops back.
-The game ended on a play Watson CAN NOT make! They’re down three with no timeouts with 17 seconds left, he sat back in the pocket and eventually scrambled around (appearing to go past the line of scrimmage), only to throw the ball to the middle of the field to Hopkins as time ran out. This was about as boneheaded a move one could make. Sure chances of the game being tied or won were slim at that point, but you have to give your team a shot.
-Vrabel appeared to out-coach Bill O’Brien. The fake punt for a touchdown was the play that comes to mind the most. I also attribute Watson’s poor decision-making to O’Brien as well. Sorry coach, but it is your job to make sure your quarterback knows what’s expected of him in that situation. Everything is your job when you’re an NFL head coach. For Texans’ fans, I’m hoping this ship gets righted soon, or this will be another long season.
With a new season on the horizon, the Astros have high hopes for 2024 after coming just one game shy of being in the World Series for three consecutive seasons.
If Houston wants to get back to the Fall Classic in 2024, they're going to have to rely on their pitching. Owner Jim Crane believes the club has 8 starting pitchers when Luis Garcia and Lance McCullers Jr. return mid-season.
Which allows several of the starters to move to the bullpen and provide even more depth. Add those guys to Bryan Abreu, Ryan Pressly, and Josh Hader and you have a recipe for success.
Check out the video above as ESPN Houston's Jeremy Branham goes through the entire staff and makes his case for the Astros having the best pitching staff in baseball.
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