STATE OF THINGS

Texans win means Houston pro sports dominance in Texas

The Rockets have dominated the Spurs an Mavs. Tim Warner/Getty Images

Sunday was a great win for the Houston Texans and an even sweeter victory for Houston sports fans. That win gives this city bragging rights in almost every major sport. The Rockets finished the season 7-1 against the other Texas teams; the Spurs and Mavericks. The Astros walked out of 2018 with a 12-7 record against the Texas Rangers and now the Texans won their game against the Cowboys. That’s a winning record for this city in three of the big four sports, and when Houston gets an NHL franchise they will dominate the Dallas Stars as well.

But it’s not just that these teams won, it’s how they won. In the Rockets’ three wins against the Spurs they averaged a 14-point margin of victory. James Harden averaged 27 points a game while Chris Paul averaged 19. Against Dallas, they won all four games, averaging a 13-point margin of victory. Harden again averaged 27 points and Paul 20. Their only blemish on the season was a 17-point loss to the Spurs on April 1 in a game where Chris Paul did not dress.

This had to feel pretty good for basketball fans because it seems like every year we hear about how good the Spurs are. We listen to them drone on about all the championships they have won under Greg Popovich, and how good they are even when their regular season record doesn’t reflect it. No one likes the Mavericks because Mark Cuban still owns the team and can’t shut up about it. Owning the best record in the state is an easy way to quiet all that noise.

The Astros weren’t quite as dominant, winning only 12 of 19 games against the much-despised Texas Rangers, but winning the season series two years in a row is sweeter all the same. They even won eight straight against Texas during the heart of the season. They hit 27 home runs, outscored their opponent 85-69, and won by an average of 3 runs a game.

This is the second consecutive season the Astros finished with a 12-7 record against the Rangers and their second consecutive season winning more than 100 games. Maybe beating up on the team from North Texas is a boost in the right direction. The Rangers are a mess right now, so this will probably be a trend for several more years. But as long as we remember that they wouldn’t swap home games during hurricane Harvey last season we want them beaten as often as possible. It wasn’t a perfect record, but that is an extremely difficult feat over 19 games. We are just happy to take home the Silver Boot Trophy again.

And as Houston is celebrating another Astros postseason run, the Texans got to face their in-state rival Dallas Cowboys. Heading into the weekend Dallas led the all-time series 3-1; Houston having only won their first meeting in 2002 to start the franchise. The game would finish in overtime, Texans victorious, 19-16. As ugly as the game was, the team’s stars came out to play. DeAndre Hopkins had 151 yards receiving, Deshaun Watson had 375 passing. The defense held Dallas to 292 yards of total offense, pulling in two interceptions and sacking Dak Prescott twice. The victory would secure Houston’s dominance in the three major sports for 2018.

This is a once every four-year thing. That’s how often the Cowboys and Texans play each other. The Rockets and Astros play their in-state rivals every year and every year the results can change. I don’t see it changing much in the next few years because both of those teams are built for sustained success while their opponents are trending downward. The Texans have a lot of talent and maybe in four more years when they face the Cowboys again they will win by an even greater margin. For now, enjoy it Houston; your teams dominated the state of Texas.

 

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

ESPN Houston 97.5 FM
It's all systems go for the Houston Texans! Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images.

It was 2002 and the city of Houston was rewarded with the NFL's 32nd franchise. I remember the newspaper special section with all the info points on the new team. There was even a full page graphic explaining how the grass plates were constructed. (Side Note: We should've known right then and there it was going to be disastrous!) There was a level of excitement unseen since the Rockets won a title, I'd assume. People were wearing “32, Houston” jerseys. There was more Battle Red, Deep Steel Blue, and Liberty White around town than a Fourth of July day parade.

The next time the city was excited about Texans football involved the Gary Kubiak days of making the playoffs. After that, Bill O'Brien hung a few division title banners as well. That's when the lull came. It all came crashing down, swiftly and mightily. The death of Bob McNair may have played a part in things deteriorating so quickly. Whether blame is placed here or there, changes needed to be made. Cal McNair was seen as incompetent. In comes Nick Caserio. He had a mess to clean up. The last two seasons were awful, but necessary. After back-to-back one-and-done coaches, Caserio has hired his guy.

Enter DeMeco Ryans. The former Texans great linebacker was the 49ers defensive coordinator the past two seasons. He took over a great defense and kept it going. From the moment he stepped on campus at Alabama, he commanded a different level of respect. Not only was he good, but he was a leader. Nicknamed “Cap” because he was a captain on and off the field. That followed him to Houston. His presence was felt everywhere he went. It was known before his career ended that he'd most likely be a coach one day.

This moment in time right now is giving 2002, Kubiak playoffs, and O'Brien playoff vibes but amplified. Why? Because one of this franchise's own has come home. Ryans was the most desired candidate this coaching cycle. Sean Payton may have had the bigger name, but Ryans was the one the Broncos tried to go back after, then settled on Payton. Teams he turned down had to move along and find other candidates to fill their vacancies. HE CHOSE HOUSTON! Nothing like feeling desired and being chosen!

I believe DeMeco will turn this franchise around and make them a contender. It's very rare that you have a star athlete turned sought after coach and NOBODY has a bad word to say about him! Social media has turned things into a 12-hour news cycle. Yet you've NEVER heard or seen DeMeco involved in any foolishness. He's been a model citizen, while also maintaining a high level of play and now coaching. When people respect you for your football acumen AND your character, that says a lot. Whoever said nice guys finish last obviously hasn't met DeMeco.

Armed with some cap space, draft capital, a capable GM, and ownership seeking a fresh start, DeMeco is set up to succeed. It's up to him, and Caserio, to finish what was started two years ago. Currently, the house on Kirby has a few more improvements to make. Some paint, redoing the floors, new landscaping, and new furniture. The kitchens and bathrooms are done. It needs the final touch. DeMeco is that final touch.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome