STATE OF THINGS
Texans win means Houston pro sports dominance in Texas
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.