Texans survived the Jets 29-22

The good, bad, and ugly from the Texans win over the Jets

J.J. Watt came up big. Steven Ryan/Getty Images

Another game against an opponent the Texans were favored to beat handily, another grind it out win. The Texans survived the Jets 29-22. Here's how I saw things:

The Good

-Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins got back into a rhythm this game, and it started early. Hopkins had five catches for 108 yards and a touchdown in the first half. He ended the game with 10 for 170 and two TDs. The second touchdown was a catch only a handful of receivers could make and put them ahead for good. Hopkins appeared to have hurt his ankle on the play.

-J.J. Watt came up big with two sacks this game. The first ended the Jets opening drive. The second helped end all hope of a Jet comeback. He now has 14.5 sacks on the season. While he won't win another Defensive MVP award, he's a shoe-in for Comeback Player of the Year.

-Kicker Ka'imi Fairbairn went 5 for 5 in the game and saved the team's ass again. He is 29 of 34 on the season and consistently bails out the sputtering offense with long field goals. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: he should get serious consideration for team MVP.

The Bad

-Sam Darnold ate big. He ran for two key first downs and used his legs to create a throwing lane for his first touchdown. He ended the game 24 of 38 for 253 yards and two touchdowns passing with six carries for 35 yards rushing. All of this on a gimpy ankle.

-I saw D.J. Reader drop into coverage in a short hook zone at spy depth. It led to the Jets first touchdown because Reader wasn't athletic enough to make a play on Darnold, or the pass. This is when Romeo Crennel gets too cute. Reader is a 347-pound defensive lineman. He should never drop into coverage! Ever! Let the fat boys do what fat boys do!

-Missed tackles plagued this defense once again. The Jets had several decent runs off missed tackles. Darnold's runs mentioned above came off missed tackles. He also escaped a couple sacks. This will be a problem in the playoffs.

The Ugly

-Watson was sacked six times this game. The first was controversial because he was escaping the sack as the ref blew the whistle and it forced them to kick a field goal. The rest were mainly on him. He likes to extend plays, but fails to get rid of the damn ball! Can't blame the offensive line when the quarterback does dumb stuff.

-Lamar Miller left the game with an ankle injury and didn't return. The run game suffered because of it and it was obvious. The team had 48 yards rushing, with Watson totaling 27 of them. This could be crippling (pun intended) moving forward into the playoffs.

-The defensive backs again showed why that position is a top priority in the offseason. Sharece Wright gives up double move catches like his awareness rating on Madden is a 22 and Jonathan Joseph gives more cushion in coverage than Texas Mattress Makers. Not even going into how bad the others are because it's obvious how bad this unit is.

10-4 with two games left against struggling opponents isn't a bad spot to be in. However, barely scraping by against teams of lesser talent will make for an early playoff exit. This isn't how you bounce back after a disappointing loss. Here's to hoping Miller and Hopkins can come back. Otherwise, this team will lose in the first round. Hell, if they don't play better, they may lose if those two are healthy.

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Houston loses to end the road trip

Dodgers get best of Odorizzi to split series with Astros

Jake Odorizzi allowed four home runs over three innings against the Dodgers on Wednesday. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.

After spoiling the night of many Dodgers fans in the opener of this two-game series in Los Angeles the night prior, the Astros returned to the stadium to a fresh set of hostile fans, looking to get the mini-sweep. This one went much more in favor of the home team, though, as the Dodgers would ride three big innings to start the game to the win for the series split.

Final Score: Dodgers 7, Astros 5

Astros' Record: 65-43, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Max Scherzer (9-4)

Losing Pitcher: Jake Odorizzi (4-6)

Odorizzi gets shelled

After a Michael Brantley solo home in the top of the first run against Max Scherzer, making his Dodger debut, it looked like the Astros may continue their momentum from the night before to grab hold of this game as well. However, that all changed in the bottom of the inning, as the Dodgers would tee off against Jake Odorizzi.

In that inning, he allowed four runs, a leadoff solo shot by Mookie Betts, then later a three-run blast by Will Smith. Betts made it 2-for-2 with solo homers in the bottom of the second, extending the lead to 5-1. Things went from bad to worse in the third, with Los Angeles getting their fourth home run, this one for two runs to make it a 7-1 game. Odorizzi would finish the third but go no further.

Scherzer K's 10 over seven innings in his Dodger debut

Houston tried to start clawing back into it in the top of the fourth, getting a second run against Scherzer with a two-out RBI-single by Kyle Tucker, trimming the lead to five runs at 5-2. First out of Houston's bullpen was Yimi Garcia in the bottom of the fourth, and he tossed the first 1-2-3 inning for Houston. Rafael Montero was next in the bottom of the fifth, working around a leadoff double followed by a walk for a scoreless inning.

Montero remained in the game in the bottom of the sixth, still 7-2, and would get another scoreless inning, this time sitting down the Dodgers in order. Scherzer finished his quality debut for his new team in the top of the seventh, erasing a leadoff walk to complete seven innings while allowing two runs.

Astros lose to split the series with Dodgers

Brooks Raley was Houston's next reliever, and he, too, would get through a scoreless inning by erasing a two-out single. In the game-within-the-game, the Dodgers brought in Joe Kelly for the top of the eighth, who notched two strikeouts to bring none other than Carlos Correa to the plate, setting up a rematch of the well-known incident that led to the "pouty face" clip from 2020. Carlos Correa won this round, launching a 405-foot homer off of Kelly to make it a four-run game at 7-3.

Phil Maton kept the score there, stranding two runners in the bottom of the eighth to send the 7-3 game to the top of the ninth, where the Dodgers would bring in Kenley Jansen. After a leadoff single, Kyle Tucker would get the Astros within two runs on a two-run homer, making it 7-5. That's as close as they would get, as Jansen would regroup to get the next three batters out to wrap up the loss for Houston.

Up Next: With this road trip completed, the Astros will have a quick turnaround as they catch a late flight back to Houston then turn around with a game Thursday at 7:10 PM Central to open a four-game series with the Twins. Framber Valdez (7-2, 3.01 ERA) will take the mound for Houston in the opener, while Minnesota will counter with Griffin Jax (1-1, 6.41 ERA).

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