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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Accountability seems to be lacking. Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

Did you catch exiled Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow, starting his "Redemption Tour 2020," doing his best imitation of Sgt. Schultz from the classic sitcom Hogan's Heroes?

"I see nothing. I hear nothing."

Luhnow sat for 37 minutes (the extended director's cut on click2houston.com) with Channel 2 sports reporter Vanessa Richardson and insisted that he played no part in the Astros 2017-18 illegal sign-stealing operation, and didn't deserve to be suspended for one year by baseball, and ultimately fired by Astros owner Jim Crane.

"I didn't know."

"I wasn't aware."

"I wasn't involved."

"Had I known about it, I would have stopped it."

"I was punished for something I didn't do."

Remember, Luhnow wasn't just the Astros general manager, he also held the title of President of Baseball Operations, responsible for every action that took place at Minute Maid Park, on the field, in the dugout, clubhouse, bullpen and boardroom.

Everybody else seemed to know, including field manager A.J. Hinch, who admitted that he knew the Astros were cheating, tried to stop it, but couldn't.

That's some leadership that Astros had in 2017-18. A manager who couldn't get his players to stop cheating, and a general manager who claims he didn't know. The inmates truly were running the asylum.

If Luhnow is telling the truth, that makes him one monkey who saw no evil, heard no evil and spoke no evil.

On one hand, Luhnow takes credit for building a supremely gifted Astros team that has made four consecutive American League Championship Series, won two American League pennants, and captured Houston's first World Series title in 2017.

One commercial break later, he's swearing that he didn't have a clue that his team was committing baseball's crime of the century – which ultimately cost the Astros their manager, general manager, a $5 million fine, and four draft picks.

Which is it, was Luhnow a detached genius, incredibly naïve or unfortunate scapegoat?

Luhnow claimed that an honest investigation by MLB would have determined that he was merely an innocent bystander to the scandal. He told baseball commissioner Rob Manfred that he was willing to take a lie detector test to prove it, but Manfred declined his offer.

OK, Manfred said a lie detector test wasn't necessary. Why didn't Luhnow do it anyway? It might have helped mitigate some of his sentence.

Put it this way, I work at Gow Media World Headquarters in Houston. If the boss brought me into his office and said he was firing me because I was stealing equipment, or missing deadlines or harassing other employees … and I was innocent, I holler to the high heavens that I was fired unjustly. I'd hire Jim Adler, the Tough Texas Lawyer, to sue everybody who ever touched a baseball for wrongful termination, defamation of character and a hundred other things. I wouldn't take a called third strike and wait 10 months to speak up.

Right now, Luhnow's once-brilliant reputation is sullied. He's on the outside of baseball looking in. Luhnow's protestation of innocence reminds me of Jose Canseco's book, Juiced, in 2005, where the slugger claimed that steroid use was rampant in the big leagues. And he named names.

Accused players bleated that they were innocent, that Canseco was a bad apple who made up stories to cover his own use of banned drugs.

Here's when I knew that Canseco, while a rat, was right – when the accused steroid users screamed bloody murder, but didn't sue Canseco. If somebody accused you of a crime that you didn't commit, a crime that cost you your job and legacy, a crime that might keep you out of the Hall of Fame of your profession, would you stay silent for almost a year and take the punishment lying down?

We may never know if Luhnow knew or didn't know that his Astros were cheating. It's possible that he's telling the truth now. His teary-eyed interview was convincing in parts. But accepting punishment for something you didn't do, and not fighting back – it's not a good look.

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