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's losing streak extended to five games

With key Astros missing, Detroit completes the series sweep

An overall bad day for the Astros on Wednesday. Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

On Wednesday afternoon, the Astros received a big blow to their chances in the series finale against Detroit and potentially longer. Five players: Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Yordan Alvarez, Martin Maldonado, and Robel Garcia would all be moved to the IL due to health and safety protocols, leaving them scrambling to get a whole team together for the game against the Tigers.

The Astros would not be able to overcome both the loss of players and the onslaught of another strong start by Detroit in Wednesday's game which put them too far out front for Houston to come back from to avoid a series sweep.

Final Score: Tigers 6, Astros 4

Astros' Record: 6-6, third in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Michael Fulmer (1-0)

Losing Pitcher: Lance McCullers Jr. (1-1)

Tigers knock out another starter early

Detroit continued their success of making Houston's starter work hard in early innings, getting after Lance McCullers Jr., and giving him an early exit. After a lengthy fist, they broke through in the second getting two hits, a walk, a hit batter, and an RBI groundout to put up three runs on 34 pitches.

He would have a quicker 1-2-3 third, but after giving up a single, a walk, and hitting another batter to load the bases and reach 87 pitches, he would be removed in favor of Joe Smith. Smith would allow all three of the inherited runners to score, adding those runs to McCullers Jr.'s final line: 3.2 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 87 P.

Astros try to claw back into it

After Smith would go on to load the bases again in the inning, still with two outs, Houston made another pitching change to bring in Brandon Bielak to get the third out and stop the bleeding at 6-0. The Astros would get on the board in the fifth, getting a runner on base to set up a two-run homer by Jason Castro to cut the lead to 6-2.



Bielak remained in the game to try and eat up as many innings as possible. While he continued to hold the Tigers to their six runs through the six innings, the Astros clawed back into the game. In the bottom of the sixth, Houston put their first two batters on base with a walk and single before an RBI-single by Yuli Gurriel to make it 6-3. They would threaten for more but be held there for the time being.

Astros can't cash in, Tigers complete sweep

Ryne Stanek was Houston's next reliever in the top of the seventh, getting a 1-2-3 frame to keep it a three-run game, as did Brooks Raley in the eighth. In the home part of the inning, the Astros put their first two runners on base on an error and a walk, then loaded them with a one-out single by Carlos Correa. They'd waste their chance to make something happen, though, with an inning-ending double-play.

Ryan Pressly, who had no save opportunities in recent games, entered to get some work in the top of the ninth. He worked around a leadoff double for a scoreless inning, sending the 6-3 game to the bottom of the ninth. The Astros had yet another chance to make something happen, loading the bases with no outs to bring the go-ahead run to the plate. After two outs, Yuli Gurriel would bring one run in with a walk, but that's as close as they'd come, extending their losing streak to five games and getting swept by the Tigers.

Up Next: Houston will get a much-needed day off tomorrow to try and leave this poor homestand behind them. They'll pick things up in Seattle on Friday, with first pitch of the opener of three games at 9:10 PM Central. The expected pitching matchup is Jose Urquidy (0-1, 5.23 ERA) for the Astros and Yusei Kikuchi (0-0, 3.75 ERA) for the Mariners.

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