Every-Thing Sports

With their first-round pick in the NFL Draft, the Houston Texans select...

Is it already time to look ahead to the NFL Draft? NFL.com

So the Texans are 0-3 on the season and things don’t look too promising. Deshaun Watson looks out of sorts. Jadeveon Clowney, Whitney Mercilus, D.J. Reader, and several other defenders have only been seen on milk cartons as they’ve all been reported missing. The offensive line is simply offensive. To top it all off, head coach Bill O’Brien went Gary Kubiak in his post game presser with the “that’s on me” crap. This team is a dumpster fire with gas constantly being poured on it every week. The only good thing is the fact that owner Bob McNair hasn’t said anything inflammatory in months, although he did re-sign O’Brien to an unnecessary extension.

So what now? 0-3 teams have about a three percent chance at making the playoffs and about a one percent shot at winning their division. This isn’t going to be a tombstone moment like the 2005 Astros. The new reality facing Texans fans is now setting your eyes upon the upcoming draft. I know there are 13 more games left this season, but do any of you really think this team has a shot? Let’s take a look at positions of need for the upcoming draft:

Offensive Line

Same position was a need a year ago. Ever since Duane Brown left, it’s been terrible. Jonah Williams of Alabama, Greg Little of Ole Miss, and Dalton Risner of Kansas State are three of the names in this group I’ve seen consistently listed as first round picks. Do you think Martinas Rankin and Julien Davenport are the answer? Do you want to see Watson in a wheelchair?

Cornerback

Jonathon Joseph is old enough to live in assisted living facilities. Kareem Jackson can’t run with the people Joseph would be living with. Aaron Colvin is like a 40 degree day. Kevin Johnson should get an injury settlement and be sent along his merry way. LSU’s Greedy Williams, Penn State’s Amani Oruwariye, and Georgia’s Deandre Baker are amongst the top corners out there.

Edge Rusher

“Why do we need and edge rusher? We have Watt, Clowney, and Mercilus!” That is exactly why you need an edge rusher. Watt will be 30 next year even though he’s slowly rounding back into form. Clowney is looking more and more like trade bait or a compensatory pick if they don’t resign him. Mercilus will be 29 next season and isn’t looking anything like his former self. Ohio State’s Nick Bosa, Clemson’s Clelin Ferrell and Miami’s Joe Johnson all have the body-type to play outside linebacker in this system. How well they adjust to a two-point stance could determine a lot.

I could also list inside linebacker (Benardrick Mc Kinney and Zach Cunningham have been exposed), wide receiver (Will Fuller is coming along, but can’t be counted on just yet), running back (Lamar Miller doesn’t strike fear in anyone), and quarterback (Watson needs a capable backup). O’Brien isn’t going anywhere any time soon. The roster needs an overhaul. Good thing they have their first and second round picks in the upcoming draft (two second rounders if you count Seahawk’s pick from Brown trade). GM Brian Gaine and O’Brien will have a ton of work to do this offseason. I truly hope they right the ship this season and keep it going for years to come. There’s only so many times I can write about this moribund franchise wallowing in mediocrity.

 

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Houston's offense once again obliterated Baltimore in Wednesday's finale. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Owners of a nine-game winning streak, the Astros tried to keep the train rolling to make it double digits and complete the three-game sweep of the Orioles in Baltimore. Not only would they get the win, but they also did it by dominating on both sides of the ball again in a one-sided shutout.

Final Score: Astros 13, Orioles 0

Astros' Record: 46-28, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Jose Urquidy (6-3)

Losing Pitcher: Thomas Eshelman (0-1)

Houston keeps mashing

Unlike Tuesday's game which ended 3-1 in a much closer affair, the finale on Wednesday was once again a lopsided affair like Monda's opener, favoring the Astros. Houston once again put up double-digit runs in an offensive explosion. It started right off the bat, with three runs scoring in the top of the first on a two-RBI double by Carlos Correa and an RBI single by Kyle Tucker to grab a 3-0 lead.

Yuli Gurriel extended it to 4-0 with a two-out RBI single in the second, then Jose Altuve made it a six-run game with a two-run blast in the top of the fourth. Michael Brantley joined in with an RBI single in the top of the sixth, then Yordan Alvarez led off a four-run seventh with a solo bomb before a three-run homer by Abraham Toro made it 11-0.

Urquidy cruises through seven scoreless

Jose Urquidy was cruising all the while, allowing just three baserunners over that span, a double to start his night, which he erased, then a one-out walk in the second and leadoff single in the sixth. He returned at the bottom of the seventh with a manageable pitch count, where he'd erase a one-out single to keep Baltimore scoreless. With the insurmountable lead, he'd be given the rest of the night off. His final line: 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 84 P.

Astros complete the sweep and grab tenth straight win

Chas McCormick, who came off the bench defensively in the bottom of the seventh, made it a twelve-run lead with a one-out solo homer in the top of the eighth, then later Abraham Toro notched his fourth RBI with a run-scoring single to make it 13-0. Brandon Bielak took over for Urquidy in the bottom of the eighth, and after loading the bases with no outs, was able to escape with a strikeout and double play.

Ralph Garza Jr. was Houston's third pitcher, wrapping things up at the bottom of the ninth. He erased a one-out walk and a single with a double play to end the game, giving Houston the three-game sweep and extending their winning streak to ten games as they continue to look like baseball's best team.

Up Next: The next stop on this road trip for Houston is Detroit, where they will kick off a four-game set with the Tigers on Thursday at 6:10 PM Central. The pitching matchup for the opener will be Luis Garcia (5-4, 2.82 ERA) for Houston and Jose Urena (2-7, 5.79 ERA) for Detroit.

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