JAKE ASMAN

Tony Dungy: I like where the Texans are right now

Tony Dungy likes the Texans. Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

After an 0-3 start, the Houston Texans have won six games in a row, joining the 1970 New York Giants as the only teams to win six consecutive games after starting 0-3 in NFL history.

Super Bowl winning Head Coach and current NBC Sports Analyst Tony Dungy has been impressed with the Texans resolve after the terrible start to their season. Appearing on The Jake Asman Show on SB Nation Radio, Dungy talked about how he believed in Houston from the start of this season.

“I picked the Texans to win that division this year,” Dungy said. “I thought that if Deshaun Watson was healthy and if there defensive players were healthy, Whitney Mercilus and JJ Watt and (Jadeveon) Clowney, I thought they would have enough to do it.

After beating the Denver Broncos 19-17 last Sunday, Dungy, said he believes those are the type of games the Texans are going to have to play in order to win meaningful games the rest of the season.

“These are the types of games I think they are going to play,” said Dungy. “Where the defense hangs in there, gets some turnovers. Deshaun (Watson) makes just enough plays and they win and it’s going to be a tight fought game. I like their competitiveness and their belief in each other and I think those defenders are just going to get better and better... I like where the Texans are right now.”

Leading the Texans during their current winning streak has been the strong play of second year QB Watson. In Watson’s last six games, he’s thrown for 1,518 yards, 12 touchdowns and just 4 interceptions including a 68% completion rate. Watson has also not turned the ball over during the last three games. When asked what has stood out about Watson’s recent performance, Dungy said Watson’s playmaking ability has caught his eye.

“To me it’s his ability to make that big play and create that big play… When the design of the play breaks down, the defense does a good job, most of the time the QB says ‘OK, that’s it, I’ll live to play another day, I’ll throw the ball away, I’ll take a sack, and we'll get ‘em the next play’”, Dungy said. “Deshaun Watson has the ability that when the defense does everything properly and there is no where to go, he can still create things. To me that is a great quality to have and that is what separates Deshaun. He doesn’t have it all down yet and he’s going to get better and better but that ability to make something out of nothing in a crucial situation, that’s what he brings to the table.”

You can listen to the entire interview with Tony Dungy here: https://audioboom.com/posts/7076725-tony-dungy-interview

 

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Houston dropped two of three

Astros drop series finale to Oakland, A's win series

Jose Urquidy couldn't hold Oakland back on Saturday. Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

With Oakland finally ending their drought against the Astros on Friday night to split the first two games of the series, and with the Angels staying in step with them as both teams started the day 6-2, the Astros needed a win to keep momentum in their favor on Saturday.

Instead, Oakland would outslug Houston once again to take the series finale and take the series win. The loss moves Houston to 6-3 and down to second place, at least for now, until the 6-2 Angels complete their game on Saturday evening.

Final Score: A's 7, Astros 3

Astros' Record: 6-3, second in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Frankie Montas (1-1)

Losing Pitcher: Jose Urquidy (0-1)

Urquidy gives up four over six

Much like the night before, Oakland was able to bring in runs against Houston's starter, this time Jose Urquidy, Saturday afternoon in their second time through the order. Their first time through, Urquidy was cruising, allowing just one baserunner in the first three innings on a single in the top of the third.

Things shifted in the top of the fourth, with the A's getting back-to-back singles to set the stage for a two-run frame with dual RBI-singles to take a 2-0 lead. Oakland doubled that in the fifth, getting a two-out single to set up a two-run homer by Ramon Laureano to make it 4-0. Urquidy would go on to finish six innings, but with no run support to that point, would leave in line for the loss. His final line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 93 P.

A's pad their lead before Houston gets on the board

Meanwhile, although getting five hits, the Astros could not get anything on the board against Frankie Montas through six innings. Brandon Bielak took over out of the bullpen for Urquidy in the top of the seventh, but after loading the bases, he would allow a dagger two-RBI single to make it a 6-0 deficit for Houston.

With Montas starting the seventh looking to face a batter or two before Oakland moved to their bullpen, Kyle Tucker would finally get Houston on the board with a leadoff solo home run, cutting the lead to 6-1 and ending Montas' day. Houston would get a two-out rally going, with an RBI-double by Jose Altuve followed by an RBI-triple by Michael Brantley to make it a three-run game at 6-3.

Oakland takes the series win

Ryne Stanek tried to keep it a three-run game and give the Astros a chance to stay in it in the top of the eighth but instead would give up a two-out solo home run to push Oakland's lead back to four. That 7-3 score would go final as Houston would go scoreless in the eighth and ninth.

Up Next: Houston will have a day off on Sunday before continuing this homestand Monday night by welcoming in Detroit and former manager A.J. Hinch for three games. In the series opener, the Tigers will send young star Casey Mize (0-0, 2.25 ERA) to the mound, while the Astros will get another start by Zack Greinke (1-0, 1.38 ERA).

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