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'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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