Watson turns in elite performance as Texans roll over Dolphins 42-23

Deshaun Watson was terrific on Thursday. Bob Levey/Getty Images

Deshaun Watson has had mixed results all season. He has dealt with a subpar offensive line, bad play calling and several injuries.

In Thursday night’s game, we saw what he can be at his best.

Watson was 16 of 20, threw for 239 yards, 5 TDs and for the second straight game did not turn the ball over as the Texans had their best offensive game of the season in an 42-23 win over Miami.

As a result, the Texans sit at 5-3 after the halfway point of the season. They lead the AFC South and are looking very much like a playoff team. Their last two games have been their best of the season.

Watson was a game manager last week and led the Texans over Jacksonville. Thursday night, he was the playmaker we saw last season.

Watson eluded the pass rush and made big plays. He hit long passes. He was efficient and effective. And if this Watson shows up the rest of the season? The Texans have a chance to be very good.

He threw darts against his body. He hit deep passes. He made smart decisions. In short, he looked like an elite quarterback.

The running game certainly helped, as Lamar Miller had his best game as a Texan with 133 rushing yards. The offensive line kept Watson clean - he was not sacked once.

Watson made the most of it. He was accurate, poised. When he plays like that, the Texans can beat anyone. He looked healthy for the first time in weeks, and the results showed.

Yes, the Dolphins are garbage. The Texans were supposed to beat them handily. But Watson was beyond excellent and looked like the player we all fell in love with last season.

Is he a franchise quarterback? Absolutely. Can he be elite? Maybe.

Thursday night, he certainly was.


Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

Houston gets the lopsided win

Valdez, Astros dominate the Angels in 10-0 rout in Anaheim

Framber Valdez was dominant against the Angels on Monday night. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

With a series win at home over the weekend, the Astros started their final regular-season road trip on Monday, squaring off against the Angels in Anaheim. They held the momentum firmly in their favor all night, dominating both sides of the game to start the series with a victory.

Final Score: Astros 10, Angels 0

Astros' Record: 89-61, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Framber Valdez (11-5)

Losing Pitcher: Jaime Barria (2-4)

Siri leads off with a bang

With Jose Altuve being given the night off, Houston gave Jose Siri a shot at the leadoff spot, and he delivered to start the opener in Anaheim. He launched a missile to left field, 426 feet, to put the Astros in front 1-0 before the Angels could record an out. Later that same inning, they strung together three singles, the third being an RBI by Carlos Correa to double the lead.

Valdez goes seven shutout innings

That gave Framber Valdez a lead to work with as he stepped on the rubber in the bottom of the inning, and he didn't give it up as he would post a dominant start. He started with a 1-2-3 first, worked around a couple of singles in the second, then used a double play to face the minimum in the third.

He retired Los Angeles in order again in the fourth, stranded a two-out single in the fifth and a single and a walk in the sixth. He had his worst inning of the night in the seventh, giving up a leadoff single then loading the bases on back-to-back two-out walks. He'd escape the jam, though, keeping the shutout alive and finalizing his impressive line: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 98 P.

Astros take the opener in lopsided fashion

Houston tacked on an insurance run in the top of the eighth, getting a one-out double by Correa to set up an RBI single by Marwin Gonzalez, pushing the lead to 3-0. Things escalated from there, as another single put two on base for Martin Maldonado, who blew the game open with a three-run homer to make it a six-run lead.

Brooks Raley took over for Valdez in the bottom of the inning, and with a 1-2-3 inning, made it his eighth appearance in a row without allowing a run. The Astros didn't let up in the top of the ninth, getting two hits and a walk to load the bases before a grand slam by Gonzalez made it 10-0 and gave him 5 RBI in a two-inning span. Seth Martinez, called up by the Astros earlier in the day, made his big-league debut in the bottom of the ninth and closed out the lopsided win to put Houston's magic number at 6.

Up Next: The second of this four-game set will be another 8:38 PM Central start on Tuesday. Jose Urquidy (7-3, 3.38 ERA) will take the mound for the Astros, going opposite Packy Naughton (0-2, 4.32 ERA) for the Angels.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome